Girls Soccer Survives and Advances Into Tournament

Girls+Soccer+celebrates+after+their+win.

Girls Soccer celebrates after their win.

Julia Sandquist

Girls Soccer celebrates after qualifying for the postseason.
Girls Soccer celebrates after qualifying for the postseason.

Rebels had a slew shots on net in the last regular season, but miss after miss, the Rebels became frustrated.

The Girls Soccer team took on Norwood in their last game of the season on Monday, October 28, hoping to pull out win to qualify for the State Tournament. They locked in their spot with a 1-0 lead over Norwood and ended the season 6-6-6, but not without frustrating setbacks that almost cost them the win.

It was a frigid night at Turco Field, but the Rebels started out on fire. From the blow of the first whistle, the Rebels were tearing down the field at lightning speed. Senior Captain Lauren Regan drove by players easily and fired a few shots off in an attempt to squeeze in an early goal for the Rebels. With their lively energy and incredible quickness, the Rebels broke down Norwood’s defensive formation. They dominated the Mustangs, a younger team, by exploiting their lack of experience with long balls to the corners in which their fast front line could easily reach. Walpole had the game in the palm of their hands over Norwood, the one team in their division who had gotten no wins all season. However, the Rebels just couldn’t finish.

The tables turned when senior Captain Karalyn Kickham was sent off the field with a yellow card after her two fouls on the Norwood goalie. For the first time in the game, Norwood became alive with the glimmer of hope, believing that they could stop the Rebels on the fast track to tournament. Kickham said, “I had a lot of momentum because I wanted the goal, but [the yellow card] happened and I had to move on.” And after learning that Norwood was not going to give up without a fight, the Rebels knew they had to work even harder.

Heading into the second half at 0-0 with forty minutes left, it was anyone’s game.  Spurred on by the roars of the crowd, Regan dribbled quickly down the sideline, looking for the goal that would soon be the most important of her soccer career at Walpole High School.  As she pulled back her leg to shoot, the crowd fell silent, and in one split second, she changed everything. The ball sailed effortlessly into the back of the net over the goalie’s head, accompanied by a satisfying swoosh and the fanatic cheering of the crowd.

Regan said, “It was really nice when I scored the goal, but it was a tough game to win.”

This was unmistakable in the final minutes, as the Rebels took shot after shot, but could not manage to slip one in to put the game away. However, when the final whistle blew, Walpole was tournament bound.

Kickham said, “We had an unbelievable bunch of close games not in our favor, but it felt good to finally get one we deserved.”

Walpole’s defensive formation, backed by junior Abby McMackin as its sweeper, held together like glue and Norwood play rarely reached the Rebels’ half. As sophomore goalie Kaitlin Brown said, “our unbreakable defense was the reason for our shutout.”

Despite leaving it all until the last game of the season to get them to tournament, Coach Erin Kearney led the Rebels into the tournament for the third year in the row. The Rebels will play on Friday, November 1 at Plymouth South High School at 2:30. Plymouth South is ranked 14th seed in the tournament while Walpole is 19th.