HINGHAM — Notre Dame (Hingham) knew what it was like — too many times in fact — to get handed the sectional runner-up trophy.
The Cougars had suffered defeat in four of the last five sectional finals and were determined to forge a different outcome on the same stage yesterday.
Second-seeded NDA did just that, using a strong start against No. 1 Westwood and four goals from Cara Charette to obtain the Division 1 South title for the first time since 2013 with a 13-8 victory.
Senior captains Madison Ahern and Julia Greene along with Maggie Coughlin each recorded hat tricks to help NDA (21-3) advance to the state semifinals against Walpole.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Greene said. “We’ve been working for this every single day. … We’ve been so close every year and it just feels so much better to finally be able to hold that trophy.”
NDA put Westwood (22-2), who was riding a 21-game winning streak and handed the Cougars their only in-state defeat this season, into an immediate hole by scoring the first five goals.
Charette struck just 1:06 in before Greene scored twice. Ahern and Coughlin then netted tallies while the Cougars held the Wolverines scoreless for nearly 17 minutes.
“We had a mission and everyone was working as hard as they could,” Ahern said. “Everybody was giving it their all.”
Both sides exchanged goals evenly from that point, but Coughlin and Ahern scored in the final 1:01 of the first half and Caroline Cooper made a save with a second left to give NDA a 9-3 halftime lead.
Westwood received three tallies from Ashley Mackin, but got only within four in the second half as NDA always responded.
“Just getting over this hurdle of losing in this round is a testament to this senior group and where they’ve taken us,” said NDA coach Meredith Frank McGinnis.