(Lynn) In the eighty minute Division 3 North girls soccer final, Weston pressured/dominated (choose your verb) Ipswich for a solid fifty minutes and built up a 2-0 lead that turned out to be the final score on Saturday afternoon.
In weather warm enough (60 degrees) at Manning Field to have some fans shedding clothes (see picture), the Tigers were fortunate to only be down 2-0 after a very persistent Wildcat attack. To say that Ipswich goalie Hannah O’Flynn and the rest of the Ipswich defense were busy is a total understatement.
While Weston came at Ipswich from every angle the Wildcat goalie never touched the ball the entire first half!
Meanwhile Weston had nine corner kicks down the other end during the first half and it was one of those kicks by Madeline Linde that put the Wildcats in front 1-0. My long-range picture shows the Ipswich goalie (Hannah O’Flynn) covering the near post but the ball has somehow gotten beyond her.
Forward Emma Dagres came into the game advertised as Weston’s best. She was accurately estimated from what I saw. Despite personal coverage from Jackie Manchester, the talented junior came very close several times including her first half attempt (in this picture) showing her blocked doorstep shot at Hannah O’Flynn.
The only thing that changed in the early going in the second half was that Weston was pressuring at a different goal on the field. Seven minutes into the half Madeline Linde got control of a loose ball in close to the left of the Ipswich goalie and dribbled across the front of the goal for a shot (left foot?) that evaded Hannah.
2-0, early in the second half. I was expecting Weston to get more goals but it didn’t happen thanks to a more do-or-die Ipswich approach. The concern about more Weston goals transferred into the need to get Ipswich goals. And there were a couple of glittering Tiger second half chances that failed. If one of those had been made maybe the outcome could have been different.
The first second-half scoring chance shows a look (see picture) that Thursday’s hero, Bryn Golesworthy, had at a shot right near the Weston goalie.
The second scoring opportunity (see picture) shows Mariah Brockelbank narrowly missing a tip-in as the ball rolls along the goal line.
Weston (15-5-2) moves on to the state semifinals. Ipswich (11-7-4) waits until next year.
The biggest change in the 2011 Tigers will be the absence of goalie Hannah O’Flynn. A combination of size, speed, and athletic instincts made her exceptional as the last Ipswich defender.