Oliver Ames, Peabody make plans
The Oliver Ames girls’ soccer team survived as tense a final four minutes as you’ll see yesterday, knocking off Whitman-Hanson, 3-2, to claim the Division 1 South championship in Taunton.
“We were just hanging on,’’ said Oliver Ames senior Emily Grotz. “It was a team effort. We say, ‘Never give up, don’t stop now,’ and we just hung on.’’
The Tigers will play Peabody for the EMass title tomorrow in Weymouth at 5:30 p.m.
The Tigers had the wind at their backs in the first half and took full advantage. In the 23d minute, a corner kick deflected to Grotz, who deposited a shot in the top left corner.
In the 30th minute, Oliver Ames coach Britt Sellmayer called a timeout to emphasize to his team the importance of scoring a second goal before the team lost the wind.
The tactic paid off three minutes later when Grotz scored again.
“That goal was huge,’’ said Sellmayer. “Grotz has had an outstanding tournament and she came out and got those two goals to get us going.’’
Seven minutes into the second half, the Panthers, now playing with the wind, cut the deficit to one when a hand ball in the box resulted in a penalty-kick goal for Mackenzie Hatfield.
In the 51st minute, Oliver Ames’s Kristina Simonson found best friend Michaela Simoneau in front of the Panthers’ net, and she made the shot count.
It was a goal the Tigers would need, as Hatfield added her second goal with four minutes remaining, creating the tense final minutes.
“We’ve just been on a roll for the last 14 games,’’ said Sellmayer. “It’s been a lot of fun.’’
Division 1 North Peabody 3, Chelmsford 1 - The Tanners (20-0-2) got two goals and an assist from Hayley Dowd to roll over the Lions at Manning Field in Lynn and into the EMass title game.
Peabody got on the board in the 19th minute with a Dowd goal, with an assist from Victoria Digiacomo. The juniors have led the Tanners all season and didn’t let off the gas against the Lions.
Dowd added an unassisted goal two minutes later with a crafty turn and a bullet of a shot into the right side.
Chelmsford earned a corner kick 10 minutes into the second. Emily Majeski crossed the ball to an uncontested Rachel Hana, who headed it in.
But Peabody’s speed proved to be too much, winning balls all over the field and forcing the Lions to make mistakes. In the 57th minute, Dowd returned the favor to a wide-open Digiacomo, who coolly put the ball in.
“Today, very minimal shots on our goal and that’s just a credit to our team defensive approach,’’ said Peabody coach Dennis Desroches.
Division 2 South Canton 3, Duxbury 0 - The Bulldogs (18-1-2) defeated the Green Dragons (14-2-5) for the second time this year, and this time it counted a little bit more.
With the victory in Taunton, Canton earned a spot in EMass championship game Wednesday against Newburyport at Manning Field at 5:30 p.m.
Last year, Canton fell to eventual state champion Medfield in the South quarterfinals. This year, the Bulldogs advanced to yesterday’s game with a 1-0 win over Medfield.
“There was so much emotion in Friday’s win against Medfield, I didn’t know if we were going to be able to rise to the occasion here,’’ Canton coach Paul Turner said. “But the girls were brilliant.’’
Canton came out strong, keeping the ball in Duxbury’s end the majority of play. Senior Lauren Berman scored the game’s first goal off a pass from Hailey Duserick with 20:19 remaining.
“Lauren’s our special player,’’ said Turner. “She takes a beating every time we play. She was just outstanding today.’’
Great defensive efforts by Zarina Brune and Duserick kept freshman Nicole Gavin, Duxbury’s leading scorer, from finding the net. Duxbury asserted itself to the start the second half, but Brianna Duserick looped a pass from Berman under the crossbar in the first two minutes to put Canton up, 2-0.
“The second goal was big. It made the momentum stop for them,’’ said Berman.
Kayla Laughlin sealed the win, scoring in the final minute.
“We knew the second half was going to be tough with the wind. I thought we played our game plan perfectly and I thought we did outstanding,’’ said Turner.