After taking their lumps in a 4-0 loss to powerhouse Whitman-Hanson, the Lady Dragons got back to playing at a level they are accustomed to in a 2-1 win over Hanover.
The Indians have long been a nemesis for Duxbury, but this time they allowed the visitors to jump out to an early 1-0 lead, thanks to senior midfielder Jess Lizza, who converted a pass from Caitlin Burke to complete a three-on-two break-out at the 6:20 mark of the first half.
The Lady Dragons did their best to keep Hanover’s Katie Egan and Michelle Montillio in check in the first half, and while doing it managed to pad their lead when sophomore forward Melissa Gavin scored an unassisted goal for a 2-0 lead midway through the half.
Hanover has a reputation for coming from behind, and Coach Emerson Coleman made it a point at halftime to alert his troops to what was in store.
It didn’t take long for Duxbury to get his point, as Hanover came out firing in the first ten minutes and forced Coleman to call a timeout at 11:20 into the half.
The Lady Dragons did get an occasional offensive push into the Hanover end, especially when sophomore forward Emily Gallagher had her shot labeled for the corner, only to see Hanover keeper Grace Gallagher turn her away.
But other then Gallagher’s blast and a Gavin-Burke break-out, it was all Hanover in the second half, as the Duxbury defense held its ground and relied on senior sweeper Sarah Wooley to prevent the tying goal.
Duxbury finally caved in with approximately six minutes remaining and allowed the Indians to cut the lead to 2-1. But less than two minutes later Lady Dragon goalkeeper Emily Brook made a save on a Hanover crossing pass that could have tied the game.
Hanover continued to pressure the Duxbury defense in the final seconds, as a header off a corner kick sailed over the net as time expired and Duxbury’s record advanced to 4-1.
The win was a good way to get back on track after suffering their first loss of the season to undefeated Whitman-Hanson.
A solid defensive effort by the Dragons in front of Brook, held the high-scoring Panther offense to one goal in the first half, well below its average.
In the unfamiliar position of actually being challenged, the Panthers finally broke out their big guns in the second half and beat Brook three times in less than four minutes midway through the half to put the game away.
Despite what appeared to be an insurmountable deficit, the Lady Dragons never gave up, peppering Panther goalkeeper Laura Crisp in the last 15 minutes of action, but never finding the back of the net.
The week ended with Duxbury’s annual drubbing of Middleboro, 7-1, as senior midfielder Stacia Boynton notched a pair of goals.
“I had a sense we might run into a situation in the second half like we did against Hanover,” said Coleman. “We had some chances to score in the first half and didn’t. We just didn’t have any legs or energy in the second half after that Whitman-Hanson game two nights earlier. It was our defense that saved us in the second half. It was a good learning experience to play two tough teams in a row, so hopefully they now understand that you have to come out and play for two halves.”