(Byfield MA) Swampscott edged #4 Triton, 2-1, on Saturday morning to gain the Division 3 state semi-finals.
The Big Blue (13-5-3) will face the #1 seed (Sandwich) on Wednesday night (7PM) at Norwell High School.
Sydney Marshall provided the game winner for #5 Swampscott in the third quarter assisted by Isabella Modica.
Both teams knew each other well.
“We had never played them before,” said Swampscott coach Courtney Russo, “but this is our fourth time this season.”
An earlier scrimmage was followed by two games in October. Triton won the first meeting (2-1) and tied the second (1-1).
“We played them a couple of times,” said Coach Donna Andersen of Triton. “It could have gone either way today. We knew it would be close.”
Brooke Waters’ goal in the first quarter was answered by Maddie Hillick’s goal in the second quarter.
Sydney Marshall’s game winner, in the third quarter (3:50), came just after Triton had done everything but score down the other end.
“Isabella (Modica) had a great shot into the circle that went right to me,” recalled Sydney of her game winner. “I was able to hit it off the right post and it went in. I was in the right spot at the right time.”
The pattern was set for the Vikings (14-4-3) to get an answering goal. But that, however, didn’t happen this morning.
“We struggled to play a full sixty minutes of intense field hockey,” said Coach Andersen. “We had our moments, and we did play spurts of good hockey. At the end of the day, however, we didn’t maintain it.”
The Big Blue scored their first goal at 3:02 of the first quarter.
“Our first goal was set up by a shot from Isabella Modica,” explained Coach Russo. “She (Isabella) hit it in, and Brooke Waters knocked it in. She took a nice strong shot in the center.”
Early in the second quarter, Triton pulled even off a corner at 12:31.
“Our goal by Maddie (Hillick) was well executed,” said Coach Andersen. “The insert was good as was the hit off it. Maddie collected the rebound, protected the ball and put it away.”
“Their corners are very strong,” said Coach Russo. “We wanted to eliminate some of them.”
The Vikings had five corners (by my count) during the game. Swampscott had one corner.
“I wanted to see more corners out of us,” added Coach Russo. “It was nice, however, to see us get two goals that weren’t on corners.”
Sydney Marshall’s goal in the third quarter impacted the way things went thereafter.
“It’s not the end of the world if you get scored on,” said Coach Andersen, “but in this game the momentum shifted, and we weren’t able to get it back again.”
“I was a little worried that going into the fourth quarter with the lead, might cause us to play defensively, to play it safe,” said Coach Ruffo. “But it didn’t happen. I’m proud of them and pleased.”
The Vikings did have a near miss in that last quarter off a corner. The shot taken hit Swampscott goalie Chloe Rakauskas’ pads and stayed out of the net.
Coach Andersen: “What hurts the most is that this was an upset. They’re #5 and we’re #4. If we had lost in the Final Four, it would be where we’re supposed to be.”
Remarkable weather with non-stop sun and reasonable temperatures.
(I haven’t covered a lot of field hockey and find the violations confusing. I hear plenty of whistles and frequently wonder what caused the whistle. But the game immediately moves on, without explanations, and I must admit that I like the pace of play.)
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)