NORTH EASTON, Mass. – When the opportunity arose, the Oliver Ames girls soccer team were up to the task yet again.
Just 50 seconds into Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Attleboro, junior midfielder Caroline Connly gave the Lady Tigers an early advantage on a nice strike. In the 39th minute, Lexi Soucie scored off a corner kick to give her team a momentum boost at halftime.
Those two goals proved vital for the opportunistic Lady Tigers.
“We’ve done that much of the season – getting ahead in the first five minutes – and it always helps,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer, whose team improves to 8-1-1 on the season.
“It was a good start for us, but we were boxed in for the whole [first] half [after the first goal] and it was just one of those halves where we were going to go in 1-0 after putting four shots on net. But Lexi Soucie scored a beautiful goal off a corner kick, and to be able to score in the end of the half was huge.”
While Attleboro couldn’t generate many offensive chances, the defense put in a respectable performance considering that OA spent the majority of the game down its end of the field.
Attleboro junior goalkeeper Elizabeth Clifton (8 saves) kept her team alive with several great saves in the second half, including a diving stop on Clarissa Romero during the 53rd minute. Also putting in solid performances on the Bombardier defense were Megan Cassidy and Amanda Alfani.
Eventually, however, OA’s relentless attack caught up to Attleboro late in the second half when Romero delivered the dagger in the 73rd minute.
“She just works hard in the midfield,” Sellmayer said about his midfielder. “[She] had a lot of 50-yard runs all game and for her to get a goal, I’m really pleased.”
By any means, this was not the result that Steve Santos was looking for. But considering that they lost to the same Tigers by a combined score of 13-1 – and having already doubled its win total from last season – the Attleboro coach is pleased to see improvement from his squad even with the team’s current three-game losing streak.
“We had a tough year last year and ended up 2-14-2,” he said. “This year we started 4-1-1, but now we are quickly 4-5-1. But we are still trying to stay positive and still trying to work hard.”
With a home contest Friday afternoon against Milford (2-6-2), Santos is hoping to see more improvement from his team.
“We are already much improved from last year,” said Santos. “The Hockomock League is a very competitive league and it has a lot of good players out there. But hopefully we can see some more improvement.”
Sellmayer and company, meanwhile, prepare for Friday’s showdown with undefeated Franklin (8-0) and look to down their Kelley-Rex rivals for the third straight season.
“Big game,” echoed Sellmayer. “We’ve got one loss and they have none. We’re trying to beat them for a third year in a row, so we’ll see how it goes.”