As the Greater New Bedford girls entered Monday’s soccer game against South Coast rival Wareham, the Bears needed only 2 points to make their postseason goal a reality.
“I told [the girls] they needed 2 more points,” said Bears coach Rosanne Franco. “We wanted to come out really strong and make sure we put this one away. We needed to score often and early.”
Freshman Rileigh Avila appeared to take Franco’s words to heart. The forward scored a career-high five goals as the Bears (8-7-2) clinched the program’s first MIAA tournament berth with a 6-1 victory over the Vikings.
“She’s fearless,” said Franco. “She’s willing to put her body into the mix. And she’s really humble, too. She was concerned she scored too many goals tonight. That humility and hard work ethic is really the core of Rileigh.”
Avila scored three goals in the first 35 minutes for her first career hat trick.
With 10 minutes to go in the half and the game seemingly in hand, Franco took Avila out of the game.
Anticipating a fired-up Viking offense to start the second half, Franco put her starters back in the game, and Avila scored again before adding a header off a cross to cap her amazing afternoon.
“The whole team earned opportunities for Rileigh and Rileigh put them away,” said Franco. “Today seemed like the whole team came together.”
When it came to clinching the team’s first appearance in the Division 2 South tournament, Franco was quite frank.
“I knew this team was going to be the team that made it,” she said.
Peabody 4, Lynn Classical 0 — Senior forward Hayley Dowd scored two goals and had two assists to clear 200 points for her career for the second-ranked Tanners (15-1).
Franklin 4, North Attleboro 3 — Senior Kristy Kirshe scored two goals for the No. 3 Panthers (14-0).
North Andover 4, Cambridge 0 — Freshman Abbie Karalis scored two goals for the No. 16 Knights (11-4-1).
Cardinal Spellman 3, Bishop Fenwick 0 — Sammy Zina, Hannah Boucher, and Mikayla Rowan scored for the No. 18 Cardinals (15-0-1).
Danvers 2, Swampscott 1 — Junior forward Delaney Zecha scored the winner for the Falcons (12-2-2), who clinched the Northeast Small title.
Minuteman 2, Mystic Valley 1 — Senior goalkeeper Morgan White had nine saves against the previously undefeated Eagles.
Hull 4, Mashpee 1 — Senior Stephanie Striglio netted a goal and an assist for the Pirates (6-8-1).
Wilmington 4, Wakefield 0 — Junior keeper Luke Foley had seven saves for his 11th shutout of the season. The Wildcats (10-1-5) clinched the Middlesex (Freedom) division crown.
Quincy 4, Middleborough 2 — A two-goal, two-assist performance by junior James O'Shea helped the Presidents (8-6-4) qualify for the state tournament.
Watertown 5, Burlington 1 — Sophomore Rafael DeSouza (two goals, one assist) guided the Raiders to a berth in the Division 3 North tournament.
St. Mary’s 3, Arlington Catholic 1 — Senior captain Alexander Alleyney had one goal and one assist for the Spartans. He now leads the Catholic Central Conference with 18 goals.
Watertown 4, Burlington 0 — The top-ranked Raiders (17-0) were led by Rachel Campbell (two goals), Alyssa Carlson, and Emily Loprete.
Sandwich 8, Plymouth South 1 — Sam Anderson netted a hat trick for the sixth-ranked Blue Knights (14-2).
Winchester 4, Lexington 1 — Senior captain Emily Savage paced the No. 12 Sachems (13-3-1) with a hat trick, bringing her season total to 25 goals.
Westford 3, Bedford 1 — Alaina Baker, Alleiah Connolly, and Erica Mattila each scored for the No. 14 Grey Ghosts (10-2-4).
Oliver Ames 3, Ursuline 0 — Molly Cunha, Missy Krim, and Carly Cidado scored for the No. 19 Tigers.
Swampscott 4, Salem 0 — Tori Thistle tallied her second hat trick of the season for Big Blue, the final goal the 50th goal of her career.
Melrose 3, Cambridge 0 — With 17 assists, senior setter Brooke Bell is the school’s all-time assist leader. Bell’s career total is 1,649, edging Colleen Hanscom’s previous mark by one. She has recorded 399 assists this season for the second-ranked Red Raiders (19-0).
Canton 3, Foxborough 1 — Kaitlin Phillips dished 50 assists to lead the sixth-ranked Bulldogs (17-0).
Bishop Fenwick 3, Hamilton-Wenham 0 — Both Ginna Pizzano and Jen Crovo had eight kills and 15 digs for the No. 15 Crusaders (14-4).