Murray saves day for Medway
Westford, AW, Millis advance
STATE GIRLS SOCCER
Samantha Murray saved the game on several occasions. It’s only right she came away with the final stop.
Murray’s heroics in penalty kicks secured No. 2 Medway’s 2-1 victory over No. 5 Notre Dame in the Division 2 South championship game yesterday in Taunton.
“I knew Sam was going to make one save,” Mustangs coach Jason Rojee said. “(She’s) probably the best goalie to come through this town and I got her back for one more year, which is awesome.”
Medway (17-2-2) came out fiery in the second half and it paid off in the 52nd minute when Audrey Cobb threaded two defenders, allowing Meg Downing to finish a oneon-one with the keeper for a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, the Cougars (15-5-2) stormed back when Emma Tucker flicked a low pass on net, guiding the shot out of the reach of Murray for the equalizer. Despite an increase in shots for both teams, neither could convert again, sending the game to overtime where the trend continued.
In penalty kicks, Medway nailed all five chances before Murray sent her team to the next round, diving to her left to stonewall the shot from Olivia Mucci.
“It’s our third state championship (game) in a row. It’s time to come home with a win,” Rojee said of the impending match against North champ Danvers.
Westford Academy 2, King Philip 1 — Katherine Pawlak’s goal in the 64th minute punched the Grey Ghosts’ ticket to their first state final appearance with a win against the Warriors in Brockton.
“I love that it happened with this group because they’ve been working hard for three and four years,” said Westford coach Tracy Capone, whose Grey Ghosts will face Wachusett on Saturday in the state final. “They’ve wanted it and the work ethic is there (with) the desire and heart. All the pieces of the puzzle are there.”
Westford (17-1-2) struck first in the 26th minute when Alexandria Giovino scored from the top of the box.
KP (20-2-2) answered a minute before halftime when Emma Corcoran’s corner found Avery Snead, who headed the ball home to level the score.
The Grey Ghosts remained unfazed and went ahead for good when Mary Cadogan found Pawlak wide open in front of the net for her second consecutive game-winning goal.
“It’s really fun to share these moments with my team,” Pawlak said. “We always said when we were little that we really want to make it to the championship.”
Archbishop Williams 3, Newburyport 2 — For the first time in program history, Archbishop Williams is heading to a state title contest.
Mackenzie Heath’s penalty shot in the 40th minute propeled the Bishops to the win in Lynn.
“Mackenzie Heath has been spot on for us all year on PKs and she hit one again,” said Archbishop Williams coach Gordie McClay. “That was huge for us.”
It was Heath’s second tally of the contest after her free kick from 27 yards out in the 27th minute put the Bishops up 2-1.
Captain Kaylee Walsh made seven of her 10 saves in a scoreless second half, including two in a 30-second span with 16 minutes to go to keep Archbishop Williams (20-1-2) in front.
Also for the Bishops, Chigozie Sumani scored off an assist from Aoife Delaney in the 21st minute.
Newburyport (16-4-3) struck first on a tally from Colleen Byron off a pass from Samantha Kelleher five minutes in. Christine Good scored the other goal in the 32nd minute to tie it at 2-2.
The Bishops will face Sutton in the Div. 3 state final on Saturday.
Millis 2, Amesbury 1 — The South champion Mohawks (16-2-2) overcame a one-goal deficit in the second half to defeat the North champion Indians (16-6-1) in doubleovertime in Lynn to earn a chance to play for a state title for the first time since 2009.
In the 100th minute of the match, captain Kaylee Francis fed a streaking Alexi Vallancourt up the middle for a clean break, and Vallancourt made no mistake, drilling the gamewinner to the far left-side post to send the Millis bench into a frenzy.
“The message that late in the match was to just keep composure . ... Alexi’s one of the key cogs in this machine that we have,” said Millis coach Steve Bailen. “Kaylee is a superstar on our team and a big goal scorer, it was a nice feed over to Alexi and she made a great shot to finish it.”
In the 62nd minute, Jordyn Ferrantino scored off a corner kick to tie the game at 1-1, the first goal the Indians allowed in the tournament.
Emma DiPietro put the Indians on top 1-0 in the 32nd minute.
The Mohawks will play Millbury on Saturday in the state final.
RISING TO THE OCCASION: Medway players celebrate with the Division 2 South girls soccer championship trophy after beating Notre Dame (Hingham) in penalty kicks.