After the Tigers enjoyed decade of success against North Attleboro, the Rocketeers have been on the winning end of games in recent history. Big Red picked up a 3-0 win back in 2014 and then 2-1 in the regular season last year. Most notably, North Attleboro scored an upset with a 3-2 win at Muscato Stadium in the MIAA D1 South tournament last season.
Oliver Ames got back on the winning side of the rivalry on Friday afternoon, scoring an early goal in the first and tacking on two more in the second for a 3-0 win at Kelly Field on the campus of North Attleboro High School.
“Yeah, of course it was [circled],” OA head coach Britt Sellmayer said. “For our seniors, this is their first win against [North]. There were some interesting calls today. We scored an honest one early and then we didn’t give up any goals. We still have a ways to go, we still need to be calmer on the ball. But maybe it was our turn, we’ve had some bad luck here too but that’s part of the game.”
After a back and forth opening, Oliver Ames picked up the key first goal just ahead of the 10 minute mark. Sophomore Zoe Chazan sent a free kick in from just beyond midfield, which took a deflection off the head of a North Attleboro player. Senior Lauren Wright ended up with the ball at her feet and offered an off-balance shot as she was falling. The ball hit the grass, bounced off the inside of the post and in, handing OA an ideal 1-0 start.
“It was huge, it kind of gives you an ease, now you’re up a goal,” Sellmayer said.
Neither side had a true scoring chance for the final half hour of the first half. OA had a chance on a scramble in the 20th minute when a cross was bobbled but Rachel LaBonte came away with a clearance for North. Kiana Lozzi nearly had a chance in the 30th minute but Big Red once again came up with a stop.
North’s best chance came on a corner kick in the final minutes of the first half. Aine Mendonca‘s in-swinger clanked off the near post and stayed out.
Oliver Ames added a pair of goals in the second half, but not without some controversy.
Both sides had chances in the opening minutes. North’s Kayla Pasquel had a free kick go over the bar from a tough angle and then Wright had a bid on the other end, taking a flick from Francesca Calabraro and dribbling around the keeper, but her tough angle shot was high as well.
Just over 10 minutes into the second half, it looked as though North Attleboro had drawn a foul inside its own area to get a free kick out. Instead, play continued for a second and a collision resulted in a penalty kick for Oliver Ames. Julia Roy made no doubt about the finish though, going low to the right to double OA’s lead.
“Julia Roy’s calm, cool and collected and she’s scored some big goals for us,” Sellmayer said. “Lauren just has a gear, she’s tiny, but she has a gear that other people don’t have so she can get around the corner. That’s who we were working for in the second half.”
The Rocketeers had a pair of chances just before the midway mark of the second half. Felicity Monfils served in a pair of crosses from the right wing, the first met by Pasquel but right into the waiting arms of OA goalie Regan Benton. The second bounced in the area but was cleared by the Tigers.
There was some more confusion 10 minutes later, as Chazan played a ball over the top as Oliver Ames’ strikers were jogging back as North’s defense stepped up. Wright ran onto the ball and the referee elected to not call offside. Wright charged in alone and calmly finished to make it 3-0.
“I always preach that a great soccer game is going to be 2-1. You’re going to give up a goal, you’re human you make mistakes or they hit a brilliant shot and you tip your cap. We didn’t though, which was nice. Regan was solid in net, she didn’t have to do anything outstanding but she did everything she had to do. Then our back four, they had a solid game today. I mean, [North Attleboro’s Haley Guertin] is probably the top striker in the league. I thought we played better as the game went along. We had those first game nerves with North Attleboro – they are a very good team.”
North Attleboro head coach Glenn Pasquel was clear in how he felt the calls went.
“We got robbed, that’s what it comes down it, we just got robbed,” Pasquel said. “When Britt comes over and tells me you got two goals robbed out of you, that PK and then the offsides. He’s a man of few words, he’s a good guy but to come over and tell me that, it’s crazy. But we just have to do what we’re supposed to do, we’re supposed to put the ball in the back of the net and today we just couldn’t do it. [OA] is a good team, they were the team we were looking out for. We absolutely want to see them again.”
Oliver Ames girls soccer (5-0, 4-0) has a big week ahead with Franklin coming to Easton on Tuesday and then a visit from an upstart King Philip squad scheduled for Friday. North Attleboro (2-1, 2-1) hosts Canton on Tuesday in a key Davenport matchup before welcoming King Philip to town for a non-league contest.