(Billerica) It was almost a year ago to the day on the same field against the same team. This time, however, there was a different result as the Ipswich girls soccer team eliminated #1 seed Shawsheen, 1-0, to advance to the semi-finals of the Division 3 North tournament.
The #9 seed Tigers (10-6-4) made a goal by Courtney Long in the first half’s drizzly conditions stand up. Shawsheen (15-2-2), from the Commonwealth Athletic League, had a first round bye while Ipswich had to get by St.Mary’s on Sunday to reach this game.
I thought that the Tigers were a step quicker than the Rams most of the afternoon. I never saw any sort of dangerous direct shot at Ipswich goalie Hannah O’Flynn in this contest. In fact, Hannah’s father, Dr. Hugh O’Flynn, had more action than she did as he was on the field with five injured players (by my count) during the game.
I had a good look at Courtney’s first-half goal. Ipswich had been awarded a direct kick. The Rams set up a wall that might have blocked Courtney’s shot (painfully) but as she struck the shot the end girl on the wall (Alyssa Martucci) flinched to the right leaving an opening. (Maybe the shot would have gone in whether she had moved to her right or not.) Anyhow, the ball hit near the right corner at the bottom of the top crossbar and caromed down across the goal-line.
I don’t think that there was another open shot at either goal the rest of the game. Hannah Weagle came close to getting a rebound in front of the Ram net in the second half and later Mary Krathwohl nearly broke through for a good shot.
One painful moment late was when Samantha Brown ended up with her face in front of a Sabrina Gomes clearing kick. Sabrina was apologetic afterwards.
The Tigers now move on to the semi-final round of the tournament. They will be facing Cape Ann League opponent Lynnfield (#4 seed) at 2:30 PM at Manning (turf) Field in Lynn on Thursday afternoon. These teams split during the regular season with Lynnfield winning at home in September while Ipswich won at home in October.
(All the information is from my own personal observation. Regard any inaccuracies from that vantage point, please.)