Girls Soccer: Falcons shut out Bishops to advance in playoffs
Dighton-Rehoboth 1, Archbishop Williams 0
REHOBOTH - Meghan Reed saves her best for the big stage.
Dighton-Rehoboth’s senior goalie blanked Archbishop Williams 1-0 Monday at Bliss Field in the First Round of the Div. 3 South MIAA soccer playoffs, making several big saves while protecting a one-goal lead and ultimately pitching a shutout.
“When she’s in the zone, like she was today, nothing gets by her,” D-R coach Trish Madsen said after Monday’s victory. “And she’s a gamer. She wants these tournament games. Nobody’s better.”
“It could have been my last game, so it feels great to move on,” said Reed, a senior captain.
The win over No. 10 Archbishop Williams (11-7) sends No. 7 Dighton-Rehoboth (14-5) to the Div. 3 South Quarterfinals. The Falcons will travel to No. 2 Dover-Sherborn (14-2-2) on Wednesday for a 3:30 p.m. game on the Raiders’ turf field.
“It feels great to be moving on,” senior captain Julianna DaCosta said. “I think if we play the way we know how to play and we come out and show everybody D-R’s game, we can make it real far.”
REPORTERTODAY.COM MVP: Reed was aggressive coming out of the net when she had to, challenging Bishop attackers and forcing them to alter shots. When she had to hang back, she made diving saves and came up with loose balls. “I like to play aggressively. That’s how I’ve always played,” Reed said after the game. “We’ve played so good this season and to get here and get a shutout against a good team feels great.”
EARLY LEAD: DaCosta scored the only goal of the match at 9:36 of the first half as the Falcons came out pressuring Bishops’ goalie Grace Cuddy right off the bat. The Falcons won the ball at midfield and sophomore Julia Tavares launched a deep pass to DaCosta, who was streaking down the right side of the field. She beat a defender to the ball and scored on a shot on the upper left of the net. “It was a great pass by Julia, and at the end of the day, it’s a foot race,” DaCosta said. “And to tap that ball by the goalie felt so good.”
DEFENSE GETTING IT DONE: When Reed wasn’t turning shots away, the D-R defense was getting to the ball before the Bishops could test her. Senior captain Ashley Damon, sophomore Bella LaBree and junior Emily D’Ambrosio kept the Archbishop Williams attack at bay in front of Reed. “They gave it everything they had. Nothing was getting by them today,” Madsen said of the Falcons defense. Reed had plenty of praise for the defense after the game, especially Damon and LeBree. “Bella’s just a sophomore and is ridiculously good I can’t even believe it,” she said. “I’ve been playing with Ashley since like fourth grade and she’s always been so talented. The group overall played so strong today.”
WINNING IN THE MIDDLE: D-R’s improvement over the course of the season was evident in the midfield, where the Falcons won more than their share of balls. “That’s something we honestly haven’t done against stronger teams,” Madsen said of success in the midfield. “We’ve been working on it and they won those balls today.” Sophomore Caitlin Morgado, Tavares, Lexie Menzes and Angel Correia paced the attack from the midfield.
PLAYING AS A FAMILY: The Falcons on the bench are constantly cheering on the players on the field, and as soon as the referee blew the final whistle, everyone ran on the field and celebrated as a group. “It’s something we really try to implement in our program is to make a tight-knit family,” DaCosta said. “I’ve been playing with some of these girls since I was 4. It’s really a tight family we have here. At this point in the season, we know what we need to do to get the job done. It’s a very close team.”
QUICK HITS: The victory erased a sour taste in the Falcons’ mouths after last year’s double-overtime quarterfinal defeat to Plymouth South on the same field in which D-R lost on an own goal late in the second extra period. “As soon as we made it to the playoffs, we were anxious to come out here and show everyone what we’re made of,” DaCosta said. … Dover-Sherborn had a bye in the First Round and comes into the tournament riding a four-game winning steak as the Tri-Valley League Small Division Champions. “We know they’re a quality team,” Madsen said of D-S. “I think our girls after today are up for any challenge.” … Holliston (14-0-3), the No. 2 seed in Div. 2 South (Behind No. 1 Old Rochester) won the TVL Large Division. … Should the Falcons win on Wednesday, they will play the South Semifinal against either No. 3 Ursuline, No. 6 Norwell or No. 11 Middleboro on a neutral site at Hanover High School. … One thing the Falcons can work on in practice on Tuesday is corner kicks. They had several failed attempts in which the ball was kicked out of bounds on top or to the side of the goal. … Big thanks to Andrew Kelley for letting us use some of his photos from the game. Check out our Facebook page (The Reporter) and our Twitter account (@ReporterSports1) for more of Andrew's pictures. … Archbishop Williams senior captain Sumani Puyenni led the Bishops’ attack, and although they came up empty on the scoreboard, she had several good chances that were thwarted by Reed and the defense. … The D-R boys soccer team was there to cheer on their counterparts. … Taunton Daily Gazette sports scribe Steven Sanchez was on hand to cover the game. His Twitter account (@chezsports) is a must-read during Patriots games. … Only one other South Coast Conference team is left in the Div. 3 South bracket as No. 5 Seekonk plays Tuesday night. ORR, Apponequet and Somerset Berkley are still alive in the Div. 2 South bracket.