MANSFIELD, Mass – A very young Mansfield Hornets side showed that it is possible to win with freshmen. Mansfield ran away with a 6-1 victory over the King Philip Warriors with four goals from varsity rookies and one goal by a sophomore.
Freshman Jackie Carchedi changed what had been a balanced game to that point when her cross eluded everyone to sneak inside the far post in the 22nd minute. Carchedi struck again seven minutes later off a great pass from fellow freshman Jennifer Kemp. Sophomore Lindsay Goulet tacked on a third for Mansfield in the 34th minute and the potential was there for a rout.
King Philip created problems with the speed of junior Haley Keegan and senior Malorie Knowlton and the latter gave KP a lifeline with a late first half goal that cut the deficit to two. KP seemed buoyed by the goal and again started the second half on the front foot only for Hornets junior Julia Dimascio to make two solid saves to rob KP captain Rachael Patten.
Mansfield put the game out of reach when senior Jamie Sokolinski slipped the ball under an onrushing KP keeper to make it 4-1. It was Sokolinski’s 1st career varsity goal. The Hornets kept up the pressure and seemed to have breakaway after breakaway. Freshman forward Jordan Zaret tapped home off a pass from Kemp and struck again with almost the final touch of the game.
Mansfield head coach Kevin Smith was excited by the rapid development of his young players.
“When you lose 13 seniors you need people to step into those spots and they’re talented; they’re really talented," he said. "It’s nice to have them for four years. They’re going to learn. They’re going to have their ups and they’re going to have their downs and they’re going to learn.”
King Philip, who already lost their starting goalkeeper to a back injury prior to the season, had two players go down with apparent knee injuries during the second half. Coach Smith credited his opponents for fighting right to the final whistle.
“KP is actually a good team," he added. "They move the ball well, they fight hard, they have some good skill out there…the second goal really deflated them but they still fought.”
Warriors head coach Gary Pichel his counterpart’s sentiments, “It just deflates them when we give up three bad goals and it’s just like…[sighs]…So, it’s really put a damper on our season very early, but we’re going to keep plugging away.”
Mansfield (2-2) will try to keep the momentum high and extend their two-game win streak next Thursday at Attleboro. King Philip (1-3) will hope that they can turn things around quickly when they host North Attleboro.