By Mike Halloran, Sports Editor
After knocking off defending state champion Cardinal Spellman, and escaping with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Dedham on Melissa Gavinâ€™s incredible shot from 30-yards out, the Duxbury girlsâ€™ soccer team ran into a buzzsaw on Sunday morning in Weymouth where they were eliminated by No. 2 seed Medfield High School (19-1-2), 3-0, in the MIAA DII South Sectional final.
The Lady Dragons could see they were at a disadvantage right away, as the Warriors seemed to be bigger, faster, and a step ahead of their opponent throughout the game, especially when Medfield started off with the wind in the first half.
Goalkeeper Emily Brook had plenty to do in the opening minutes, as she made a diving save on a kick from 30 yards out and also stopped a shot at the post as Medfield walked out from the corner.
Trying to send the ball up field into the wind seemed fruitless, as the Warriors pressured every Duxbury pass and maintained possession in the Duxbury zone for most of the first half.
Eight minutes in Medfield finally converted, as freshman forward Shea Newman caught the Duxbury defense flat-footed and slipped right through the middle to beat Brook for a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Dragons continued to have their problems connecting, as Medfieldâ€™s physical play knocked them off the ball and intimidated them on most 50/50 balls.
Duxbury would finally get deep into Warrior territory with 26 minutes showing on the clock to earn a corner, only to have it deflected over the crossbar.
Keeping up the pressure, it appeared the Warriors had built their lead to 2-0 with 3:20 left in the half, but the officials ruled Brook had been interfered with as the ball broke the plain of the goal line and the game remained a one-goal difference at halftime.
Despite having the wind in the second half, not much changed for Duxbury, as Medfield had two direct kicks in the first 10 minutes and the Lady Dragons could not muster any consistent offense.
Midway through the second half, Newman struck again. The freshman ran onto a ball down the left side, pulled it back around a pair of defenders and blasted a shot over Brook to put the Warriors ahead comfortably at 2-0 with 17:40 left in the game.
â€œShe is a very dynamic player for a freshman. She can create her own shot and she finished on both of her opportunities,â€ said Duxbury Coach Emerson Coleman.
Senior Isabelle Hacket would close out the scoring for Medfield with 2:07 left when she found herself all alone in front of Brook after a Duxbury defender fell down on a 50/50 ball.
â€œIn the Dedham game we had our moments where we did what we wanted, but for 80 minutes Medfield had us unsettled. We could never get our stuff going,â€ said Coleman.