Central Catholic Raiders Girls Soccer '11

Defending state champion Central eliminated

Central Catholic girls soccer, being the defending Division 1 state champion, had a huge target on its back all season, coach Casey Grange said. 

"It's not easy defending a state title," Grange said. "They (the girls) had a target larger than their backs on their back all season." 

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Girls Soccer, 11/06/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Escapes hangover


After battling Andover to a 1-1 tie two days earlier, Central Catholic's girls soccer team  was not emotionally high for Matignon yesterday, but the Raiders rallied for a 3-2 victory, scoring with only a minute remaining on an Alex Nagri goal assisted from Alexa Poulin, who had two assists on the day.

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Girls Soccer, 10/22/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover and Central play to tie, could meet again

ANDOVER — They are all thinking about it whether they will admit it or not.  
Each coach and player from both Andover and Central girls soccer has to be thinking about the high probability that these two rival programs will meet in the Division 1 North tournament — and that the winner likely will advance to the state final four. 
Central and Andover probably are the two best teams in this part of the state with Central being the defending Division 1 champion and Andover being ranked No. 1 in Massachusetts girls soccer right now. 
“That would be an interesting matchup in the tournament, wouldn’t it?” Central coach Casey Grange said about the possibility of an Andover vs. Central do-or-die showdown.
The two MVC rivals played to a 1-1 tie here at Andover High last night.
“We’re both great teams, and I think it was great competition on the field tonight,” said Andover’s Gabby Cappello, who scored the contest’s first goal during the first half. “We can’t keep our heads down. It’s a tie. We need to move on and keep progressing.”
There are two other teams — Lexington and Winchester — from this part of the state that might be better than Central. The Raiders lost 2-1 to Winchester this past Saturday and will play talented Lexington on Nov. 1. 
But Central certainly will be no pushover in the tourney. Neither will Andover who has outscored its opponents 33-2 this fall. 
Central sophomore Courtney Walsh’s game tying goal in the second half of yesterday’s match was only the second goal Andover has allowed all season.  
Golden Warriors keeper Emily Wilson and the Andover defense had gone 11 contests without allowing a goal before last night.  
Walsh said tying Andover is a confidence booster for Central.   
“Tying them, I guess it means that we can hold our own and beat anyone,” Walsh said, adding she knows her team probably will play Andover again.
Andover beat Central 1-0 on Sept. 22. Back then, the Raiders were ranked No. 2 in the Adidas/National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll. 
Much has changed since then. Andover is the program everyone is talking about. Andover is the big story.
“We were looking for a win and we wanted it so bad,” Wilson said. “We wanted to really make a statement and show that we could beat them twice.” 
No such luck though for Andover as Central seemed to have made more of a statement. 
“This was a total turnaround from the last time we played them,” Grange said. “Last time we played them, they scored early and we completely panicked and shut down. And they just completely dominated us. This time, they scored and we didn’t drop our heads. We picked it up that much more.”  
Andover coach Meghan Matson said her team didn’t play as well it could have and that the Golden Warriors were tired after playing games Monday and Tuesday. 
“We didn’t play our best game,” Matson said. “We were tired and we got out-hustled a little bit tonight. So we know that if we meet up with them in the state tournament that it’s going to be a great game. It was a great game the first time we played them. We definitely played a better game and we dominated more in the first game. Every time we play Central it’s emotionally driven. We’ve just got to figure out a way to finish.”  
Matson said this year’s group of girls is the best team she has ever coached at Andover.
“I had some really good talent when I first came in (eight years ago),” Matson said. “We were nationally ranked. We had some excellent players. We were a tough team. But this team is the most talented team I’ve coached.”
Central’s Kate Mahoney stopped five shots. Wilson stopped four shots. 
“I think we’re equally as talented (as Central) if not more,” Wilson said. “We can definitely play them and beat them.” 
If Central had won, both the Raiders and Golden Warriors would have been tied for first place in the MVC. 
Andover remains in first place. If the Golden Warriors win their two remaining conference games, they will be MVC champs. 

