In a fall season unlike any other, the Cohasset girls' soccer team has left its mark, not allowing COVID-19 modifications to halt their pursuit of goals in an abbreviated campaign.
Their latest achievement is the South Shore League’s Tobin Division tourney title, secured with a 2-0 win over visiting Hull in steady drizzle and chilly conditions Friday night.
“I was pretty nervous coming into this game,” said Cohasset coach Deb Beal, “But we were able to outwork them tonight."
Cohasset (7-4) dictated the pace of play and controlled possession throughout, peppering junior Hull keeper Carly Donovan (7 saves). The Cohasset lead was set on a second-quarter strike from junior forward Gracyn Lord, who took advantage of a Hull turnover at midfield, muscled past a defender, and beat Donovan on a low shot.
“It was a good ball from the midfield, they popped it over and I was able to get a good shot off,” said Lord, who also had an opportunity to extend the Skipper lead in the third quarter on a scramble from inside the box, but rattled a shot off the crossbar.
“The message in general today was to play with energy and wrap up this game, we’ve had a strong team this year and we played strong tonight and took advantage of our opportunities” said Lord.
In stoppage time of the fourth quarter, senior forward Mackenzie Osborne added the insurance goal for Cohasset, ensuring the Tobin Division Tournament title.
“Our success this season is based on how we are able to play as a group and we’re able to rely upon any of them”, said Beal.
A week ago, the Skippers presented Beal with her 200th career victory in a 5-1 win over Mashpee.
“It makes me feel old," said Bean, in her 23rd season. “But I’ve worked hard at this, these kids keep coming back and we’ve built this program. It’s a lot of games.”
The program has a shot at one more milestone: Cohasset will take on the winner of the Sullivan Division final between East Bridgewater and Middleborough (Monday, 4 p.m.) for the outright SSL crown next week.
“We’ll have to keep our composure. Whoever we play we have to have the mind-set that we can play with these teams and if we play the right way and do the right things, we’ll be just fine” said Beal.
Berwick 5, Marshwood 0 — Senior Bella Peracchi led the way with a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs who finish their abbreviated season at 3-1.
Bridgewater-Raynham 3, Brockton 0 — Lily Ford, Maya Daryanani, and Ciara Blanchard made up the three Trojan goals as B-R (9-0-1) advanced to the final round of the Southeast Conference Tournament.
Wilmington 3, Watertown 0 — Amber Flynn, Ella Wingate, and Alyssa Granara each found of the back of the net in the Middlesex League win for the Wildcats (5-1-0).
Milford 5, Canton 0 — Leo Coelho’s first-half hat trick propelled the Scarlet Hawks (8-1-1) to the Hockomock Cup final vs. Oliver Ames.
Oliver Ames 3, Mansfield 0 — Matt Nikiciuk, Anthony DaCosta, and Mathias Taylor scored for the unbeaten Tigers (12-0), who advanced to the Hockomock Cup final against Milford.
Randolph 0, Rockland 0 (SO) — Randolph forced a deciding game in the South Shore Sullivan final, prevailing in the PK shootout, 5-3. The title game is Monday at 4.
St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 4, Catholic Memorial 1 — Matthew McLellan (2 goals) and Andrew Kovacs (2 assists) led the Pioneers (6-2-2) to a first round win in the Catholic Conference Cup. St. John’s High will travel to St. John’s Prep on Monday.
Xaverian 5, Malden Catholic 0 — Senior captain Liam Foley scored a goal and assisted on three others as the Hawks (6-3-2) advanced to take on BC High Monday in the second round of the Catholic Conference Tournament.
Sandwich 2, Falmouth 0 — It took approximately one minute for the pregame nerves to fade for Sandwich in the Cape & Islands Atlantic Division final against visiting Falmouth.
Senior defender Maura McIver sent a ball up the middle of the field to fellow senior captain Macey White, who fired home the quick score.
“I feel like [an early goal] makes everyone take a sigh of relief,” said Sandwich coach Kelsey Beaton.
Early in the fourth quarter, junior Paige Hawkins netted the clincher, paving the way for a stellar 10-1-1 season for the Blue Knights.
“It was just a great feeling to make it through the season and to play a good game against a great opponent,” said Beaton, who, in her 22nd season, credited a defensive unit anchored by McIver and Molly Dwyer for suppressing the Clipper attack. She also praised goalkeeper Sarah Curry for making four difficult saves.
“All of the saves I feel like Sarah had today were quality scoring chances for Falmouth,” Beaton said.
Sandwich ends the season as C&I Atlantic champions, a year removed from falling in the Division 2 South final to Dover-Sherborn. The program has always been competitive in the conference, but to Beaton, 2020 was a missed opportunity to make a statement at the state level.
“It really has kind of hurt me,” she said. “I knew we lost in the South sectional final last year and had only graduated two starters, so I was really looking forward to this year.”
But though the sting of what could have been might linger, Beaton appreciates the positivity that her team displayed throughout the unconventional season. “They all have been incredibly positive,” she said. “I think that’s the youth side of it. They’re looking at is at, ‘I’m just so happy we had something.’”
Chelmsford 6, Tewksbury 1 — Sam Palumbo (1 goal, 2 assists) headlined scorers as the Lions wrapped up their season at 7-0-1 in the Merrimack Valley Conference.
Franklin 6, Attleboro 1 — Amanda Lewandowski (2 goals, 1 assist) and Stephanie Bell (2 goals) led the unbeaten Panthers (10-0-0) to a spot in the Hockomock Cup championship where they’ll take on the winner of Oliver Ames/King Philip.
Needham 5, Newton North 1 — Kenzie Kelly scored three goals to help the Rockets (6-0-2) defend home field against the Tigers in the Bay State Conference victory.
Correspondent Ethan Fuller also contributed to this report.