(Lynn) Same teams. Same field. Same weather. Same tournament. Same results.
What can you say? There was Weston defeating Ipswich in girls soccer, 2-0, at Manning Field to capture the Division 3 North finals in beautiful weather. Two years ago (November 14th) exactly the same thing happened.
In this Monday morning event, the Wildcats stunned the Tigers with a goal in the first thirty seconds (Katie Marlow-Benedick) of the game. The insurance for Weston kicked in during the second half on a goal by Maddie Linde.
Weston (11-7-4) moves on to the D3 state semifinals against South champs Norwell at 5:30PM at Veterans Stadium in Quincy on Wednesday. The D3 state finals are at Worcester State College on Saturday (10AM) morning.
Ipswich (11-5-7) had enough defense, led by Courtney Long, to keep the Wildcats from adding more goals in the first half after the depressing start.
The Weston defense, led by Sarah Peters, gave the Tigers few instances of control deep in their territory. Ipswich had several corner kicks but was unable to turn up threats on WHS goalie Alissa Duffey.
The Tigers best chance was on direct kick from straight away by Courtney Long late in the first half. Katie Monahan was bearing down on Alissa as she made the catch. Any sort of bobble there could have been a Tiger goal.
Weston’s first goal happened so fast!
The Wildcats started with the ball. Freshman Emma Marlow-Benedick broke past the Tiger defense in front of the Weston sidelines and dribbled in on the right. Instead of taking a long shot at GK Molly Markos, Emma sent a pass into the middle to senior Maddie Linde. Maddie had time to drill a shot that Molly got a piece of but couldn’t control. The result was a juicy rebound for Emma’s twin sister Katie to tap into the open net.
Down 1-0 in a game not even thirty seconds old was not what the Tigers needed. However, the Wildcats were kept from threatening the rest of the half. Ipswich had several corner kicks but didn’t endanger the Weston shutout.
The Wildcats turned up the pressure in the first fifteen minutes of the second half. They had four dangerous corner kicks before capitalizing.
The goal came when senior Hannah Graves sent a corner kick over the reach of goalie Molly Markos. Teammate Maddie Linde was perfectly positioned and headed home Weston’s second goal, fifteen minutes into the second half. Maddie’s height gave her an advantage and Hannah’s kick was right where Maddie could convert.
The Wildcats had several dangerous shots the rest of the way, a couple by Lane Cronin, and one by Jackie Foody.
Ipswich knocked Weston out of the tournament (1-0) last year at Ipswich on a Hannah Weagle score.
Maddie Linde had both goals in the Wildcat win two years ago at Manning Field.
Kudos to Weston’s Jackie Foody. Her collision with Tiger Lia Ziegler sent the Ipswich senior to the turf but after the Tiger medical staff took care of Lia, Jackie came over to make sure her opponent was okay. Classy move!
I also congratulate WHS coach Rich Daestrela. When one of his players (Lane Cronin) drew a yellow card for angrily kicking a ball out of play, she had to leave the game. I have seen other coaches immediately put the carded player back in the game. Not Coach Daestrela. He kept the offending party off the field for the last nineteen minutes of the first half. A teachable moment?
Weston can certainly be thankful for the Sullivan Rule. That unique Massachusetts rule allowed the Wildcats to qualify for the MIAA tourney despite a 6-7-4 record. Winning 50% of games against same-division opponents qualifies a team for the tournament……and that’s how Weston got in.
Weston competes in the very tough Dual County League. The beatings they absorbed from D1 powerhouses like Acton-Boxborough, Concord-Carlisle, and Lincoln-Sudbury obviously toughened them up for the Division 3 tournament. The only disadvantage was that Weston got a low seed (#17) and had to win early-round games on the road to get to the finals.
Coach Daestrela commended the Cape Ann League afterwards. He faced Georgetown first and needed penalty kicks to win. He said that the games in between Georgetown and Ipswich were not very competitive and allowed him to use substitutes for most of the second halves.
Coach Daestrela on the undersized freshmen Marlow-Benedick twins: “I don’t care what size they are, they can play, and will play.”
This was Courtney Long’s last soccer game for Ipswich. What a defender she was with a strong leg. She took care of all the goal kicks and direct kicks. I wonder what she would have done on corner kicks?
Some doctors do house calls. Dr. Hugh O’Flynn does field calls! The Ipswich surgeon helped tend to several injured Tigers in the first half.
Good Ipswich sports trivia question: Name the first Ipswich girls soccer coach - Doug Woodworth.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)