Girls’ soccer shocked by No. 8 Duxbury on PK’sBy Jay Turner
Almost a year removed from its magical run to the Division 2 state finals, the highly ranked and uber-talented Canton High girls’ soccer team suffered the ultimate heartbreak on Friday, losing on penalty kicks against the lower-seeded Duxbury Dragons in the Division 2 south sectional semifinals.
To characterize the Bulldogs’ 2-1 defeat as anything less than a shocker would be understating things — they had the superior roster and severely outplayed Duxbury for most of the game — but such was their fate on a night when the Dragon goalie had what both coaches agreed was the “game of her life.”
“She was brilliant,” said Canton head coach Paul Turner of Duxbury’s Heather Dorn. “She must have made 16 to 18 saves, including five or six that were just spectacular.”
Turner said some of the Bulldogs’ scoring woes were due to poor finishing, but they still had countless quality chances, including a few attempts by senior standout Lauren Berman “that you would normally put your mortgage on.”
Berman did manage to get on the scoreboard late in the first half, netting the game-tying goal with about four minutes to go before halftime. But that was all she could muster as Dorn came up with stop after stop throughout the second half and the two overtime periods.
Turner said the Bulldogs literally had their way with Duxbury after halftime and were so dominant that Canton keeper Kristen Burns didn’t see a single shot attempt.
“We played poorly in the first 10 minutes of the first half, but after that the game wasn’t close,” he said. “We just couldn’t score.”
Duxbury went on to make three of its five penalty kicks, while Canton could only manage two — one by senior Meg Lennon and the other by Berman.
“It was just heartbreaking,” Turner said of the defeat. “It was a really hard way to end it, but we have to move on and be proud of what we achieved.”
The Bulldogs finished the season with an overall record of 16-2-1 with 11 shutouts. They outscored opponents 81-14 behind a memorable campaign from Berman, who ended her final season with 46 goals.
Last year’s squad, which featured many of the same players, came within one goal of a state title. They defeated Duxbury in the sectional finals and Newburyport in the state semifinals before falling to central champion Auburn 1-0 in the Division 2 state championship game.
“I’m heartbroken [over Friday’s loss],” acknowledged Turner, “but I’m really proud of this team. I think we’ve put Canton girls’ soccer back on the map, and now it’s my job to keep it that way.”
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