(Manchester-by-the-Sea) When you’re dressed in pink and wearing shades (at night) you’d better be good because everyone knows where you are.
It worked for Rockport goalie Keady Segel at very windy Hyland Field and his Vikings won on penalty kicks to oust Lynnfield, 1-0, on Wednesday night in the D3 North quarterfinals and advance to a Friday game and a return date with defending D3 state champs, Weston.
Weston took out Rockport last year, 3-0, in the D3 North finals.
Rockport (16-3-1) has now defeated Lynnfield (11-6-3) four straight including twice in the postseason. However, from where I was watching, either team would have won this game deservedly in regulation and during the two overtimes. There were few, if any glittering chances, and both teams were solid in goal.
The good-sized crowd saw a full game, plus two overtimes of excellent high school soccer. The referees were super even cautioning some in the Lynnfield crowd for their commentary. I also liked it that diving by both teams went unrewarded.
But the kid in pink turned out to be the difference when the game got to the penalty kicks level.
Lynnfield certainly didn’t do themselves any favors when they missed the net entirely on two of their four attempts. But maybe the Rockport goalie’s reputation (2-time CAL player-of-the-year) had something to do with it. On Lynnfield’s second attempt (by Stephen Knox), Keady did make the save.
With Rockport up 2-1 in penalty kicks, Keady took his turn as shooter. He approached the ball doing a stutter step and hit a low shot home to increase the lead to 3-1. When Lynnfield’s 4th shooter (Stephen Carangelo) followed by missing the net the Rockport celebration began.
Before the game, I was sure that the wind would be influential but it wasn’t despite being steady and possibly reaching 30MPH. The two goalies certainly gave up distance when kicking into it. Keady got into some serious trouble once when he kicked a ball very high – it practically came back to him. With the wind, however, he made one noteworthy kick – a two-bouncer to Jerry Reid in the Lynnfield goal from the other end!