FOXBORO — It was a chess match between two of the best girls’ soccer teams not only in the Hockomock League, but in the entire state.
King Philip Regional coach Gary Pichel and his Warriors made it clear priority No. 1 was limiting Foxboro High’s Hockomock All-Star striker Jordyn Collins, as defender Grace Lawler was her shadow from end line to end line Friday.
Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup and his host Warriors had much of the same thought. They did everything they could to limit Chloe Layne as Meghan Burke followed her all over the attacking third of the field.
In the end, however, it was Layne and KP who escaped with a 1-0 thriller on the rain-soaked turf at Sam Berns Community Field. KP’s Makenzie Shandley scored the lone goal in the 58th minute to keep the visitors unbeaten in league play.
Trailing by a mere after carrying possession for much of the second half, Foxboro clanged two shots of the crossbar in the final three minutes. The hosts held a 12-7 edge in shots while KP goaltender Taylor Butler and the KP defense tallied its 11th shutout in 13 games.
“That was insane,” Pichel said of KP, which played without center midfielder Ally Stanton. “That was the main theme defensively. If we shut down Jordyn, that’s probably 75 percent of their offense and then we have a shot at winning. Maybe we can tuck one In and we did. We had to be patient, it was a game of patience really.”
Foxboro’s Lizzy Davis struck the crossbar in the 77th minute and Kailee McCabe rocketed a shot from outside the 18-yard box off the crossbar two minutes later. They were two of the best chances in a game where each team had plenty.
“I just came over here and told them, in my opinion, from what I saw out there, we’re the better team,” Stalcup said of Foxboro. “I might be a little biased, but that’s what I saw out there.”
On the winning goal for KP, Layne hustled down a ball in the far corner, beat a Foxboro defender on the end line and perfectly placed a left-to-right cross to Shandley at the 6-yard box where Shandley one-touched the ball inside the far post. It was KP’s sixth shot on goal and third in the opening 18 minutes of the second half.
“Other than that, my defense had a heck of a game,” Stalcup said of the effort from Yara Fawaz, Emma Dahl, Caroline Cass and others. “My defense was amazing today. I feel like we shut down Chloe (Layne) pretty well. She got that cross off, but I feel like we didn’t let her get any shots off close in. So I’m really proud of our defense.”
KP had additional chances as Kiera Lindmark slid a pass in front of the goal mouth to Jenny Montville in the 13th minute; Layne had a strike from distance on goal in the 18th minute; Layne played a ball to Providence College-bound Avery Snead for a shot off frame in the 28th minute; and Layne players a left-to-right cross to Montville in the 44th minute, resulting in a shot on Foxboro goaltender Morgan Sylvestre, who finished with six saves.
King Philip will travel to Franklin on Tuesday while Foxboro will host Canton on Monday.