The Duxbury girls’ soccer team rallied in the second half to knock off No. 1 seed East Bridgewater, 1-0, on Wednesday afternoon in East Bridgewater to advance to this Friday’s MIAA Division II South Sectional semifinal against No. 5 seeded Dedham High School.
It was a tough first half for No. 8-seeded Duxbury, as they were going into the wind and apparently up hill on the natural grass EB field, allowing the Vikings to dominate play in Duxbury’s end and prevent the Lady Dragons from mustering much of an offense.
Trying to keep EB’s Rachel Blauner in check limited Duxbury’s offensive thrusts, but the visitors did have their chances with a Madi Lawson direct kick at the 18-minute mark and a Nicole Gavin shot from the left wing that just went wide of the goal post.
A Jen Gerraughty save in the final three minutes of the first half and a defensive stand on an EB corner in the final two minutes kept the game scoreless at halftime.
The Vikings continued to pressure Duxbury and hit the crossbar in the first minute of the second half, following it up with a direct kick and a shot off the left side by junior MacKenzie Kingman in the first 10 minutes.
But EB had its best chance of the afternoon around the 26-minute mark when Blauner found herself all alone with a rebound and watched it deflect off a Duxbury defender with an open net in front of her.
Having fended off the Viking barrage, Duxbury countered with junior Laura Nee attacking the host’s net two minutes later and firing her shot off the left side of the net.
The run seemed to give some spunk to the Duxbury offense, as a Lady Dragons corner produced an Emily Weimer shot, a Lawson direct kick, and a Lady Dragon corner with the clock winding down.
With a renewed confidence, Duxbury began to push the ball up field and sent a long ball down the left side for a streaking Gavin. The freshman crossed the ball toward the front of the net where sophomore Weimer put a foot on it and sent the ball over the head of goaltender Brooke Troup for the eventual game-winner with approximately 10 minute to go.
“EB played tremendously in that first half and controlled the play,” said Duxbury coach Emerson Coleman. “I told our kids it was going to be a tough game and to keep digging. I think EB won 60 percent of the 50/50 balls in the first half, but we reversed that in the second and scored when we needed to.”
The Lady Dragons will take on Dedham this Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Weymouth HS.