Sometimes a slow start can be the undoing of a team. Despite playing well against a tough Dedham Marauders team, a rough opening 12 minutes saw the Norton High girls' team give up two-goals to Dedham in their first round match in the MIAA Division 2 South Sectional Tournament. The Lancers were unable to fully recover as their season ended with a 3-1 loss to the Marauders.
The Lancers fell behind in the seventh minute when Libby Masalsky banged one in for Dedham to take a 1-0 lead. The Marauders were not done as a shot from Jenna Savi from 25 yards out found the back of the net in the 12th minute of play.
With two goals within five minutes of each other, the Lancers were forced to take a time out and try to regroup.
“We knew we had to score goals. We knew one wasn't going to be enough tonight - at one point we knew two wasn't going to be enough because what I've heard about them is that they are a good offensive team,” said Dedham coach Don Savi.
The Lancers were able to cut the lead in half in the 31st minute when Paige Almeida was able to get the ball near the goal off a free kick and score for the Lancers.
The Marauders tried to extend the lead in the 33rd minute with a far free kick by Savi. Unlike the last time she took a long range shot, Norton goalkeeper Jennifer Kilburn was able to get just high enough to get the save and keep the Lancers within striking distance.
The Lancers started the second half by attempting to shoot from far out. The practice which had been successful all season, was more difficult to perform this time around due to a strong Dedham defense.
“It was tough to get any space. They smothered us in spots and a lot of our players are use to that but it's a better team than some of the teams we see and they did a nice job,” said Norton coach Todd Kefor.
A shot by Dedham off the right post almost ended the game in the 72nd minute, but it would be another deflection in the 74th that would be the game ender. Another Dedham shot from off the crossbar was quickly rebounded by Masalsky for her second goal of the night. The shot all but ended the game and the season for the Lancers.
It was a tough loss for a team looking for more than a quick tournament exit. The draw against Dedham was going to be a difficult match but it was nothing that was out of the Lancers’ league.
“We knew they (Dedham) were a strong team and I think they prepared well and I thought they played very well. We tried to play our game, our possession game where we pass and dribble. We knew they would do more kick and run with the two strong forwards up top and they definitely were strong players,” said Kefor.
Dedham will play their quarterfinal matchup against either Cardinal Spellman or Dighton Rehoboth Nov. 9.