Girls soccer falls to Medfield in D2 south quarters

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There is a well-worn cliché heard in sports that “neither team deserved to lose,” but that was absolutely the case on Saturday when the CHS girls soccer season came to a heartbreaking end after a 2-0 loss to Medfield before a packed crowd at the CHS turf field.

Sophomore Riley Duserick (Mike Barucci photo)

Sophomore Riley Duserick (Mike Barucci photo)

Seeded third in the Division 2 south sectional bracket and coming off an opening round win over No. 14 Foxboro, the Bulldogs were technically the favorites but knew they would have a battle on their hands against the sixth-seeded Warriors (11-4-4).

Ultimately, fans for both teams were the winners as they witnessed a well-executed soccer game on both ends of the field. At the end of the game the fans cheered for each respective team, letting the players know how much they respected what each team had accomplished and in the case of CHS, expressing appreciation for an exciting and fun season.

Sidney Joline provided the difference in the game as her drive on a penalty kick from 25 yards out with about 10 minutes left sailed high and wide in front of Canton’s outstanding goalie Kathryn Doody, sneaking just inside the far post to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.

“It wasn’t savable by any stretch of the imagination,” said Canton head coach Kate Howarth afterwards. “It is what it is; you can’t do anything about it.”

Medfield coach Mike LaFrancesca said Joline has the hardest shot he has seen in his 20 years of coaching. “Having a weapon like that is so important,” he said. “That was the difference tonight.”

Medfield tacked on an insurance goal with less than a minute to play when Doody found herself with too few defensive players around her as most were further up on the offensive end hoping for a tying goal.

Saturday’s game featured several exciting moments, including a battle between Medfield defender Sarah Crofts and Canton’s top scorer Tessa Cudmore on a 1-1 breakaway late in the game. Much earlier in the game, Doody made a lunging save, the ball squirted away from her, and there was a scramble in front of the net with Canton defenders clearing the ball while Doody regained her position.

Medfield goalie Sarah Graham was equally tested. “I think we did a good job of being dangerous on the chances we had,” said Howarth. “I think we had more dangerous chances than they did, but we just couldn’t finish one.”

Defensively, the Canton back line of Sarah Connelly, Hayley Mulford, Sarah Collins, Shannon Foley, and Sarah MacQuarrie were exceptional in keeping Medfield contained and booting long balls to set up the offense.

“Are they two goals better than us? Absolutely not,” said Howarth. “But that’s part of the reason you play the game and you love the game because any given day anyone can beat any team. We didn’t play badly at all. We played with more intensity than we had all season. We played the way we needed to and they got lucky and that’s part of the game.”

Earlier in the week, the lady Bulldogs won their tournament opener, defeating Foxboro 2-0 for the third time this season. Cudmore got Canton on the board just 27 seconds into the game on a strike from the corner of the field. Hannah Link scored midway through the second half to ice the win for Canton.

“Often beating a team three times is hard to do,” said Howarth, “but we played strong throughout the game and did what we had to do to win.”

Overall, the Canton girls finished the season at 13-5-1. They placed second in the Hockomock’s Davenport Division behind Oliver Ames and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 41-20.

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