A season to remember came to an end Friday, July 2, as the undefeated (18-0) Bromfield varsity girls lacrosse team fell 12-10 to the Dover-Sherborn Raiders (18-1) in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 state final at Alumni Field in Littleton.
Co-captain Izzy Planchet outjumps her opponent on the draw. (Photos by Lisa Aciukewicz)
It was the team’s second trip to the finals in four years and capped a postseason in which the team outscored its opponents 53-10 in Central/West playoffs and then defeated its 2018 nemesis, Norwell, the MIAA South champion, 14-2 in an MIAA state semifinal matchup earlier last week.
The hour-long battle was unlike any played by the Trojans this season. Conditions were miserable, with temperatures hovering in the upper 50s and off-and-on drizzle falling throughout the game. Officials huddled under tents, doing their best to stay warm and keep stat sheets dry. The stands were packed, umbrellas flowering among the roughly 200 spectators.
Dover-Sherborn fans marked their section with a pair of Raider pirate flags. Members of the Dover-Sherborn boys lacrosse team were present to chant “defense, defense,” at key moments of the game. Two minutes into the second quarter, the panic alarm of a silver Jeep parked next to the field began to honk and continued to sound for five minutes until the owner shut it off.
The game got off to a promising start for Bromfield. Senior Izzy Planchet won the first faceoff and junior Tallie Dutkewych scored 30 seconds later on a shot from the left-hand side of the net past Raider sophomore goalie Kathryn Mahoney to give Bromfield a 1-0 lead. But the Raiders were quick to respond. Dover-Sherborn senior Annie Parizeau grabbed the next faceoff, and 15 seconds later teammate Coco Hauck scored on an assist from senior attacker Kate Mastrobuono to tie the game 1-1.
Co-captain Liv Kehoe sees a clearing through her opponents in Friday’s 12-10 loss to Dover-Sherborn in the state final game.
“We [scored] right off the bat and they came right back. I was like, wow,” marveled coach David Planchet, Izzy’s father, after the game. “You saw two really good teams going at it in this game.”
Bromfield won the next three draw controls and scored on each possession, pulling ahead 4-1. But then, midquarter, the game’s momentum shifted as Raider attackers, led by Mastrobuono, punched back, first tying the score at 4-4 and then pulling ahead 6-4 by the quarter’s end.
In each of the next two quarters, as Raider defenders stifled Bromfield’s attack, Dover-Sherborn attackers outscored the Trojans 3-1 and by the end of the third quarter had built a 12-6 lead.
In the 12½ minutes of the fourth and final quarter, the Trojans fought furiously to recover, holding the Raiders scoreless and adding 4 points to their total, the last two by Planchet, who scored her final goal as a Trojan, capitalizing on an interception and pass from senior Liv Kehoe. With 52 seconds remaining, Bromfield called time-out, but it was too late. When the players returned to the field, senior Raider Annie Parizeau won draw control and Bromfield was unable to regain possession.
Reflecting on her team’s performance, Izzy Planchet said Dover-Sherborn was the best team Bromfield had faced all season. “I think when it came down to it, we didn’t capitalize on all our moments on offense and we didn’t get as many draw controls as we expected, and [Dover-Sherborn] capitalized on our mistakes, because they’re a good team. But I think our goalie [junior Peyton Van Dorpe] played unreal and our defense got the hang of it and we started to get into our groove, but it was just a little bit too late.”
Dover-Sherborn head coach Erin Massimi said she knew the game would be hard fought. “Definitely our defense stepped up and we were able to hold that very talented [Bromfield] team,” she said. “We knew they were going to come at us at [from] every single angle, but our defense and our goalie came up with some big saves and we were just able to capitalize on that on the attack. … They had great composure and came alive in the first half and then we just had to settle down and keep our composure for the second.”
Bromfield coach Planchet repeated his observation of last week that the two teams were well matched. “I told you they’re constructed a lot like us,” he said. “You have to be gritty to win, and in the first three quarters, I’m gonna give them credit: They were more gritty than we were. In the last quarter we dug down and fought back, and then we clawed our way back in.”
Planchet noted that the Raiders had successfully prevented Izzy Planchet, Bromfield’s top scorer and playmaker, from getting the ball for three quarters. “In the fourth quarter … we made a concerted effort to get her to the ball, and … she scored those two quickies at the end and … she created some space for her teammates and other [scoring] opportunities.” He added: “Hell of a coaching job by [Dover-Sherborn coach] Erin [Massimi]. … That’s the chess game we play, so, yeah, it was well done on their part.”
Game statistics show Dover-Sherborn with a slight edge in draw controls (14-12) and recovery of loose balls (19-17). Both sides had plenty of turnovers: Bromfield 10; Dover-Sherborn nine. And Trojan goalie Van Dorpe had three saves to Raider Mahoney’s four.
Co-captain Bella Kehoe takes a shot on goal
Liv Kehoe was Bromfield’s top scorer with four goals (two on penalty shots), followed by senior Izzy Katter with three (two on penalty shots), Planchet with two, and Dutkewych with one. Liv Kehoe’s fourth-quarter goal was scored with an assist from Dutkewych, the only assisted Bromfiield goal of the game, in contrast to Dover-Sherborn’s four assisted goals.
For coach Planchet and daughter Izzy, this was their final season at Bromfield. Also departing are Liv and Bella Kehoe, Katter, and defender Sophie Bartram. Planchet, the Kehoe sisters, and Katter will join Division 1 college lacrosse teams this fall, Planchet at Virginia Tech, the Kehoe sisters at the University of Pennsylvania, and Katter at Bryant University.
“Winning the championship would have been the cherry on top, but there’s nothing that’s going to take away from how special this year was,” Planchet told the Press. As for next year’s team, “They have a chance to be right back here again, they really do. They just have to work hard.” This year’s team has left a legacy, he said. “The younger kids have to take it up, step up and carry the torch forward.”