Tournament Preview: Girls Soccer at Plymouth South

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A Walpole midfielder shields the ball away from a Norwood defender.

Matt Brownsword

A Walpole midfielder shields the ball away from a Norwood defender.
A Walpole midfielder shields the ball away from a Norwood defender.

 

 

They waited for the last moment.

And they succeeded.

Girls Soccer won in their final game against winless Norwood 1-0, in a cagey match that featured many Walpole chances and little Norwood touches on the Walpole defensive half. As the minutes went by, the chances that girls soccer would end their season steadily increased — until senior Captain Lauren Regan, the main goal scorer for the team all year, shot a ball that drooped over the Norwood keeper and nestled in the side netting.

Finally, girls soccer had gotten into the tournament, on the stroke of midnight; they left it to the last game. The whole season, the girls were on the brink of doing something special — including a 0-0 tie against No.9 Dedham and a close 3-2 loss against Mansfield — but couldn’t seem to get over the proverbial hump.

Now, with a last-ditch tournament berth — that resulted in getting the lowest possible seed in the South Sectional — Girls Soccer finally has that possibility.

The Rebels have to travel to 14-seeded Plymouth South in a preliminary match-up; the winner faces 3 seed Oliver Ames in the next round. Plymouth South finished 3rd in the Atlantic Coast Division, behind Marshfield and Sandwich, while the Rebels finished 4th in the Herget behind Natick, Dedham, and Wellesley. Plymouth South and Walpole have one common opponent: Braintree. Plymouth South tied the Wamps in their out-of-league matchup, while the Rebels lost — without senior Captain Karalyn Kickham — in a close game, 1-0. However, Plymouth South also faced off against Nauset early in the year — a game they won 2-1 — and the Rebels played Nauset twice in preseason play, beating them both times.

Junior Alex Powers and freshman Maddie Sessler has lead the inexperienced forward/midfield line all year, being the main goal scorers. However, the strength with Plymouth South is their defense: they start three senior captains on the back line, none more important than Rachel Melisse, who guards the best player for any opposing team. That would be senior Lauren Regan for the Rebels, who has lead Girls Soccer all season on the front line. Juniors Abby McMackin and Steph Lund will be key players up the middle — defensively and in the midfield, respectively — and will need not only shut down the young Plymouth South front line but push forward offensively and put pressure on the senior defensive Captains if the Rebels want to win.

The girls have waited all season to get over the hump; to get the big win they need. They waited for the last minute in the regular season, but in the postseason, when everything is magnified, the Rebels need to finally go out and take it.

 

The rest of the Division 1 South Sectional can be seen HERE.