BOSTON -- Bromfield (21-2) met its match in the Division 2 State Final Saturday morning at a misty Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University.
North sectional champion Newburyport milked the final seven minutes of the second half to edge Bromfield, 7-6, for the state title.
Bromfield sophomore phenom Sophia Turchetta netted five goals, but it was not enough. Newburyport senior midfielder Alexandra Peffer potted the eventual game-winner with 20 seconds remaining in the first half.
"I saw some game video of these guys and my initial thought was that it was like looking in the mirror," Bromfield head coach Dave Planchet said of Newburyport. "They had a very similar playing style to us. I knew it was going to come down to the little things. They bested us on the groundballs. (Newburyport) is one heck of the team. But I am really proud of my kids. It's really been a dream season."
Turchetta pushed the ball inside the eight-meter arc and drew a slash, setting up a free position chance. Turchetta skipped the ball inside the right pipe from the center hash to give the Trojans an early lead with 21:49 remaining in the opening half.
The Clippers secured the ensuing draw and senior midfielder Kelly Conway motored the length of the field and beat Bromfield junior goalkeeper Julia Hoggins (7 saves) to her left to knot the game at 1-1.
Neither side was able to pull away as the spread did not surpass more than one goal. Turchetta's third goal of the first half was one of epic proportions. Turchetta snaked inside the semi-circle and wove in and out of three defenders before punishing the turf with a bounce shot to tie the game at 3-3.
Bromfield and Newburyport traded goals in the final 10 minutes of the half.
Bromfield senior Jackie Planchet tied the game at 6-6 with a shot that snuck past Clipper goalkeeper Olivia Mombella. Newburyport carried a 7-6 lead into the second half, due in large part to the stalwart play of Mombella between the pipes. Mombella stopped eight shots in the win for the Clippers.
"I don't think I can ever remember one," coach Planchet said of the scoreless second half. "I thought someone would score. Both goalies played really well. Our defense was phenomenal. When you give up seven goals in a game, you're thinking you are walking off the field with a win.
Turchetta and the Trojans offense had a bevy of opportunities in the early portion of the second half, but Mombella rose to the occasion. The Bromfield defense blanked Newburyport in the second half, but the damage was already done. The Clippers transitioned into a possession-based offense and wreaked havoc on the Trojans, who were called for a yellow card late in the game.
Planchet and the Bromfield Trojans went through a stretch during the regular season winning the first 15 games. It was a season of firsts for Bromfield as it advanced to its first District semifinals and finals and wedged its way into the state finals.
"Catherine had them playing at a top level, defensively," Planchet said of Newburyport head coach Catherine Batchelder. "I knew we were going to be in for a dog fight."
Bromfield has 21 returning letter winners, which bodes well for the future.
"We are very deep especially from our sophomore class down," coach Planchet said. "Soph Turchetta, as she matures into her junior and senior year, she has a bright future ahead of her. There are a lot of young kids on the field getting a lot of experience. It wouldn't surprise me if you see us here whether it's next year or the year after."