The once-beaten Foxboro High field hockey team was relentless through the first 30 minutes of its challenge for Davenport Division supremacy in the Hockomock League with once-beaten Canton High Tuesday at Sam Berns Field.
Unfortunately, the Warriors were not rewarded for their efforts.
When the match was finally over, nothing was settled as the Warriors and Bulldogs settled for a scoreless stalemate.
Foxboro (6-1-2) has outscored its foes this season 34-10, while Canton (6-1-2) has outscored its opponents by a 32-2 margin.
A big factor for Canton was that forward Maria Fermia, the Hockomock League’s leading scorer with 13 goals and six assists, was sidelined for the match with a foot injury.
“It took us a little while to wake up,” Canton coach Chrissy O’Connor said of the Bulldogs having to compensate for her absence. “She’s kind of the life of our offense and it took us a while to adapt to her not leading the charge.”
Foxboro senior central defender Shannon Egan well responded to Canton putting the Warrior on their heels throughout the second half, foiling one Bulldog attack after another.
“Oh my God, we had a million opportunities in that first quarter, they were busting their butts to get down there and create those opportunities,” Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri said of the Warriors dominating ball possession.
Canton did not have one true shot on goal in the first half and did not have a re-start on Foxboro turf until the 11th minute of the first quarter.
Egan denied the Bulldogs a potential match-winning goal on a breakaway in the 57th minute, and seconds later, cleared a goalmouth jumble in front of goalie Hannah Trombly (three saves). Molly McElhinney took away another Canton bid in the waning seconds.
In the first minute of that fourth quarter, Foxboro freshman Mary Collins cleared away another Canton chance.
“In the second half, Canton was doing a good job of stepping up and beating us to the ball,” Bordieri said. “They had a lot more opportunities. We had to be smart and we had to do a better job of protecting the ball and taking care of the ball.”
After a flurry of action in Canton territory in the first 15 minutes, Foxboro had just one true scoring chance in the second quarter on a deflection by Dylan Rappoli in the 27th minute.
The Warriors had a handful of third quarter scoring bids — a backhander by Mya Waryas at 33; an Ella Waryas drive at 36; then long shots off the sticks of McElhinney and Kate Collins in the 40th and 41st minutes.
“Foxboro is definitely quick, it was more anticipating their passes,” O’Connor said of Canton winning most of the midfield challenges and creating turnovers. “We worked on their weak side instead of giving it to their strong side and once our kids adapted, we came alive.”
Both Ella Waryas and Rappoli had scoring chances within the first two minutes of the match. A clever exchange from Kate Collins to Rappoli on the right side resulted in Foxboro’s best scoring chance of the first half in the fifth minute.
Mary Collins was in close in the ninth minute. A Ella Waryas to Mary Collins to Rappoli series of passes resulted in a point blank chance in the 12th minute. And Rappoli had a partial breakaway bid in the 14th minute.
“We couldn’t finish, how many times the ball hit the right side of the net,” Bordieri said. “How crossed balls and how many balls coming in, it was crazy. But their (Canton) defenders did a great job of stepping in front of us and being able to stop our offense.”
The teams meet again Thursday in Canton.