ATTLEBORO — Zoe Johnson-Kiff, the senior striker for the Attleboro High girls’ soccer team, was not going to be denied — neither once nor twice.

Johnson-Kiff was fouled atop the penalty box area in her one foray toward the net resulting in the first goal for the Bombardiers in the 70th minute, then she delivered the tying tally on a second visit two minutes later as Attleboro pulled out a stunning 2-2 deadlock with King Philip Regional High Monday in a Hockomock League match at Tozier-Cassidy Field.

The Bombardiers (8-7-1) moved within a point of qualifying for the MIAA Tournament, while the one-point tie denied the Warriors (11-4-1) of a chance for the Kelley-Rex Division title.

“That was a huge point for us,” AHS coach Steve Santos said. “We just told them to work hard and stay. Even though we were down 2-0 at the half, we did a good job of containing a lot of what they were doing — it was our own mistakes that hurt us.”

The Bombardiers were presented an opportunity to get onto the scoreboard when KP goalie Lauren Casper was yellow-carded for an interference call on challenging Johnson-Kiff for a loose ball atop the penalty box area.

“I don’t see how that was interference, it was a 50-50 ball,” KP coach Gary Pichel said of his view of the scenario. “I’ve seen a lot worse.”

Bombardier senior captain Emily Dunlea addressed the free kick with KP being forced to bring on a reserve goalkeeper in Casper’s forced absence. However, Warrior netminder Sarah Cullen never had a chance on the drive, the ball being deflected off of a KP defender into the left corner of the net.

Warrior freshman central defender Rihanna Mason had alertly and cleverly taken away a loose ball chance on the KP goal line just seconds earlier.

But the Bombardiers weren’t finished. AHS, challenging for possession of every ball over the final 20 minutes, gained another loose ball on the right flank where senior Emily Khang sent it across into the penalty box area. And there, Johnson-Kiff found just enough space between a pair of defenders to re-direct the ball into the net to knot the score.

KP had beaten the Bombardiers 6-0 in the first meeting of the teams and that trend demonstrated itself as junior central defender Grace Lawler and freshman central defender Rihanna Mason controlled the flow of play.

“How many offsides did we have,?” Pichel said of the Bombardiers’ ploy of having defenders move up, in addition to packing the penalty box area with six players. “Look what happened here! This one was a hard one to swallow.”

King Philip struck for a pair of first half goals and probably could have had a half-dozen. Heidi Lawrence put the Warriors into the lead in the 14th minute with a goalmouth shot after a well-placed feed from Paulina Baczkowski.

The Warriors doubled their margin in the 30th minute by converting the second of their four first half corner kicks chances, all addressed by senior captain Morgan Norrman. With the ball coming toward the post, junior captain Ella Pisani perfectly timed a right-footed volley with a leap into the air.

KP had ample opportunity to increase its goal total over the first 40 minutes. Brooke Mullins had a chance off of a Lawrence steal in the ninth minute, then AHS’ Olivia Calderone took away a Makayla Thompson header toward an empty Bombardier net in the 14th minute. Pisani created a left-footed blast in the 17th minute, a drive just wide left in the 33rd minute, a header wide left in the 37th minute and a drive just over the crossbar in the 38th minute.

“Zoe (Johnson-Kiff) made a hard run and drew the call on that and we were able to capitalize on the (Dunlea) kick and then she got the other one,” Santos said in gleam. “KP is a great team, they play fast, they play hard.”

King Philip plays the second of three matches this week Wednesday against Franklin. AHS has a 6 p.m. kickoff Wednesday against Mansfield at Tozier-Cassidy Field.

Peter Gobis may be reached at 508-236-0375

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