FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro hasn’t conceded the opening goal in a game for a long time. In fact, the last time it happened was back in early September in the team’s last loss before it’s 17-game unbeaten streak.
Even though the Warriors allowed Cohasset to open the scoring very early on Tuesday evening, Foxboro was able to stretch it’s streak to 18 games in a row with a 2-1 overtime win over the Skippers.
Foxboro sophomore Lily Daly scored just under five minutes into the first 7-on-7 overtime to send the Warriors to their first every D2 South Sectional Final. The second-seeded Warriors will take on #13 Falmouth on Saturday at Taunton High School. The time is yet to be announced.
“I can’t even describe [the feeling],” said longtime Warrior head coach Melissa Bordieri. “I knew this would be a battle of a game. I knew they were a tough team and I knew [Cohasset] was fast but wow…they were actually faster than I thought they’d be. I think in the beginning it was kind of hard to adjust to that.”
Cohasset had a burst early in overtime, using its speed on a counter attack but Foxboro goalie Kelli McCarthy stepped up to make a big kick clearance. Down the other end in a three on three chance, sophomore Sophia DiCenso dropped a pass behind the Skippers’ defense, where Daly had slipped in behind.
Daly put the ball on the back of her stick and used a backhand shot to rip the ball into the back of the net for the winner.
“We had a feeling the goalie might go down, we had seen that on film some,” Bordieri said. “It couldn’t have worked out better for us. Sophia got the ball on the right at the top of the circle and sent it in. Lily’s forte is a reverse hit, like a lift. I was watching it and when I saw [the goalie] went down and saw Lily reverse, I just held my breath because I was waiting for that bang [of the ball against the net]. I couldn’t believe it.”
The Skippers came out flying to start the game, using their speed to dictate the pace of the game and put the pressure on the hosts. It took less than four minutes for Cohasset to find the back of the net. With the Warriors down a player due to a restart infringement, Katie Talacci tossed a shot into traffic in front and Olivia Coveney was in the right spot to tap in the opening goal.
“For the first time in two months we were scored on first. In the back of my mind I was thinking it could be a blessing in disguise. We just needed to settle down. Thankfully, they scored so early, there was so much hockey left to play that it kind leveled us a bit.”
From that goal on, the Warriors seemed much more comfortable. Neither side had a penalty corner for the entire fire half but Foxboro’s continued pressure played off in the 24th minute. Ally Curran whipped in a cross from the right side, finding Cat Luciano. Luciano unleashed a shot that was deflected. Emma Daly was in the perfect spot, finding the ball on the goal line and buried it to level the game 1-1.
It took until halfway through the second half for either side to earn a penalty corner but Foxboro finally got one in the 44th minute. Kelly Fisher ended up registering a shot on net but had her bid turned aside. Luciano had a chance five minutes later but the ball just skipped wide.
“They had breakaways but I felt like we had controlled the majority of the game play and definitely between the 25 yard lines,” Bordieri said. “They had some opportunities but they didn’t have a single corner. [Their only shot] was early in the game when we were a little jittery and nervous. I was really proud they didn’t hang their heads or get into a slump [after the Cohasset goal]. They came right back and we made some adjustments at halftime. I knew they could do it, I just kept saying play our game, stop being so reactive and just play our game.”
Foxboro had a man-up opportunity for the final 7:35 of regulation and continued to put pressure on the Skippers. With 6:30 to go, Meredith Cronin had her bid from straight away saved. Three minutes later, Cohasset broke out on a counter attack but Angela VandenBoom put an end to the break with strong stick work.
With just over 90 seconds to play, Emma Daly made a diving attempt to get a shot on goal that resulted in a penalty corner. After a clearance, the Warriors got the ball back into the attacking zone and Jackie Brion launched a ball through the area but no one on Foxboro could get a stick on it.
McCarthy’s kick clearance in overtime came just 30 seconds in, setting the tone for the Warriors. Foxboro had back to back penalty corners with the second eventually leading to the offensive possession that resulted in the game winning goal.
“We’ve practiced seven aside, we’ve practiced strokes in case we go to a stroke off, and we’ve practiced defensive corners too because you’re only allowed three back defensively on a corner,” Bordieri said. “There’s a lot of space in overtime. Lily’s job was to really get to that post and pepper the goalie. Whether she screened her or got a tip in. If Sophia had the shot, she could take it. Our goal was to take shots, we didn’t want to dribble in. Lily snuck in there perfectly and was able to reverse it in.”
Foxboro will take on Falmouth, who upset #4 Bishop Stang in the first round and then knocked out #16 Medway in the semifinals. The time of the game will likely be announced on Wednesday following the results from the D1 semis.
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