ATTLEBORO — Pressuring for every loose ball, the Mansfield High girls’ soccer team was forceful enough to win a healthy share of those challenges from the Bombardiers of Attleboro High at Tozier-Cassidy Field Tuesday.
And with touches of balls off the toes of freshman Tarynn Smith and sophomore Kaylee Smith for goals in the second half of the Hockomock League match, Mansfield went home with a 2-0 victory.
“We came out and played good defense,” Kevin Smith, the Mansfield High coach said of the Hornets limiting AHS to one shot and one corner kick during the first half and two shots during the second half, with freshman goalkeeper Olivia Salisbury leaving the pitch with a shutout.
“We didn’t play with enough energy,” Steve Santos, the AHS coach said. “They (Mansfield) outworked us, they kept getting to the ball.”
Attleboro’s best scoring chance in the first half came on a shot by Bella Salviati in the 24th minute off of a feed from Meghan Panzer. The Bombardiers had a late corner kick at 39, but the bid went astray. Mansfield High sophomore midfielder Katie Miller greatly influenced the Hornets’ skill at gaining ball possession through the middle third of the field.
During the second half, junior striker Briley Harnois nearly put AHS into the lead with a one-timer of a shot on a cross from Ashley Dame out of the right corner in the seventh minute.
Harnois later had a potential game-tying direct kick from the left flank at 67 taken down by Salisbury. Then Salisbury preserved the shutout by coming off of the line to take away a breakaway bid by Salviati at 74.
In the meantime, Mansfield took the lead on a rocket of a shot off the right wing by Tarynn Smith in the 50th minute, with Kerrin Sears serving her the ball.
Then in the 69th minute, Kaylee Smith gave the Hornets a two-goal margin, taking a through ball from Bella Lennon and having an empty AHS net to label a ground-hugging ball for the goal.
“We didn’t generate much offense,” Santos said of the random Bombardier ball possessions and attacks on Mansfield soil. “We didn’t play to our potential.”
Mansfield had two loose-ball chances taken off of the goal line by AHS defenders — Kyla Sturm in the 49th minute and Sophia Salviati in the 58th minute.
The Hornets had a long low ball shot by Tarynn Smith at 21, a short left side drive by Avery Hawthorne at 22 and a Maria Sevastos free kick from the right side at 30.
“They’re starting to learn our midfield triangle, they’re learning to play at this level,” Smith added of his Hornets. Both Mansfield (1-1) and Attleboro (1-1) are on the road Friday in their next outings, with the Hornets going to Sharon, while the Bombardiers visit Stoughton.