FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro not only put its unbeaten record on the line against Milford on Tuesday night at Jack Martinelli Field but also wanted to restore its three-point lead atop the Davenport division, which had been cut to just a single point after North Attleboro’s win in the afternoon.
The Warriors, who are the third-highest scoring team in the Hockomock League, came out strong and had the Hawks on their heels from the opening kick, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Foxboro hit the post three times and forced Milford goalie Olivia Marshall into three saves in the first half alone.
Frustration was setting in for the Warriors with two minutes left until halftime when Milford cleared a corner to the center of the field. Defender Alex Stamatos, who celebrated her senior night before kick-off, raced onto the loose ball and unleashed a 30-yard blast that smacked off the underside of the crossbar and over the line.
It was an impressive first career goal for the center back and it turned out to be the game-winner, as the Warriors added a second after the break to earn a 2-0 victory and stay unbeaten this fall.
“Amazing,” said Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup about Stamatos’ goal. “Her first ever, on senior night, and she’s a sweeper.” Stalcup also admitted, “We needed that.”
Milford had the game’s first good chance when Olivia Sullivan slipped a pass in behind the Foxboro defense to Juliana France. The junior midfielder appeared to be clear on goal, but left back Yara Fawaz was able to race back and pressure the shot, which went wide of goalie Morgan Sylvestre’s near post.
It would be the best chance of the half for the Hawks, as the field started to tilt towards Marshall in the Milford goal and the Foxboro midfield started to take control.
In the 16th minute, Jordyn Collins had a shot cleared off the line by Madelyn Boyle and the follow-up from distance by freshman Kailee McCabe went over the bar. Four minutes later, Mackenzi Fraser got into space on the right side of the box and her cross was forced onto the post by Marshall.
Collins had another look from inside the box, but again it struck woodwork. Katelyn Mollica played a ball back into the box from the right but Lizzy Davis had her shot go high. McCabe then forced Marshall into a save with a 20-yard free kick to the bottom corner. On the ensuing corner, Marshall tipped a Davis header away and Alyssa Vandenboom knocked the rebound off the post.
“At halftime I counted the shots and we had 17 shots and just the one goal,” said Stalcup. “I felt like we weren’t taking quality shots. They were going wide or they were weak or we were crossing the ball when we should’ve been shooting. Yeah, it was frustrating.”
After all those chances, it took a golazo to put Foxboro in front. While the Warriors went into the break with momentum, Milford flipped things around to start the second half and controlled the opening 10 minutes.
Boyle had a long free kick that was saved by Foxboro’s new keeper Jamie DeVellis and France had a chance off a corner, but her far post header was blocked and she was leaning back on the second effort and the shot went high.
“I didn’t have my starting lineup at the beginning of the second half and I think that threw us off a little bit but they came out hard and were fired up,” Stalcup said. “It was tough, but I think once we settled down and started playing our game like we do, playing to feet, don’t just play kick and run, that’s when we’re at our best.”
In the 59th minute, Foxboro sealed the two points. A corner from Mollica picked out Davis on the edge of the six-yard-box and her downward header deflected off the foot of a defender and flicked into the goal.
Marshall was huge down the stretch to keep the Hawks in it. Vandenboom set up McCabe for a one-timer that was saved comfortably, then Davis forced a diving save with a long shot from the right side and Vandenboom had her rebound effort saved.
Collins had a breakaway in the closing minutes but was forced to hold up by Boyle and Marshall was able to make the save and then a Mollica corner found Collins’ head but again Marshall made the reaction save.
“I wish we would’ve had more, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” Stalcup said.