Girls Soccer Moves One Step Closer to Clinching a Playoff Berth

Senior Captain Abbey Smith maintains control of the ball against a Braintree defender.

Senior Captain Abbey Smith maintains control of the ball against a Braintree defender.

Ashley Levya

Senior Captain Abbey Smith maintains control of the ball against a Braintree defender.
Senior Captain Abbey Smith maintains control of the ball against a Braintree defender.

As the Rebels approached this week, they were well aware of the challenge ahead of them.  They only needed five more points to qualify for the tournament, but they had tough competition as they took on both Natick and Wellesley.  The Rebels got one step closer to qualifying when they earned one point in their 1-1 tie against Wellesley on October 17, but they lost to Natick on October 15 in a competitive 2-1 game.

The team could not get an edge because Natick won the majority of the balls in the air, something the Rebels usually dominate in.  After a long thirty three minutes, Natick put one in the back of the net to leave the score at 1-0 at the end of the half.

Coach Erin Kearney refocused the team at halftime in an attempt to salvage the game in some way.  However, just minutes into the second half Natick put another one on the board, bumping the score up to 2-0. The Rebels fought hard, but they did not put one on the board until the final two minutes. With a 2-1 victory, Natick guaranteed a spot in the tournament after receiving two points for their victory.

Two days later, the Rebels arrived at The Sprague School in Wellesley ready to chip away at the five points needed for tournament.  If Walpole won, they would knock Wellesley out of playoff contention.

Both Wellesley and Walpole came out hard right from the first whistle. After the first twenty five minutes a direct kick was called for Walpole near the corner. Coach Erin Kearney had junior Ashley Levya take the kick as she would set up a corner. Levya curved the ball past the goalie’s reach and right into the goal. Pumped up after the goal, the team continued playing hard as they dominated the first forty minutes while going into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

For the second half, Walpole stepped up their defense. Despite the intensity, Wellesley finally broke through during the last seven minutes of the game.  A Wellesley forward gained possession and dribbled down the sideline to punch one in the net. Walpole continued to play even harder than before, but could never score another. The score stayed at 1-1 and moved the Rebels another step closer to their goal.

After a loss against Mansfield on Sunday, October 20, the Rebels now need 4 points in their last three games against Milton, Dedham, and Norwood.  Without a win against Milton or Dedham this season, the Rebels will need to bring their “A” this week if they want to qualify for the postseason.