Things sure looked bleak for Coach Emerson Coleman and his Lady Dragon soccer team last Thursday afternoon when they took on Silver Lake in a key Patriot League contest.
Down 2-0 in the first 12 minutes, Duxbury rallied on a goal by Melissa Gavin and two second-half goals by Lily Peterson to earn a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Lakers, putting their record at 11-2 as they get ready for Wednesday afternoonâ€™s rematch with nationally-ranked Whitman-Hanson at 4 p.m.
The Lady Dragons gave Whitman-Hanson its toughest game of the season in a 1-0 losing effect in the first week of action, and they hope to engage in some payback by knocking off the Panthers from the undefeated ranks.
The win over the Lakers gives Duxbury plenty of confidence as it goes into Wednesdayâ€™s contest.
Goalkeeper Emily Brook couldnâ€™t be faulted for Thursdayâ€™s start, as Silver Lakeâ€™s Haley Stark unloaded a rocket at the 9:17 mark that scraped the bottom of the cross bar and landed in the back of the net for a 1-0 Laker lead.
But when Paige Rodomski headed in a corner kick just two and a half minutes later for a two-goal margin, Duxbury decided it was time to get its act together.
Who else but Gavin would get the Lady Dragons back in the game, countering with a goal just over a minute later to make it 2-1 the remainder of the half.
Duxbury continued to trail midway through the second half until Gavin worked her magic again, beating a pair of Laker defenders and sending a pass from right wing to center where Peterson found herself all alone to tie the score at 2-2, beating Laker netminder Taylor Griffa at the 22:58 mark.
The Lady Dragons continued to pressure the Lakers and their persistence paid off, as Gavin was in the middle of the action once again, coming out of the left corner and firing toward the keeper, only to have Peterson deflect the shot high into the net for the eventual game-winner.
â€œWe didnâ€™t come out flat,â€ said Coleman. â€œWe played a stretch of games where it has just about been every other day for about two weeks. Our schedule was very back-loaded and in high school sports itâ€™s all about mental discipline, so maybe we didnâ€™t come into this game with our â€œAâ€ game. I told the kids at halftime it was our â€œB-plusâ€ game and against a good team like Silver Lake that is fighting for the play-offs, a B-plus game just isnâ€™t good enough. That first half was 60/40 Silver Lake and my assistant said to me, now weâ€™ll see who we are.â€
That back-loaded schedule included six games in nine days, featuring the first-ever Kick for a Cure Tournament over the Columbus Day weekend to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.
Teams from Scituate, Cohasset and Bourne high schools helped the Lady Dragons raise almost $700 from the sale of t-shirts, baked goods and pink hair ribbons. Players from each team wore pink shirts in practice donated by Soccer Edge and Keith Caldwell, while pink soccer game balls were donated by We Got Soccer.
Duxbury won the tournament with shutout wins over previously undefeated Bourne (2-0) and Scituate (3-0). Goalkeeper Brook had a strong weekend behind a strong defense led by Devan Bahr and Megan Woomer. In the opening game against Bourne, Duxbury goals were scored by Gavin and freshman Emily Weimer off an assist by Emily Gallagher.
In the championship game versus Scituate, Duxbury controlled the game from the opening kickoff, beating the Sailors 3-0 for the second time this season. Duxbury got goals from Gallagher and forward Hannah Dwinnel, along with a late Gavin goal off a long cross from Gallagher. The win over Scituate clinched a spot in the MIAA tournament for Duxbury.
Duxbury continued its winning ways on Tuesday with a convincing 4-1 home win against a strong Pembroke team that has given Duxbury physical matches over the past several years, and this time it was no different.
Duxbury jumped out to a 2-0 lead before halftime on goals from Gavin and Dwinnell, while Brook made a spectacular save late in the first half off a Pembroke header from inside the box that preserved the two-goal margin. Gallagher, Bahr, Woomer, senior Charlotte Cipoletti and sophomore Laura Nee had strong defensive games, marking several dangerous offensive players for Pembroke, while junior Maddie Lawson was stellar in the midfield.
The victory was one of eight in their current winning streak that has them ranked No. 12 in the latest Boston Globe poll.
NOTE: The game against Whitman-Hanson on Wednesday, Oct. 20, has been changed from 4 p.m. back to the original starting time of 6 p.m. The game is at Duxbury High School.