DOVER – The wait has been the hardest part for Pierce Gregory and his Dover-Sherborn lacrosse teammates.

Champions of State in 2019, the Raiders never had the chance to properly defend their title in the midst of the cancellation of the 2020 season. It turns out that Gregory and DS will have a chance to repeat after all after a win. 17-10 over Newburyport at Nora Searle’s home ground on Monday night to advance to the Division 3 final.

“It’s been a long wait,” said Gregory, a Bryant University engagement, after recording 11 points (six goals, five assists) against the Clippers. “It’s really satisfying to see the hard work from me and my teammates paying off.

DS will face the winner of Tuesday’s Norwell-Wahconah game for the state title on Thursday.

The Raiders (16-2), champions of the Center / East section, had their hands full against the champions of the North Clippers (15-2), fresh out of their first section title.

Newburyport scored the game’s first goal in 43 seconds on a tear from Kennedy Heath, tied the game at 2-2 on an offer from Ryan Cottone after DS woke up and made things interesting early in the fourth quarter with a 4-0 run to cut a seven-three goal deficit 3:02 in the final frame.

But Gregory and the Raiders, who went 4-0 in the second quarter to open things up, added a second four-goal flurry to shut down the Clippers. Gregory featured prominently on both innings, assisting on three goals in the second quarter and scoring twice himself with another assist in the fourth.

In a program that has won five state titles since 2012, Gregory said the motivation for one this spring was in part for last year’s seniors, who never had a chance to compete. for a sixth.

“They didn’t even get a shot,” Gregory said. “We don’t just play for ourselves; we play for them.

Ryan Portalla made 10 saves for Newburyport.

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