FOXBORO — The No. 4 seed Foxboro High girls soccer team controlled the run of play throughout the majority of the 80 minutes against No. 5 seed Dartmouth High in their MIAA Div. 2 South Sectional quarterfinal.
The Warriors had a clear advantage in scoring opportunities, both in shots on and off frame, at Sam Berns Community Field on Thursday, which was what made a 1-0 season-ending defeat all the tougher to swallow.
That, and the fact that the visiting Indians scored on a counter in the 77th minute, converting on only their third shot on goal in the contest as a potential overtime period seemed more probable with each second.
“It’s definitely a heartbreaker,” Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup said. “I couldn’t believe it. I’m not ready for the season to be over. We have so much talent and I felt like we could’ve done so much more.”
Foxboro held an 8-3 edge in shots on goal while the Warriors had nearly a dozen more strong scoring opportunities on crosses into the box and shots narrowly missing the net.
Katelyn Mollica played a corner kick into the box in the 79th minute where a chance from Lizzy Davis was deflected at the 6-yard box. Davis had a header just outside the far post on a cross from Alyssa VandenBoom in the 76th minute; Kailee McCabe had a shot from the left flank narrowly miss the cross bar in the 68th minute; Kendra Wentling had a chance of her own down the left side, one-touching a shot over the crossbar in the 65th minute; Wentling had a shot on frame from the left corner of the 18-yard box in the 58th minute; Mollica had a shot just wide of the near post in the 56th minute; and Wentling played a cross into the box that neither Jordyn Collins or Davis could get a touch on in the 55th minute.
“That should have been our game,” Stalcup said. “I felt like we had a lot more opportunities. We had some good crosses we just couldn’t finish on. It was right in front of the goal and just couldn’t get it in the net.
“It kind of speaks to our season, the finishing has just been a difficult thing for us this season.”
Of course, part of that was also due to the Dartmouth defense, playing one defender far in back of the play to ensure the speed of Foxboro didn’t get behind the Indians while another man-marked Foxboro junior striker Collins, who had 23 goals this season.
It proved effective in both halves. The Warriors had more shots on goal in the first half with six, but a majority of them came from a distance.
In the second half, Foxboro had chances closer, both in and around the 18-yard box, but ultimately the packed-in Dartmouth defense did not allow as many shots on goal.
“In the first half, we were possessing and passing so well and midfield was winning every ball,” Stalcup said. “I will say that Dartmouth has a really good defense, they did a good job shutting down (strikers) Jordyn (Collins) and Lizzy (Davis), but overall we definitely dominated the game, especially possession wise.”
Goaltender Morgan Sylvestre finished with two saves and came off her line to limit possible Dartmouth scoring chances.
Senior defender Yara Fawaz made the best defensive play of the game for the Warriors as she recovered on a Dartmouth counter in the 65th minute to knock the ball loose, which was ultimately cleared by junior Emma Dahl.
It was one of the two best scoring chances Dartmouth had in the contest, while the other was the winning goal on a cross from Kelly Medeiros to Kyleigh Wheaton which propelled Dartmouth into the Div. 2 South Sectional semifinals against Medway.
Foxboro concludes its season at 15-3-2 as the Hockomock League Davenport Division champ.