“I just know that it’s my last season as a Porker and all I want to do is win,” said Welch.
“I’m just focused on each and every game and now that we are actually going back to the state championship, it’s kind of crazy. Just full of emotions.”
The Porkers led, 2-0, at the half, but three minutes into the third quarter, Wachusett junior Lillian Chiasson cut the deficit to 2-1. Eight minutes later, Welch made it 3-1.
Sophomore Izzy Adams also netted a pair of goals for Walpole, which lost, 1-0, in last year’s final to Andover.
“It would be nice to play someone new, someone different, but it would also be nice to beat Andover and get even that way,” said Walpole coach Jen Quinn.
Andover 2, Shrewsbury 1 — With 2:04 remaining in regulation of a tie game, Andover sophomore Scarlett Glass made sure there would be no overtime. As snow was beginning to fall on the turf at Whitcomb Middle School, Glass knocked the winner past Shrewsbury senior goalie Mallory Bucciaglia as the second-seeded Warriors (21-1) pulled out the semifinal win.
“We just had a mind-set of this is it,” said Glass. “We are getting a goal. We aren’t going to lose and we aren’t going to overtime.”
“I was ecstatic,” Glass said.
Shrewsbury (18-2-2), which lost twice to Andover in the regular season, put a scare into the defending Division 1 champions. After a scoreless first half, the Colonials struck first on a goal by senior Lexi Kent with five minutes left in the third quarter.
“I give them all the credit in the world,” Andover coach Maureen Noone said. “They were playing tough but were also hitting stick to stick and were moving quickly.”
Nearly four minutes into the fourth quarter, sophomore Bella DiFiore scored the equalizer for Andover.
Now Andover gets set for the rematch against Walpole, whom they beat 1-0 last year in the state championship.
“It will be awesome to play them again,” Glass said. “We just have to have the mind-set to play our game, do what we know what to do and play like we know how to play and good things can happen.”
Division 4 State
Manchester Essex 2, Cohasset 1 (SO) — Grace Gerhardt’s tying goal looked, and felt, like a miracle.
But to Manchester Essex, the dramatic tally was simply a manifestation of the group’s determination and never-say-die mentality.
“It’s just so descriptive of our season, really,” ME coach Courtney Brown said. “We find a way to make it happen.”
Gerhardt tipped in tying goal with eight seconds left in regulation of the semifinal at Watertown’s Victory Field, and the Hornets prevailed in a shootout, 6-4, to punch its first ticket to a state final since 1995.
Junior Caelie Patrick deked Cohasset keeper Lucy Farrington with a move to the right, and then hammered the ball into an open net to secure the win.
The third-seeded Skippers (15-6-1) took a 1-0 advantage when senior Catherine Brisbane scored on a penalty corner with just over three minutes to go in regulation.
“Having them get that goal and seeing the point go up is heartbreaking after you’ve played 57 minutes of a game,” Gerhardt said. “Getting that at the end is an unreal feeling.”
The Skippers dominated possession, corners, and shots throughout the most of the game, but neither team broke through with a goal until the final four minutes.
The Hornets will face Uxbridge in the title game — the same team which routed Manchester Essex, 6-0, in the semifinals last year at Victory Field.
“I mean, I think we’re just on a revenge tour at this point,” said Patrick. “We’re going to leave everything we have on that field.”
Uxbridge 3, Monomoy 2 (2 OTs) — Sophomore Ellie Bouchard deked past Monomoy senior goalie Olivia Willis and scored with 4:12 remaining in double overtime to propel the top-seeded Spartans (22-0) to the semifinal win at Middleborough High.
Freshman forward Kendall Gilmore led Uxbridge’s final rush and assisted on Bouchard’s winner, her third goal of the game. The sophomore fielded Gilmore’s pass and patiently stickhandled around Willis before firing her shot on goal.
“I knew from previous shots I had taken that I could keep going right to the goalie, so I took it to the side of me and curled around her and shot it into the backboard,” Bouchard said. “I really, really wanted to win. I was like, ‘I’m not going to regret anything tomorrow.’”
The semifinal was easily the biggest scare the Spartans have faced during their unbeaten season; the Sharks (12-5-5) gave them all they could handle after Uxbridge cruised to a 6-1 victory Oct. 2 during their regular-season meeting.
The win also extends Uxbridge’s unbeaten streak. The team holds a 48-0-5 record dating back to Nov. 1, 2019, when it suffered its last defeat — a 1-0 loss to Hopedale in a Division 2 Central squarterfinal.
“We needed this,” Uxbridge coach Kelly Rosborough said. “This was definitely our closest game all season. Our defense hadn’t been tested like that all season and our goalie hadn’t been tested like that all season. Going into a state championship game, you need everyone to feel that pressure and to be able to work under those conditions.”
After Bouchard’s first goal gave Uxbridge a 1-0 lead in the first half, Monomoy junior Susannah Brown evened the score with 3:16 remaining in the third. Bouchard scored to give the Spartans a 2-1 edge minutes into the fourth quarter, and Monomoy senior captain Carly Dimock netted the equalizer with 1:33 left in regulation.
“I’m proud of this season,” first-year Monomoy coach Kyle Cappallo said. “There’s a lot of young, talented players coming up in the Monomoy school district and Monomoy is going to be a contender for a while to come.”
Globe correspondents Ethan Winter reported from Marlborough, Brad Joyal from Middleborough, and Mitch Fink from Watertown. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.