Coming back from an early deficit, the Lady Dragons responded with a pair of goals for a 2-1 win, pinning the league champions with their first loss of the season.
Things did not look good for Duxbury in the early going, as Whitman-Hanson drove down the field and earned a corner in the first 30 second of the game. But Duxbury keeper Emily Brooks sent the ball away and the Dragons transitioned up field.
The Panthers continued to attack the Duxbury net, as Devin Petta took a pass from Taylor Leonard and buried her shot for a 1-0 lead before getting flattened by two Dragon defenders.
Petta just missed a second goal when play resumed, but Duxbury began to settle down about 10 minutes into the game and showed some offense of its own. With 24:25 to play in the half, Duxbury caught the Panthersâ€™ defense up in the midfield and Caitlin Burke tied the game.
Momentum was now on Duxburyâ€™s side, forcing Whitman-Hanson to call a time out and regroup. Despite the respite, Duxbury picked up where they left off when play resumed and sent a crossing pass toward the Panther net that just missed being redirected.
After another Dragon shot hit the crossbar, Panther keeper Laura Crisp lost control of the rebound. In the ensuing scrum for the loose ball, Crisp eventually smothered it, but carried it across the plane of the goal to give Duxbury a 2-1 lead with Lauren Grady getting credit for the goal.
While the Panthers continued to feed Petta for the tying goal, the Dragon defense was able to contain the leagueâ€™s leading scorer with a pair of Duxbury defenders and the sweeper lurking back. Despite the swarming defense, the Panthers were able to make a late surge into the Dragonsâ€™ end and earn a tripping call that gave them a direct kick with less than a minute to go.
Julie Monroeâ€™s shot went straight into the Duxbury defensive wall and the Dragons went into halftime with a one-goal lead.
When play resumed, Duxbury senior Liz Desmond continued to frustrate Petta in the second half, keeping her to the outside of the field and preventing her from cutting toward the net.
The Panthers finally got an open player in front of the net when Kelsey Murray worked a ball into Maggie MacDonald, but the Panther captain lost control of the ball and a crucial scoring opportunity.
At the 20:10 mark, Petta gave the defense the slip and broke in alone on Brook, only to have her shot sail over the crossbar. The Panthers were now in control, but a Petta cross to Nicole Philbrook went wide and, minutes later Brook saved a shot from Nicole Wynne and kicked the ball away.
With 14:42 remaining, Petta got another break away when a Duxbury defender misplayed a header. But Brook was up to the task and made another big save to keep the one-goal margin.
Brook continued her outstanding play in net, making another big play by breaking up a cross intended for MacKenzie Hatfield. Though the Panthers tried to make one last push after calling a timeout with 3:21 remaining, the Dragons pushed the ball into the Panthersâ€™ end in the final minutes, and after time ran out, celebrated their win on the field.
After an up-and-down stretch of two weeks, the girls will close out their regular season with games against Plymouth North on Wednesday night in Plymouth, and by entertaining Marshfield on Monday night at 6:30 p.m.