Milton coach Cory Payson hi-fives his bench just before the final buzzer. (Photo by Ben Kaufmann)
RANDOLPH – Senior captain Brooke Phillips scored four goals in the second half to propel Milton to its fourth Division II championship in the past six seasons with a 6-3 win over Mill River on Saturday.
Breaking a 2-2 tie at halftime, Phillips scored twice in the first 3:32 of the second half against the top-seeded Minutemen (16-2). Fellow senior Erin Turner assisted each of those goals –along with a Celeste Gander goal in the first half– as Milton’s seniors wrapped up their career in style and avenged last year’s early postseason exit.
Returning to the title game after missing it in 2012 for the first time since 2007, Milton (14-3-1) got off to a hot start. Gander knocked in Turner’s corner in the 17th minute and Caitlyn Dabagian made it 2-0 nine minutes later after finishing off agive-and-go play with Phillips.
Addison Wennar (6) speaks to her teammates just before the start of the second half. (Photo by Ben Kaufmann)
Mill River scored twice on a pair of set-pieces in the final 5:30 of the first half, pulling momentum away from Milton at the break. The Yellowjackets rallied, boosted by some spirited words from senior sweeper Addison Wennar in a team huddle just before the second half whistle. The motivation worked as Phillips ripped off a pair of quick goals. She added two more in the final 13 minutes — assisted by Dabagian and co-captain Ashley Lauziere.
The Minutemen scored a too-little-too-late goal in between Phillips’ last two scores but the Yellowjackets easily held on.
Milton got help in goal in the form of six saves from Kayleigh Reid.