Crunch Time

PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo. Gloucester's Cate Delaney drives up field past North Reading's Ava Czarnota during Gloucester's Div. 2 first round tournament game against North Reading at Newell Stadium in Gloucester. 11/1/19 [[MER1911011739500373]]

Division 2 North Field Hockey Finals

Who: No. 6 Gloucester (14-3-2) vs. No. 5 Lynnfield (15-4)

When: Saturday (1 p.m.)

Where: Reading High School

What’s at stake: The winner earns a trip to the Division 2 State Semifinals next week against the winner of Saturday’s South Sectional Final between Sandwich and Dover Sherborn.

Gloucester’s tournament road: 3-0 win over N. Reading in first round, 2-0 win over Danvers in quarterfinals, 1-0 win over Pentucket in semifinals.

Lynnfield’s tournament road: 7-2 win over Ipswich in first round, 1-0 win over Manchester Essex in quarterfinals, 1-0 win over Watertown in semifinals.

Outlook: On paper the team both look evenly matched and well balanced, which is what to expect from sectional finalists. Gloucester enters on an 11-game win streak and has yet to allow a goal in the state tournament. Lynnfield, on the other hand, was one of the top teams in the Cape Ann League and got through 11-time defending sectional champ Watertown to reach the finals. Both teams are riding high after big wins and it should be a battle, which both teams are used to at this point in the season.

Division 7 North Football Semifinals

Who: No. 1 Manchester Essex (6-1) vs. No. 5 Latin Academy (6-2)

When: Saturday (noon)

Where: Hyland Field, Manchester

What’s at stake: The winner moves on to next week’s Division 7 North Finals against the winner of Saturday’s semifinal between No. 2 Greater Lawrence and No. 3 Lowell Catholic.

Manchester Essex’s tournament road: 30-7 win over Georgetown in quarterfinals.

Latin Academy’s tournament road: 19-18 win over Nashoba Tech in quarterfinals.

Outlook: The Hornets are looking to reach the sectional finals for the first time in the current MIAA postseason format and are playing just their second semifinal, first since 2013. They take on a Latin Academy team that won a share of the Boston City League North title. Latin Academy has been able to grind out wins this season, averaging 20 points per game while allowing 15. Manchester Essex, on the other hand, has been led by a stingy defense that allows only eight points per game.

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