ATTLEBORO — It’s no secret that the North Attleboro High girls’ soccer team is one of the stingiest in the Hockomock League.
The Rocketeers used their defensive guile and the goalkeeping of senior Kaylah Seavey and sophomore Maddie Ferrin to deliver a 1-0 victory over arch-rival Attleboro High Monday in the annual Blue-Red Cup match at Tozier-Cassidy Field.
It was the Ferrin twin sisters, Caroline and Maddie, who secured the victory for the Big Red.
Caroline Ferrin scored the lone goal of the match early in the third quarter in the 47th minute, banging in a loose ball chance at the right post after senior Ari Rice had delivered a free kick to the top right corner of the Bombardier net.
Meanwhile, Maddie Ferrin repelled one Bombardier threat after another over the final 40 minutes, totaling seven saves to preserve North Attleboro’s fifth shutout of the season.
“We’re fortunate, we have two really good goalkeepers,” North Attleboro coach Bill Wallace said of Seavey, a Davenport Division All-Star netminder, and Ferrin, who is in her first full-time varsity duty. “We don’t score a lot, but we don’t give up a lot.”
North Attleboro had just one true scoring chance in the first half off a partial breakaway by Ari Rice early in the second quarter in the 21st minute, but it was denied by Bombardier senior defender Eleanor Graber.
“You got to put the ball in the net,” AHS coach Steve Santos said of the Bombardiers’ near-misses.
Protecting a one-goal lead entering the fourth quarter, Ferrin took away a Briley Harnois direct kick in the 70th minute, a long ball drive by AHS Blue and Red Cup MVP Jessica Gates in the 71st minute and a Beth Alves drive in the 77th minute. And in the final minute, North junior defender Charlotte Moynihan chipped a loose ball away after an indirect Bombardier kick.
“We came out a little flat in the first quarter, then we played an awesome second quarter,” Santos said.
The Bombardiers had a long ball drive off the right side by Meg Panzer in the 22nd minute, a through ball chance by Cassondra Stuger in the 24th minute, a Bella Salviati chance on a Harnois cross taken away at the last instant by Seavey in the 28th minute, then a pair of Harnois drives.
“We just didn’t get the quality chances,” Santos said. “Soccer is always a battle, you never know what you can get. North got the goal and they did a good job of shutting us down and making it difficult for us.”
North Attleboro (5-5-3) has allowed 11 goals, while Attleboro (4-5-5) has scored just 15 goals.
North Attleboro’s midfielders, Abby Noreck and Siobhan Weir were effective in tandem with the backline of Katie Manning, Jordyn Sullivan, Haley Sinacola and Moynihan in taking away the patented Bombardier breakaway bids. Tess Collins earned North’s Blue and Red Cup MVP award.
The Rocketeers created a trio of early second half scoring chances that Attleboro goalie Alexis Campbell thwarted — a drive by Rice off the left side in the 43rd minute, a one-touch volley by Steph McKenna in the 44th minute and a one touch shot by Caroline Ferrin in the 45th minute.
Ferrin was on the spot for the lone goal. Campbell took down Rice’s drive from 30 yards out, but was unable to control the ball in falling to the ground. With both McKenna and Ferrin in a scrum of Rocketeers and Bombardier defenders, the latter was able to get her toe on the ball for the match-winner.
“We talked about pressuring high, especially skilled teams like Attleboro,” Wallace said. “He’s (Santos) got a very skilled team. We talked about that, not giving them space and forcing them to make the extra dribble. It was a good way to end the season.”