Whether or not members of this year’s girls’ soccer team had last year’s playoff game with Rockland on their minds, it certainly looked it on Thursday afternoon at Train Field in Duxbury where the Lady Dragons toyed with Rockland in a 7-0 win.
Having been knocked out of last year’s tournament in a 2-1 shootout, Duxbury appeared ready to serve notice to the Bulldogs that they had no plans of a repeat performance.
Coming off consecutive wins over Hanover and Middleboro, the 6-1 Lady Dragons, now ranked #17 in last week’s Boston Globe Top 20 poll, were determined to keep their latest winning streak intact as they enter the mid-point of their Patriot League schedule and a return date with Whitman-Hanson later this month.
Despite the absence of a couple of regulars, and the appearance of a few that were shaken up in an auto accident on their way to school that morning, Coach Emerson Coleman’s team hardly looked short-handed.
It took awhile for the Duxbury offense to get cranking, but once it did there was little the Bulldogs could do to keep it from steamrolling.
A Melissa Gavin goal on a beautiful through-pass from Caitlin Burke gave Duxbury a 1-0 lead with 14:31 left in the first half.
It was certainly a “Burkee” day, as the junior forward seemed to be in on every play. She notched the team’s second of the day when she controlled a pass from sophomore Emily Gallagher and walked around the Rockland defense, sliding her shot to the far corner past Rockland keeper Taylor Smith with less than 10 minutes to go in the half.
If Rockland could make it to halftime down 2-0, there was a chance the Bulldogs could regroup and come out swinging in the second half like Rockland teams of the past. But Burke made that unlikely, corralling a pass from freshman Lily Peterson after a Gavin lob into the box, and knocked it past Smith for a 3-0 halftime lead.
An over-matched Rockland team had little fight left in the second half, as Burke and Gavin made it 5-0 with 13:30 left in the game.
The girls’ team has plenty of depth and talent with its underclassmen, and they showed it with sophomore Hanna Dwinell and Peterson finishing off the scoring in impressive fashion, as Peterson uncorked a 30-yard rocket into the net.
As for payback, Coleman wasn’t quite sure that was the mindset he wanted.
“The Rockland coach kept telling his team what the motivation point was for Duxbury,” said Coleman. “I talked about it, but I didn’t live it and I wasn’t there. To be honest, I was very concerned about it. We weren’t on our playing field and I was worried about that whole psychological feel. Rockland had been getting back some of their better players and they had beaten Hingham, so I figured all the stars were aligning against us. But we came out from the opening whistle and just took charge.”
The Lady Dragons will have their hands full on Wednesday afternoon in Duxbury at 3:30 p.m., when they take on Pembroke, who put a scare into Whitman-Hanson before dropping a 6-4 decision just 10 days ago.