(Lynn MA) With forty seconds left in the first half freshman Izzy Ross was presented with a golden opportunity. The Chelmsford goalie was down, the ball was at her feet, and half the net was uncovered.
“I just tried to focus on the goal,” said Izzy afterwards recalling the setup and the score that enabled Lincoln-Sudbury to oust Chelmsford, 1-0, and give the Warriors the Division 1 North girls’ soccer title.
Lincoln-Sudbury will face Whitman-Hanson in the D1 state semi-finals on Tuesday night (5PM) at Manning Field in Lynn.
Scoring goals on Chelmsford (14-4-4) has taken some doing all season. The Lions had given up just four goals going into the game with LS including shutouts in their last seven games.
“We knew that they had a great defense,” said LS coach Kate Berry. “We worked a lot on crossing and finishing. We wanted to make sure we got in front of the goal.”
That they did on the decisive goal. In the last minute, sophomore Jenna Barnes dribbled free on the right side and had defender Mary Lupoli and CHS goalie Claire Markey in front of her. Instead of taking the shot, Jenna kicked the ball across the front of the net. LS junior Emily Gorman broke down the middle and GK Claire Markey slid over to cover her. The ball, however, went past both of them to Izzy Ross who got to the front of the net and converted the dream setup.
Chelmsford had scored thirty-six goals during the season and they had three golden chances against Lincoln-Sudbury.
In the first half (8:00), Caitlyn McCabe sent a rocket from the left toward the goal. Warriors’ goalie Caroline Fahey had the shot in her sights. Junior Ellie Paolucci, however, flew in from the right and just missed tipping Caitlyn’s shot past the LS goalie.
In the second half (20:34), Caitlyn McCabe launched another fast-moving shot from the left. This shot sailed over GK Caroline Fahey and glanced off the crossbar. “I’ve developed a great relationship with the crossbar,” joked Caroline afterwards.
The third Chelmsford near-miss was described by Warriors coach Kate Berry as “the play of the game.” At 17:20, Ellie Paolucci from the right put a long pass on the foot of teammate Patricia Blumeris in the middle. Patricia redirected the ball but right to GK Fahey who had moved out from the goal. “It was an amazing save,” said Coach Berry.
For the second straight playoff win, LS was able to keep the ball in the opponent’s end of the field in the closing minutes.
I was impressed with the soccer skills of both teams. Their ability to control the ball in tight spaces was excellent.
Lincoln-Sudbury’s only state title was in 2003 when they ended Winchester’s 41-game win streak to do it.
The Gatorade bath was all set up for Coach Berry during the celebration afterwards. However, Warriors’ senior Hannah Rosenblatt nixed the idea saying that they should wait until two games from now. That would be to celebrate the state title on Saturday at WPI.
It was a cold night for sure. The good news was that there wasn’t any wind.
(I can edit this blog easily. If there is a mistake, let me know.)
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