ATTLEBORO -- It was a shooting gallery created by the Bishop Feehan High girls' soccer team on the turf at McGrath Stadium Wednesday in its Catholic Central League match against Cardinal Spellman.
The Shamrocks hit two crossbars, hit two goalposts, misfired on a penalty kick, initiated 15 corner kicks, and had no less than a dozen point-blank chances inside of the penalty box among the 40 or 50 shots launched upon the Cardinals net and at goalkeeper Jennifer Pulsifer.
Pulsifer earned the "man of the match" accolade, and the Cardinals would have escaped with at least a point were it not for Shamrock senior goalkeeper Amelia Hohos taking away the potential tying tally on a breakaway bid in the 76th minute.
The Shamrocks survived, earning a 2-0 verdict on the strength of the go-ahead goal by Grace Robison in the 30th minute and a goal from Ava Graham, both created by sophomore midfielder Kileigh Gorman.
In improving to 12-1-1 overall on the season, the CCL South Division champion Shamrocks claimed their fourth successive shutout victory.
"That's what they do some days, they knock it around," Bishop Feehan coach Phil Silva said of the Shamrocks' ball possession and passing skills on display, but lack of a finishing touch. "I don't know if it was a lack of desire and that they expected to win."
After all, Bishop Feehan took a 7-0 victory in the first meeting with Cardinal Spellman.
Graham, the Shamrocks' senior captain, scored what proved to be the match-winning goal with time running out in the first half. She finished off a header at the right post after a great run by Gorman down the left flank to take possession of a loose ball and then a cross into the box.
With time running out in the match and the one-goal advantage precarious, the Shamrocks breathed a sigh of relief when Robison scored on a drive to the lower-left corner of the Cardinal net after Gorman once again gained possession of the ball, this time on the right side and sent the ball into scoring territory.
The Cardinals (6-7-2) had two threats, both on breakaway chances. Hohos collared the potential equalizer in the 33rd minute and then preserved the one-goal lead with four minutes to go.
"The kids were probably figuring we're still going to win anyway," Silva said of the endless scoring chances created, not to mention seven first-half corner kicks (at 4, 10, 18, 21, 22, 33 and 39) and eight more during the second 40 minutes (at 46, 54, 59, 61, 64, 71, 74 and 80).
Ava Detorie labeled a drive off the crossbar in the fifth minute as did Gorman in the seventh minute. Brooke Kennedy hit the left post at 71, Amanda Peck hit the right post at 69, while Anne Pearl had a penalty kick (after Kennedy was tripped inside the penalty box) taken away by Pulsifer (23 saves) on a drive to the lower-left side.
Even missing a few players (Kaitryn Franchino and Gabby Ricci) due to injury, "That didn't make a difference," Silva said. "What did we have, at least 35-40 shots? We hit a good 10 balls with nobody in front of (Pulsifer) right at her.
"We moved the ball incredibly well, but we were a little sloppy on defense in giving them the two chances that could have tied it up. They have two chances the whole match and we're firing away, but can't score."
The Shamrocks return to action Friday with a non-league match against Medway.