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|Girls advance to State soccer finals|
|Thursday, 20 November 2008 15:01|
Senior Stacia Boynton scored with 10 seconds left in regulation to give the DHS girls' soccer team a 3-2 victory over Belmont on Wednesday night at Cawley Stadium in Lowell.
The victory propels the Lady Dragons into this Saturdayâ€™s MIAA Division II State Championship at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden, where Duxbury will take on the westâ€™s #1 seed in Wahconah Regional High School (20-1) of Dalton at 1:30. The team will be going for its first State title since 1994.
â€œThe kids stayed together and didnâ€™t panic,â€ said first-year Duxbury Coach Emerson Coleman. â€œWe had one corner kick the whole game. Belmont would have a series of corners kicks and they scored on two of them. They just kept taking it to us and they dominated the second half. They are an excellent team, but we just took advantage of our chances and finished them.â€
The Lady Dragons struck early, as sophomore Melissa Galvin continued her torrid scoring pace when she came flying down the left side and fired a shot toward the far corner that eluded Belmont netminder Emily Canina and found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead at the 37:16 mark.
It was a good thing that Duxbury scored first, as the Marauders were relentless the rest of the night, putting the pressure on the Lady Dragon defense and holding Duxbury to few scoring opportunities.
It didnâ€™t take Belmont long to tie the game, as junior Claire Mackevicius knocked home a loose ball from a corner kick, that dribbled across the line through a maze of players in front of Duxbury goaltender Emily Brook.
Gavin would have a pair of serious scoring bids around the 29-minute mark, as she ran out of room after pulling Canina out of her net, and fired a shot past the far post that didnâ€™t miss by much.
Momentum swung back to Belmont midway through the half, as Brook mishandled a shot, but sprawled out on the ground to kick out a sure goal with 22 minutes remaining.
The rough and tumble action was aided by some inconsistent officiating, and it almost coast Duxbury dearly when senior captain Tristen Chin had a Belmont player roll up the back of her legs, forcing the defensive stalwart to the sidelines for a few minutes.
With the clock winding down in the 1-1 game, Duxbury struck for its second goal with 7:31 on the clock, as Gavin and Caitlin Burke combined to feed freshman Lily Peterson, who put the Lady Dragons ahead 2-1 before the half ended.
Gavin continued to be Duxburyâ€™s lone offensive threat, as the sophomore forward forced Canina to make a diving save just five minutes into the second half., and nailed a shot from 25 yards out at the 27-minute mark that tested the Belmont keeper.
The Marauders retaliated with a shot off the crossbar, and the subsequent rebound was pushed just wide of the net.
Another Belmont corner signaled danger was ahead, as the pressure on Brook was now coming from all angles, especially when a shot by Mackevicius smashed off the crossbar. The corners were coming fast and furious for the Marauders, as they capitalized a minute later when captain Rebecca Russo went up for a corner kick and knocked it to the ground for a horde of Belmont players, who knocked the ball and Brook back into the net.
A Chin header saved Duxbury from trailing with 5:54 remaining, as Brook was beat on a shot before being rescued by her captain, and a Belmont corner squeezed its way through a screen of players before being kicked out of the goal mouth.
With overtime looming, the Lady Dragons had one last breakout, as Jess Lizza came flying down the right side and fired a pass in front of the Belmont net, hitting Boynton in stride and sending Duxbury into the State finals.
â€œJess just crossed it and I had a foot on it and nailed it. All I know is that we needed a goal and there was no time left on the clock, so I had to get it in somehow,â€ said Boynton. â€œWe were panicking a little in the last 10 minutes, but we got together as a team and found a way to win.â€