Central Catholic Raiders Girls Soccer '10

Sun, Nov 14, 2010 05:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1st 2nd OT Final
Westford Academy 0 1 0 1
Central Catholic 0 1 1 2

Central wins Division 1 North final in OT

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Sunday, November, 14 By Chuck Frye
Staff writer

LYNN — Alex Riddle’s entry pass was so slow that recipient Gabie Polce’s entire soccer career flashed before her eyes.
“I was thinking this is all I’ve worked for since I was 3 years old,” the Central Catholic senior said about the second overtime sequence, “to get to my senior year and make it past the (Division 1) North finals.“
When the ball finally traversed the Manning Field turf to Polce, the senior redirected it past lunging goalie Jessica Underhill and into the Westford Academy goal, making every Raiders’ dream come true.
For the first time ever, Central (16-1-3) won the sectional championship, 2-1, and will move on to the state semifinals against South champ Franklin (19-2-1) tomorrow at Manning Field at 5 p.m.
“That was probably the slowest rolling ball I’ve ever seen in my life,” Polce said. “I don’t even remember how it got to me. It’s just that it was the last 10 (minutes of overtime), this is my senior year and I’m not ready for this to be done.”
Riddle added: “I saw Gabie making the run and I just kind of lifted it up over the defense hoping she’d be there. I had it in my mind, I had the vision and Gabie was there to put it away, finish it off.”
It was a glorious end to a marathon day for Central as the starting time for its game was pushed back more than one and a half hours due to two earlier tourney contests going to shootouts.
After a scoreless first half due to highway robberies by stellar Raiders netminder Jane Hatzikonstantis (seven saves) on shots by Caitlyn Paltsios and Jennifer Larrick, the third seeds struck first.
Taking a direct kick from 35 yards out at the 55th minute, senior Mikayla Hickey hooked the ball over Underhill and into the top right corner of the cage, burying her head into her hands after the ball touched the twine.
“I had an adrenaline rush,” Hickey detailed of her second tourney direct kick goal, the first kicking off an 8-0 rout of Everett. “Honestly, I don’t know what I felt till it went in. Thinking about it makes me tear up, it was unbelievable.”
Ninth-seed Westford struck back 11 minutes later when Rachel Mahan headed in a perfect Larrick corner kick, but all it did was charge the Raiders up.
“I didn’t know how the team would react after having a goal scored on them,” head coach Casey Grange said of a now-broken streak of 10 straight shutouts as Tewksbury last found the mark on Oct. 8. “It didn’t even faze them, really, they just got hungrier. We kept attacking right from the kickoff after (Westford) scored.”
After four-star scoring attempts in regulation from Polce and Riddle and from Courtney Walsh in the second extra session, the end finally came.
“On paper, our goal was to get past the second round of the tourney because that’s where we’ve been stuck for a couple of years,” Grange said. “But the second we did that, I said cross that off, we’ve got to win the North. Now we can cross that off and just go all the way. We might as well.”

Central Catholic 2,
Westford Academy 1 (2 OT)
Goals: CC — Mikayla Hickey, Gabie Polce; WA — Rachel Mahan
Assists: CC — Alex Riddle; WA — Jennifer Larrick
Saves: CC — Jane Hatzikonstantis 7; WA — Jessica Underhill 9
Westford Academy (14-6-2):    0 1 0 0 — 1
Central Catholic (16-1-3):    0 1 0 1 — 2

Game Statistics:

Goals: CC — Mikayla Hickey, Gabie Polce; WA — Rachel Mahan

Assists: CC — Alex Riddle; WA — Jennifer Larrick

Saves: CC — Jane Hatzikonstantis 7; WA — Jessica Underhill 9

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