Brown Leads Rebsoc Into Quarters


Girls Soccer celebrates after their win.

Peter Hoegler

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

In 200 minutes of postseason soccer, the Girls Soccer team has yet to score a goal in regulation. Yet, they are still alive in the Division 1 South Sectional Tournament.

How? One might ask. But the answer is simple: sophomore keeper Kaitlin Brown.

If a team wants to get rid of the Walpole High girls soccer team, someone is going to have to find a way to score on Kaitlin Brown first. For the second straight game, the Rebels’ goalkeeper kept a tournament opponent scoreless for 100 minutes and made multiple huge stops in penalty kicks to backbone a victory.

No. 3 Oliver Ames was Rebsoc’s latest victim as No.19 Walpole defeated the Tigers in eight penalty kicks. Junior forward Ashley Levya sealed the victory, burying her PK in the upper right corner of the net.

“That was a great team victory,” said Brown. “Both teams struggled hitting the net in PK’s, but we knew we could do it, and we did it.”

Brown made nine saves in regulation and the two overtimes, getting a little help when OA’s forward blasted it off crossbar and out of bounds in the first 10:00 OT. Brown robbed the same forward with a tip over the bar on a similar shot in the second half.

The best save of the night came in the first half on a corner kick, when Brown somehow reacted quickly to her right to keep an OA header out. She was supported by another outstanding effort in the back by the Rebels, particularly from junior sweeper Abby McMackin and defensive backs senior Captain Abbey Smith and junior Annie Gallivan.

“The defensive unit as a whole played amazing,” said Brown. “We knew coming in that they were particularly strong at corner kicks, and we did a great job executing on those. Defensively, that was our best game all season.”

In penalty kicks, senior Captain Lauren Regan and McMackin slotted their opportunities. Brown then made two sprawling saves on OA’s third and fourth PK’s, but Smith–who won it for the Rebels against Plymouth South– failed to convert on the fourth to give the Rebels the edge.

OA’s conversion on the fifth kick meant that Rebsoc’s entire season rested on junior Steph Lund’s right foot; and she converted, perfectly placing her shot in the top right corner.

In the sudden death rounds, both teams had some jitters; OA hit a post and a crossbar, and the Rebels booted a pair high in the sixth and seventh rounds.

Brown went lunging to her right to deny OA to start the eighth round, giving Walpole its third opportunity at the winning kick. Levya didn’t waste it, going top shelf to set off the celebration that would carry on for the rest of night.

Against No. 14 Plymouth South in the Preliminary Round, Smith provided the game-winning 4-3 margin in penalty kicks after 100 minutes of scoreless regulation and overtime.

While Smith may have provided the finishing blow, Brown’s performance in the shootout was just as critical. The sophomore stopped Plymouth South’s first two attempts, lunging high to her left to tip one shot over the crossbar and guessing correctly to her right to stop another.

Rebsoc’s postseason road trip rolls into North Attleboro on Tuesday November 5 at 2:30 P.M. for a quarterfinal date with the No. 6 Red Rocketeers, who advanced with a 3-2 overtime win over No. 11 Whitman-Hanson.

At this point, no one should count these Rebels out, especially with Brown in net.