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Girls Soccer, 10/20/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Wilson's win

Senior Courtney Wilson made the most of her first start, combining with Kate Mahoney for the win as Central Catholic girls soccer whipped Matignon 7-2. Courtney Walsh scored twice while Megan Rauseo and Alex Poulin added a goal and an assist apiece.

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Girls Soccer, 10/13/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Sweet 16

Courtney Walsh celebrated her 16th birthday by scoring the lone goal in Central's 1-0 victory over Tewksbury.

Kate Mahoney, meanwhile, stopped three shots for her third straight shutout and her fifth shutout this season. 

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Girls Soccer, 10/06/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Defensive dominance

Maggie Carey stepped up big-time for Central Catholic, shutting down Chelmsford's leading scorer as part of the Raiders' 2-0 victory. Sophomore Stephanie May also turned in a strong effort at defender in the victory.

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Girls Soccer, 09/28/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Marvelous Melody

Melody Rutherford was brilliant but her 21 saves weren't quite enough for Methuen as Central Catholic girls soccer prevailed 2-1. Alexa Poulin and Courtney Walsh scored for the winners.

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Girls Soccer, 09/24/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover girls soccer topples Central, the No. 2 team in US

Now that’s the way to proclaim, “We’re back!”
Last night at Lawrence Stadium, Andover toppled mighty Central Catholic, 1-0.
Not only is Central the defending Division 1 state champ, but the Raiders are ranked No. 2 in the Adidas/National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll.
But No. 2 went down as senior midfielder Lauren Pien scored four minutes into the game and sophomore keeper Emily Wilson (8 saves) made it stand up.
“We knew going in we had a good team,” said eighth-year Andover coach Meghan Matson. “We knew this was the year we could give Central a run for its money.”
Central has gotten the best of Andover of late (5-0-1 in previous three years) but there was no fear in the Golden Warriors.
“They were super fired up and ready. I don’t think we were nervous,” said Matson.
It never hurts to get that first goal and Pien took care of that. She took a Hannah LeBlanc cross, settled the ball, maneuvered toward the corner and drilled the game-winner.
“It was a beautiful goal,” said Matson.
But there was a long, long way to go. Central didn’t go down quietly.
“They had some very good opportunities,” noted Matson. “Our goalie saved the game for us. And a minute after we scored, Sarah Van Antwerp cleared the ball off the line.”
Matson also gave praise to Michelle Gagnon on defense and Sophie Draper and Courtney Grygiel up top.
This signals the official return of historically strong Andover, which over the previous three years was just a combined two games over .500 (26-24-12).
Andover improved to 6-0-1 while Central dropped to 4-1. Despite its impressive start, Andover earned little respect. The Golden Warriors were unranked in the ESPN Boston top 20 statewide poll and didn’t crack the Boston Globe’s EMass preseason top 20. Central was No. 1 in both.
“We’ve been underestimated a bit,” said Matson.
Casey Grange, whose club lost for the first time since Game 2 of the 2010 season, had nothing but praise for Andover.
“You have to hand it to Andover,” said the second-year coach. “They definitely took it to us. I think it will help us in the end but it stings right now.”
She didn’t deny there was a lot of pressure being No. 2 in the US, which may have been the highest national ranking ever for a local team in any sport.
“It’s great to say we are the second best team in the country,” she said, “but everybody is gunning to beat the No. 2 team in the country. It’s not exactly easy. The better team won tonight.”

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Girls Soccer, 09/23/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Walsh to the rescue

Staggering through a scoreless tie with Billerica, Courtney Walsh scored late in the first half and at the start of the second half to power Central Catholic to a 5-0 soccer victory. Walsh also assisted on the third Raider goal while defensive excellence was provided by Maggie Carey and Stephanie Nay.

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Girls Soccer, 09/17/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

A little revenge

Central Catholic girls soccer avenged the only loss of its 2010 state championship season, beating Danvers 4-1. Alex Riddle had a goal and an assist to lead the Raiders.

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Girls Soccer, 09/15/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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