The DHS girlsâ€™ soccer team knows how to come back from adversity this year, and they did it again on Sunday when they beat Scituate, 2-1, to advance to the second round of the MIAA Division II South Sectional soccer tournament.
The No. 11-seeded Lady Dragons hosted No. 5-seeded Cardinal Spellman last night in Duxbury in second round action.
Duxbury had beaten Scituate twice during the regular season 3-0, so Coach Emerson Colemanâ€™s troops seemed confident going up against the Sailors. Scituate, on the other hand, came in at 10-7-1 and was the 13th seed in the tournament, and it proved to be good luck in the first half.
After fending off repeated forays into its defensive zone over the first 20 minutes, Scituate retaliated with its first offensive threat of the game at the 19:34 mark. As the ball drifted into the box off a corner kick, it was headed on goal, forcing Emily Brook to make the save and leaving a rebound in front. Senior Aubrey Webber jumped on the loose ball and sent it up and over Brook for a 1-0 lead.
Duxbury had an excellent chance to tie the game four minutes later when Melissa Gavin had a direct kick from 20 yards out. She curled her shot around the wall, only to have goalkeeper Alannah Woodford dive to her right to make the save.
Gavin was determined not to miss another golden opportunity eight minutes later when she set up for a corner kick to Woodfordâ€™s left. The ball sailed high over the goalkeeperâ€™s head and curved itself into the back corner of the net to tie the score at 1-1, where it remained until the second half.
Duxbury knew it was in for a battle as the second half began and Scituate put the pressure on right away.
Eight minutes in, the Lady Dragons moved the ball into the box area, as sweeper Madi Lawson moved up and found herself with the ball all alone in front of Woodford. Her shot went over the netminderâ€™s head and hit the crossbar, coming right back on her foot and she hit the crossbar again with the rebound being cleared.
Momentum had swung to the Lady Dragons, as Gavin had two more scoring chances over the next five minutes: one through a screen and one on a header.
While she didnâ€™t score the winning goal, the senior captain was instrumental in the game-winner, as she flew down the right side and sent a pass to freshman Emily Weimer, who redirected it to Emily Gallagher. Gallagher cut through a pair of defenders and beat Woodford with 21:15 left in the game.
â€œItâ€™s difficult to beat a team three times in a season and they are a quality team,â€ said Coleman. â€œAs far as I am concerned, any team that is in the tournament is quality and they had three players back in their lineup from when we played them. I noticed before the game we had some jitters when we were hanging around, and I went to Emily and Melissa and told them we had to have someone today who would make a difference. Gavin has done this numerous times scoring big goals when we need them and today Emilyâ€™s goal was terrific. The one thing I tried to tell them after the game is that we have to find a way to play for the full 80 minutes. I donâ€™t think playing just 40 is going to get us anywhere in this tournament.â€