But the ball ended up on the outside of the cage, dropping through an open spot in the net and the officials disallowed the goal, and the teams headed into the halftime break in a 1-1 stalemate.
That was all the motivation that King Philip needed.
The hosts, the second-seed from the Kelley-Rex division, went on to score once in each the third and fourth quarters to earn a 3-2 decision over the Davenport division’s third-seed Foxboro.
“We tried to make that a lesson in adversity and wanted to bounce back from it, and they did so very nicely,” said King Philip head coach Lisa Cropper. “We had a goal taken away, that should fire them up and they should want to go out and get another one, and they did. I’m really happy with how they responded.”
King Philip had a handful of chances throughout the first as a result of strong passing sequences. Just over five minutes into the second half, Lauren Barierro started an attack with a pass to Sydney O’Shea — a duo that would link up again later for the game-winner — who quickly passed the ball along to Paige Berdos but Foxboro goalie Hannah Trombly was quick off her line to divert the breakaway bid.
Just minutes later, KP seniors Grace Crocker and Abby Nixon linked up on a perfect give-and-go with the former firing a shot from in close that was denied point-blank by Trombly to keep the game level late in the third.
But the host Warriors were persistent, and Crocker and Nixon combined again just minutes later but this time Crocker stayed with the loose ball in front after Trombly’s first save and buried the rebound to make it 2-1.
“We totally knew this would be a close game, back-and-forth, 100-percent,” said Foxboro head coach Melissa Bordieri. “Their speed definitely made a difference. Our mids played a little high and I think they were a little gassed and they were able to get by. I have a good defender which is great, but you can only give them so many chances. But also had how many opportunities to make something happen in the circle? You have to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Foxboro’s best chance to equalize came in the final minute of the third off the stick of senior Ella Waryas but her bid slid just wide of the post.
King Philip struck again just before the midway point of the fourth, what looked to be a key insurance goal turned into the game-winner for the hosts. This time O’Shea raced up field and rifled a low pass across the face of goal and found Barierro alone for a one-time hit into the back of the net.
“I think we wore them down a bit,” Cropper said. “My top line is really coming together with Grace, Abby, and Izzy. They are getting to be like sonar…they know where each other are going to be. Their goalie played pretty well, she came out nicely and did a good job. I was a little concerned our kids would get worn out playing that style but we’ve been running hard for over a week to get ready for this because I knew it was going to be a track meet.”
Foxboro didn’t go down without a fight, cutting the deficit back down to one less than two minutes after Barierro’s goal. Freshman Mary Collins, who had the opening goal in the first quarter, centered and sophomore Dylan Rappoli deflected the chance into the back of the net to make it 3-2.
“We were playing very good defense,” Cropper said. “We were marking where we were supposed to be, pressing where we were supposed to be. The two times they scored, we kind of mishandled the ball and got into the circle and created a crazy shot, a crazy bounce…it’s one of those things that you see in a tournament game. So you have to make good on your chances so that those types of things don’t kill you.”
Collins gave Foxboro the lead with a goal in the ninth minute. A restart from Molly McElhinney found Waryas, who used her speed to race past a pair of defenders and lifted a shot towards goal where Collins was able to redirect the shot with her stick over the goal line.
King Philip answered just two minutes into the second quarter to level the game. A great effort from Nixon tracking back led to an interception, and she quickly passed it wide to Isabelle Crocker, who raced down the right side before firing a cross into the circle. The ball came back out to Crocker, who had her first shot denied but then tucked the rebound in to make it 1-1.
King Philip advances to the semifinal round of the Hockomock Cup and will take on Davenport division champion Oliver Ames, who took down Mansfield in the opening round. KP and OA will clash later this week on a date and time to be announced.