ATTLEBORO — In its previous meeting with Bishop Stang High, the Bishop Feehan High girls’ soccer team had not only surrendered its first goal of the season, but also stood deadlocked 1-1 at halftime.
The Spartans once again used a play-not-to-lose scheme with five defenders and four midfielders Wednesday at McGrath Stadium in their Catholic Central League playoffs semifinal rematch with the Shamrocks, limiting Bishop Feehan to merely one goal through 40 minutes again.
Shamrock senior striker Francesca Yanchuk sent a ball to junior Ava Detorie, who opened the scoring in the second quarter and then notched her 33rd goal of the season in the third quarter on a 57th minute direct kick as the 13-0 Shamrocks took the 2-0 victory.
Bishop Feehan will host the CCL championship match on Saturday against the winner of the Bishop Fenwick-Austin Prep semifinal at a time to be determined.
“Give them some credit, they kept it to one-nil for better than 50 minutes,” Bishop Feehan coach Phil Silva said.
The Spartans had a chance off a direct kick in the 32nd minute by Lily Shields, who had broken the Shamrocks’ shutout streak last week. After a Bishop Feehan hand ball foul, Shields was awarded the free kick, but unleashed the drive wide left.
Other than a pair of Spartan re-starts from the right side in the 15th minute of the first quarter, the Spartans did not pose a threat to Bishop Feehan.
The Shamrocks owned the ball for 95 percent of the match, not allowing Bishop Stang a possession inside the 40-yard line.
Bishop Feehan senior goalkeeper Maddie Breckner did not have to make a save or corral a long ball shot by the Spartans until taking in a loose ball chance in the 78th minute to preserve the shutout.
“He (Stang coach Bob Shields) comes with a game plan and that was to keep us off of the scoreboard and they did it,” Silva said.
The Shamrocks built a series of forward motion with senior captain Lindsay Moskal, Sydney Kofton and Kileigh Gorman controlling the flow of play through the midfield.
In the first quarter, Moskal drilled a ball toward the top right corner of the Spartan net in the fifth minute and a high bouncer in the 13th minute; a Kaitryn Franchino cross to Liz McCormick resulted in a low drive in the seventh minute, then Franchino followed with an indirect kick in the eighth minute.
In the second quarter, Yanchuk was fouled atop the penalty box area in the 23rd minute, but her direct kick sailed over the Spartan net. Bri Marrero let loose a drive off the left side in the 25th minute; and Franchino played a ball into the box for McCormick twice for chances in the 36th minute.
“It was amazing how many balls we couldn’t get off the ground,” Silva said of Bishop Feehan being unable to land a final touch for shots, even though the Shamrocks totaled 15 in the first half and 14 in the second half.
Detorie answered the Shamrocks’ call for a goal. Stationed at the left post, she re-directed a Yanchuk cross out of the right corner for the go-ahead goal six minutes into the second quarter.
Yanchuk, banged to the ground twice during the second half by hard Spartan tackles, delivered a breath of fresh air for Bishop Feehan with her goal. Yanchuk was fouled on a ball played into the penalty box area by Kofton and the responded with a laser of a drive to the top right corner of the Bishop Stang net.
Yanchuk laced a pair of shots off the left flank two minutes into the second half, while Detorie labeled a drive to the right post in the 40th minute. And Franchino had a partial breakaway bid with a shot toward an empty Spartan net taken off of the goal line in the 78th minute.
“We couldn’t manage to get the ball across, we had three or four dead ball fouls at the edge of the box (for direct kick) and that’s where we have to score a goal,” Silva added, the Shamrocks having scored six second half goals to dispatch Bishop Stang 7-1 in their first meeting of the season.
“They were kind of playing not to get blown out,” Silva said of the Spartans. “I was surprised that they didn’t come out in the fourth quarter with guns blazing hoping to get one.
“We didn’t have a lot of quality chances, they had nine players in the box. That’s the playoffs.”