WRENTHAM — It’s going to require an admirable effort for anyone to dent the armor of the King Philip Regional High girls’ soccer team this postseason.
“A great team like KP, you’re going to need some luck,” Oliver Ames High coach Britt Sellmayer said of the unbeaten and untied (20-0) Warriors, who trumped the Tigers for the third time this season, 3-1 Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the MIAA Division 1 South Sectional at Macktaz Field.
The Warriors, ranked No. 2 nationally, seized the lead on junior Jenn Montville’s seventh goal of the season at 36 minutes, then notched the winning goal at 48 minutes on senior Avery Snead’s 20th goal of the season and determined its fate when senior Ally Stanton scored her 13th goal of the season at 60 minutes,
“In playoff time, especially against OA, it’s never going to be easy, that’s the way it’s always going to be,” KP coach Gary Pichel said.
The Warriors had already taken 3-0 and 5-0 victories over the Tigers during the Hockomock League season.
“We were trying to figure out each other in that first half,” Pichel explained. “They wanted to mark up at least with one person on Chloe (Layne) and Avery (Snead). We were all over them, but their strategy was to hold us at bay as long as they could.
“But eventually, the pressure that we had, we felt we would score and break them down.”
Montville popped a chip shot from 25 yards out just under the OA crossbar for KP’s go-ahead goal.
Playing in a driving ran throughout the second half, KP increased its margin to three goals. Snead tucked in a rebound of a Jen Hitchen drive off of the crossbar for a 2-0 margin.
Then Griffin, addressing King Philip’s sixth corner kick of the match, from the left corner, banged the ball into the penalty box area when Stanton pushed the loose ball into the Oliver Ames’ net.
King Philip had ample opportunity to have more goals in the first half — Griffin had a pair of corner kicks within the first five minutes; Stanton banged a shot off the crossbar at 13; Snead had a breakaway bid at 15, then just missed a one-touch on a pass from Kiera Lindmark at 21, slid a ball just wide right at 23 and a drive off of the right wing at 34; while Lindmark had a breakaway chance and shot off of the post at 40.
“They’re a real solid team and at times, you underestimate their defense,” Sellmayer said.
Griffin, a senior captain, cleared a loose ball off of the King Philip goal line in the 61st minute. King Philip goalkeeper Taylor Butler (seven saves) was denied her 16th shutout of the season when Olive Ames’ Camryn O’Connor scored in the 79th minute.
“Chloe and Avery get all of the attention, but it took us 70 minutes before we got some corner kicks (three in the second half) and some chances,” Sellmayer said.
“I was thinking if we stopped those two (Snead, Layne) we’d have a chance,” said Sellmayer of shadowing the two Warriors all over the pitch. “We haven’t stopped them in four years, thank god that they’re going to college,” Sellmayer said of the PC-bound Snead and Hartford-bound Layne. “We had some chances, we didn’t get the luck.”
King Philip advances to a semifinal match Wednesday at Whitman-Hanson Regional High.
“We learned our lesson (against Hingham with a 2-2 tie at the half), it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk,” Pichel said. “We came out with more energy. We’re happy to be moving on.”