Foxboro High girls soccer coach Katie Stalcup is well-aware a two-goal lead is never safe, especially against the high-pressure offense that No. 13 Medfield High was displaying on the rain-soaked turf at Sam Berns Community Field on Tuesday.
But when junior Jordyn Collins (two points) found classmate Grace Ferguson at the top of the 6-yard box, a right-to-center pass that Collins saved on the end line, the tally breathed a major sigh or relief to those on the sideline of the No. 4 seed Foxboro Warriors.
“It was huge,” Stalcup said after the Warriors’ 2-0 Division 2 South Sectional first round win, propelling them to sectional quarterfinals on Thursday as Foxboro will host No. 5 Dartmouth at 2:30 p.m.
Medfield came out fast in the second half, trying to overcome Foxboro’s 1-0 halftime lead, before Ferguson’s tally in the 54th minute.
It was the usual suspects who led the Davenport Division champions in a fast-paced match on Tuesday as the speed of Lizzy Davis and Collins up top, along with the possession play in the center of the park by Kailee McCabe and Ferguson helped Foxboro create a 7-5 edge in shots on goal.
The hosts scored what proved to be the game winner in the 23rd minute. McCabe played a perfectly-placed through ball to Collins, who was running down the left side, and the junior made the most of the 1-on-1 opportunity against the Medfield goaltender, depositing a shot into the back of the net for her 23rd goal of the season.
Junior goaltender Morgan Sylvetre (five saves) was equally crucial in Foxboro advancing as she preserved the team’s 10th shutout of the season and second in as many games. Sylvestre came off her line to limit Medfield chances like that in the 51st minute on a direct kick, in the 60th minute on a cross and again punched the ball away on a corner in the 75th minute.
“There was a couple of those corner kicks were she just completely took over,” Stalcup said of Sylvestre, who benefited from the defensive play in front of her by Yara Fawaz, Emma Dahl, Meghan Burke, Bridget Magee among others.
Foxboro had additional chances of their own, none better than a header by Davis off a Katelyn Mollica corner kick in the 45th minute, which struck the near post. McCabe had a strike on goal saved in the 30th minute; Davis sent a left-to-right cross to Kendra Wentling, who had a shot off frame in the 33rd minute; while Davis had a challenging shot of her own saved in the 38th minute.
Stalcup and the Warriors were going into Thursday’s contest with some well-deserved confidence.
“I’ve been saying it since the beginning of the season, but this is our year to do it,” Stalcup said. “We got all the pieces in place. All we have to do is do it.”