Amongst the many traits of a good team is the ability to respond when its opponent scores a goal.
Such was the case in Sunday’s MIAA Girls Division 2 state final. Second-seeded Duxbury forged ahead of fourth-seeded Canton 2-0 in the first period, and then each time the Buldogs scored to cut the lead, the Dragons answered right back.
Duxbury won its first state championship since 2014 with a 5-2 win over Canton at TD Garden.
In the second period, Canton’s Tori Carr scored on a seeing-eye shot from the right point ti make it a 2-1 game and give the Bulldogs some momentum. However late in the frame, sophomore Maddie Greenwood re-directed McKenna Colella’s slap shot to restore Duxbury’s lead to 3-1.
In the third period, Canton senior Audrey Koen buried a power play goal at 9:41 to bring Canton to within 3-2, but less than three minutes later Duxbury freshman Addyson Harrington fired one home from the slot.
“I mentioned just that in our post-game,” said Duxbury head coach Dan Najarian. “Our ability to bounce back. We looked back to the NDA game in the middle of the season where we were down 3-0 and came back and won. And our game with Malden Catholic in the tournament. They kept punching and we kept answering back. You saw that today.”
Duxbury jumped on top 1-0 in the first just eight seconds into a power play. Colella had the puck at the blue line and fed Greenwood in the right circle. The sophomore blasted a slap shot past Canton netminder Carolyn Durand.
At the 13:13 mark, Colella would extend Duxbury’s lead to 2-0, finishing off an end-to-end rush by tucking home a backhander just inside the right post.
Canton could muster just one shot on goal in the first period. In the second the Bulldogs started to get things going offensively and when Carr scored with Ellie Bohane and Audrey Koen screening in front, it was 2-1 and the Bulldogs had some life.
But, at 13:54, Colella and Greenwood teamed up again. This time, Greenwood, parked just off the left post, deftly re-directed Colella’ shot from the right point, establishing Duxbury’s two-goal lead at 3-1.
Here Maddie Greenwood and McKenna Colella talk about the championship win here:
“We always talk about how late period or last minute goals can be momentum swings and you saw that today,” Najarian said.
Canton refused to go away, though, and when Audrey Koen slammed home a great pass across the slot from Maya Battista on a Bulldogs power play, it was now a 3-2 game with 5:19 to go.
But again, it was the Dragons able to answer back. Megan Carney slid a pass across to Harrington, who wristed home a shot from the center of the slot to give Duxbury a 4-2 lead.
Parker Metzler closed out the scoring at 13:38, when she buried the rebound of a Greenwood bid. Greenwood made a nice rush to the net. Durand stopped her shot, but Metzler was there to put it home.
This was Duxbury’s first state title since 2014, when they won their fourth championship in a row.
“That 2014 team, it’s like a thing from yesteryear,” Najarian said. “Nine years later Duxbury is back on top. I couldn’t be more prouder of the severn seniors, plus the underclassmen who took the bull by the horns. Of the five goals we had, four were scored by sophomores or freshmen. It says a lot about their ability to play under the bright lights and bodes well for the future.”
Duxbury finished at 24-1-2 and Canton at 19-3-4.