The Colonials had multiple threatening runs into Algonquin territory late in the game, but the Tomahawk's four back defenders were excellent at clearing the ball and intercepting the Colonial lead passes. Defender Chelsea Andre controlled the middle of the Algonquin territory and nullified Colonial star Hayley Brock’s impact on the contest.
"[Chelsea] is the leader of the defense," Tomahawk coach Kim Miller said. "She’s always talking and scanning the field and making adjustments and the others respond."
One of Andre’s tasks was shadowing Brock, which seemed to agitate the Penn State-bound senior. The frustration boiled over for Brock in the 63rd minute after being taken down with the ball 20 yards out of the box. Algonquin was not whistled for a foul, and the striker was awarded a yellow card for complaining to the referee. Brock was removed from the game and never returned, leaving the Colonial offense without their key facilitator as they chased a one-goal deficit.
"She got frustrated," Billiard said of Brock. "I think having two or three girls on her at all times got annoying."
Brock wasn’t the only Colonial feeling the heat. Being in an unfamiliar position of a deficit sent Acton-Boxboro into a frenzied offensive state, which played to Algonquin’s goal of putting the pressure on the heralded Colonials.
"They were all yelling at each other," Samantha Friday said. "It was good getting them frustrated."
Acton-Boxboro’s best scoring chances came in the first half, but Tomahawk keeper Heather Carr was ready at each opportunity. Danielle Cremmen twice found herself free of the speedy Algonquin defense, but both shots were turned away on diving saves.
"I was thinking, ‘Just get a piece of it,' " Carr said. "I just worked to cut down their angles to leave them with as little space as possible."
The Colonials were fortunate go into halftime only down one score, despite heavy pressure from the Tomahawks. Algonquin had three shot attempts bounce over Wiggins’ head in the early going. However, each time a Colonial defender got behind the keeper and cleared out the loose ball, keeping the Colonials within striking distance.
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