In last year’s state semifinals, the Woburn High girls’ hockey team beat Acton-Boxborough 3-2.
In the this year, Woburn trounced Acton-Boxborough 8-2.
On Sunday, Acton-Boxborough would avenge both losses with a 2-1 win the Division 1 state semifinals at Stoneham Arena.
“Our motivation was that they were the team that bounced us last year and annihilated us two weeks ago,” said Acton-Boxborough coach Brian Fontas. “That was our focus and that was our drive today.”
Third-ranked Acton-Boxborough (19-3-1) will face No. 8 Hingham (19-4-2) in the championship game Sunday at the TD Garden in Boston. Each of the last two seasons, St. Mary’s of Lynn has beaten Woburn in the final.
Top-ranked St. Mary’s, which was riding a 100-game unbeaten streak, was upset by Hingham in the quarterfinals. Woburn ends the season 20-2-1.
“I never envisioned anything other than us winning a state championship this year,” Woburn coach Bob MacCurtain said after the loss.
Acton-Boxborough’s Kati Goguen scored what would be the game-winning goal with about four minutes remaining in the game. She broke free and then beat Woburn goalie Courtney Davis with a quick wrist shot.
“As soon as I saw her in the neutral zone,” Fontas said, “she made that one move, and she’s so good at that quick wrist shot – honestly, as soon as it went, I knew it was going to go in.”
Defenseman Sarah Berkley earned an assist on the play. She also assisted Acton-Boxborough’s first goal by captain Caleigh LaBossiere, her linemate, about three minutes into the game.
“The whole tournament [LaBossiere] has just put us on her back, and we’re all along for the ride,” Fontas said.
LaBossiere scored on a shot from about 15 feet out.
With about one minute remaining in the first period, Woburn sophomore Kayla Smith evened the score, at 1-1, off a pass from senior Siobhan Duran. Woburn’s star senior Colleen Martell also received an assist.
Smith had a hat-trick and three assists in the recent route of Acton-Boxborough. Fontas said that limiting the production of Smith and Martell were keys for his team coming into the game, and he said that loss wasn't characteristic of his team.
“That wasn’t us, to be honest with you,” Fontas said of the previous game. “It was one of those games where I walked away and sat on the bus and said, ‘Was that my team?’”
MacCurtain had a similar feeling Sunday.
“I think that for whatever reason we didn’t play our best today,” he said.
Acton-Boxborough’s Cali Loblundo and Woburn’s Davis each had 15 saves in net.