homepage logo

Cavs’ defense never rests as they reach Division II finals

By Brendan Callahan - Special to The Telegraph | Jun 4, 2023

Alyssa Hill, shown earlier in the season, had a key goal and led Hollis Brookline with five draw controls in the Cavs' semifinal win Saturday over Windham. (Telegraph file photo by TOM KING)

NASHUA — They say defense wins championships, and the No. 3 Hollis-Brookline girls lacrosse team brought plenty of it in its 7-4 Division II semifinal win over No. 2 Windham Saturday at Stellos Stadium.

The Cavaliers held the Jaguars to one goal in the second half and had enough offensive production to move on to Tuesday’s 7 p.m. title game at Stellos vs. No. 1 Hanover, a 14-11 winner over No. 4 Winnacunnet in yesterday’s nightcap.

“We just executed our plan” Cavaliers coach Linda Haytayan said of her team’s defensive effort. “We were poised and we tried to play safe in the aspect that we’re not going to get any yellow cards on defense”.

Helping to execute that plan were HB defenders Julia Vella, Juliette Ogren, Paige Magnuszewski and Daniella Allanach. Windham’s only goal of the second half came off a timeout with about six minutes left in the game to make it a two-score game, but just as it seemed that the Jags might go on a run, The Cavalier defense continued to step up. Hollis-Brookline’s Sabrina Hill would score with one minute left to secure the victory for the Cavaliers. Hill led HB with four goals and an assist.

Both teams’ goalies were making saves early, keeping the score at one a piece, before a Hollis-Brookline run netted two goals, one of which was a point-blank rebound off a blocked shot.

Windham would get back in it scoring two goals of its own, both of which were off of penalty restarts, to tie the game at three.

The momentum would swing back toward the 15-4 Cavaliers just before halftime to take a 4-3 advantage into the break, and that same momentum would carry into the second half as they took a 5-3 lead after a Windham yellow card left them a man down on defense and Hollis-Brookline’s was able to capitalize.

Cavalier goalie Addison Dougherty continued to come up with big saves every time Windham created chances.

“She’s phenomenal,” Haytayan said. “Going into the season I thought (goalie) was going to be our weakness because she had no lacrosse experience at all and she’s been unbelievable.”

Hollis-Brookline kept the pressure up eventually making it 6-3 on a low shot by Alyssa Hill that just got past the goalie. Ogren had a goal and an assist while Paige Mello also added a goal. Alyssa Hill led HB with five draw controls while Ogren led with four ground ball pickups and two caused turnovers. Vella forced two turnovers as well.

Tuesday could be anybody’s game, as the Cavs fell to the 15-1 Bears only by a goal, 11-10, back on May 19th in Hanover. Defense got HB to the title game and now the Cavs will need it one more time to make that popular theory ring true.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *