South’s bet­ter half tops North

Scores three times af­ter in­ter­mis­sion

Times-Record - - SPORTS - By DAVID INSLEY dins­[email protected]­

CAM­BRIDGE — End­ing the fall sea­son with a se­nior show­case is al­ways fun. Tues­day night at Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High, the South Bay­side girls’ se­nior soc­cer all-stars fin­ished with a win, as well.

James M. Ben­nett star Annabel Hof­mann’s goal in the 49th minute sparked the South in the sec­ond half, and a pair of tal­lies by Park­side’s Ava Wal­ter rounded out a 3-0 vic­tory in the 26th an­nual Bay­side Con­fer­ence Se­nior Soc­cer All-Star show­case.

De­spite the loss, “it’s very fun to be able to be here for this,” said Kent Is­land head coach Mike Leach, who led the North team. “A lot of the girls played on my travel team, too, so I’m very fa­mil­iar with what the Queen Anne’s, Eas­ton, and some of the Kent Is­land girls do. But it’s fun to coach the girls one last time be­fore the sea­son’s out.”

The teams spent al­most the en­tire first half mov­ing between the big boxes, com­bin­ing for just four shots on goal. In ad­di­tion to sturdy de­fense, an in­creas­ingly hard-blow­ing, and bit­ter, wind from the north­west slowed play­ers and the ball down a bit.

“A lot of the South girls that played tonight are on my travel team, too,” Leach said. “And the South team was pretty loaded with all the travel play­ers they had. ... Those girls are used to play­ing travel soc­cer; they had 11-12 girls, and I think we had two, three ... so that makes a lot of dif­fer­ence, too.”

In the 49th minute, Hof­mann, named South Player of the Year by the di­vi­sion’s coaches, found an open­ing and banged one home to make it 1-0. Less than a minute later, Wal­ter came along the right side and padded that lead with the sec­ond score of the night.

Kather­ine Lay­ton, an as­sis­tant for J.M. Ben­nett, coached the South, in place of Clip­pers head coach Ed O’ Leary, who’s on va­ca­tion. The sud­den surge in of­fense, she said, was due to a cou­ple of changes im­ple­mented af­ter in­ter­mis­sion.

“We de­cided we re­ally needed to work on our of­fense,” said Lay­ton, who’s Hof­mann’s mother. “So I pulled Ava out of the mid­dle and re­placed her with Anas­ta­sia (Parks), who’s a mid­fielder with Mardela, who im­pressed me a lot in the first half. And I put Re­becca (Lap­pin) from Mardela up top with Ava... and that did the trick.”

Wal­ter’s sec­ond tally came with 21:50 re­main­ing.

“We had a lot of girls, so

we kept every­thing even and equal as pos­si­ble .... subbed them in and out,” said Leach, who dressed 23 play­ers to the South’s 16. “We were miss­ing the North Player of the Year, (Kent Is­land’s) Ash­ley (Rotert), who still hasn’t re­cov­ered from the an­kle in­jury she suf­fered in the Bay­side cham­pi­onship game. We still had a lot of fire­power; we just didn’t do it tonight. But it was fun re­gard­less.” The North had sev­eral pushes in the sec­ond half, one led by Eas­ton’s Mi­randa Wal­ton, an­other by North Dorch­ester’s Brie Bates. But each time, South keeper Ar­mani Banks (Mardela) was there for the stop.

“It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to coach my daugh­ter in this,” Lay­ton said, “but (also) be­cause it was such a tal­ented group of girls. I was im­pressed by the tal­ent that they all had. And they re­ally got along great.

“From the mo­ment they put on those T-shirts, putting them on the same team for the game, they went out and warmed up like they had been team­mates for the longest time. They were gig­gling and laugh­ing and talk­ing like they had been a team from the start,” Lay­ton added. “And when they were out play­ing, it was the same thing . ... Some of them have played to­gether, in rec league or travel soc­cer since they were 9-10 years old, but it was re­ally some­thing great to see.

“To imag­ine that these girls were fierce ri­vals to work to­gether like that when they put the shirts on, was some­thing,” Lay­ton said. “To fi­nally be able to step on the pitch to­gether and play it was just great.”

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