CANTON, Mass. – In the end, clinching the title was in sort of anti-climactic. At the final whistle, both sets of coaches approached the officials about playing an overtime period to decide a winner, but with the rules as they stand, the game had to finish as a tie.
Canton and Foxboro perennially the top teams in the Davenport division, battled to a 9-9 draw in the rain and wind on Wednesday afternoon at WWII Veterans Memorial Field. Although it was hard to tell from the reaction of the visitors, the result was enough to clinch the league title for the Warriors (14-1-1, 9-1-1), who still have only one loss this season.
“We were really excited about playing Foxboro again. It seems like every time we play them it comes down to a game like this,” said Canton head coach Chris Murtagh, who was clearly the happier of the two coaches at the end of the game.
He added, “We won the Davenport the first year and they won it the second and we always find it comes down to Foxboro and us in the league. It was a tie, but you know we think we played well and maybe they’ll make changes in our league so that we won’t have ties anymore.”
Neither team was able to build more than a two goal lead at any point in the game. Foxboro junior Kate Notarangelo opened the scoring with the first of her three goals in the game. Canton responded with a pair of goals, including the first of senior Meg Lennon’s four scores (she also added and assist).
With Canton leading 3-2, sophomore Marybeth Sweeney got Foxboro level with 10:47 left in the half. Five minutes later Sweeney found Jaimee Lutz to make it 4-3 Warriors, but the Bulldogs tied the game just before halftime on a free position finish by Erin Proctor.
“She has a great attitude about learning the game,” said Murtagh. “She’s going to make mistakes, but works hard on improving.”
The coach was less pleased by the team’s passing in the first half and he noticed a significant improvement after the break.
Murtagh remarked, “We had to work on some issues with our passing because Foxboro is the type of team that is going to pressure you all over the field. We find that, if we move the ball down the field with passes, we can match anybody.”
Following a yellow card to Jackie Merrigan early in the second half, Foxboro regained the lead on a free position goal by Notarangelo. After Canton tied it again at 5-5, Allie Peter and Ellen Decker hit for quick back-to-back goals to give the Warriors their first two-goal lead. Lennon got one back but them Decker found Peter to make it 8-6 with under nine minutes remaining.
Canton did not panic and continued to chip away. With Lennon running at the Foxboro defense, the Bulldogs posed a constant threat. Proctor’s second made it 8-7 and then Meg McKenna found Lennon to complete her hat trick and tie the game at 8-8. Notarangelo got her hat trick goal with 3:11 on the clock, but again Canton responded and again it was Lennon.
“Meghan Lennon has a lot of confidence and a great stick,” said Murtagh. “She’s an athlete that’s able to take aspects of her other sports (soccer and hockey) and bring it to lacrosse and it’s beautiful to watch. She beats people and she can shoot.”
Both teams had possession in the final minute but neither created a clear-cut scoring opportunity.
Canton closes out the season with a non-league game against Norwood, while Foxboro travels to Sharon and Ursuline Academy.