LYNNFIELD – In order to upset second-seeded Lynnfield yesterday afternoon, the Bishop Fenwick girls soccer team would’ve had to play its best game for the full 80 minutes of regulation.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, the Crusaders got off to a slow start and allowed a dozen shots on goalie Merry Harrington in the first 40 minutes of play. Lynnfield capitalized, scoring five times and rolling to a 5-1 victory in a Division 3 North quarterfinal at Jordan Park.
“We knew coming in that Lynnfield is a great team,” said Fenwick (1-7-2) coach Karen Guillemette. “That team is No. 2 for a reason ... they have speed and talent and scored some quick goals.”
Five minutes in, the Pioneers took the lead on a Paige MacEachern strike and never looked back. Jess Duhaime made it 2-0, once again capitalizing on a breakdown by the Fenwick defense. Senior captain Jackie Whelan, the Pioneers’ leading scorer, then took over by depositing three shots in the back of the Fenwick net for a 5-0 halftime edge.
Whelan, who now has 25 goals, struck twice in the span of 60 seconds and completed her hat trick with eight minutes left in the half after taking a pass from Hannah Scollard (3 assists).
“We got off to a very good start after having a long layoff,” said Lynnfield (15-2-2) coach Mark Vermont. “Once we got our legs under us we were off and running. Whelan had some fantastic goals; she’s a great finisher. (Goalkeeper) Hannah Travers took the pressure off our defense, and from there it went right through the middle and up to our forwards.”
The Crusaders cranked it up a notch after intermission, and in the 48th minute Annette Ruggiero beat Travers with a high blast into the left corner from 20 yards out after taking a feed from Kate Parrott. Fenwick kept up the intensity for most of the second half, and came very close to scoring again on a laser by Jackie Edgett with 12 minutes remaining. Travers made the save of the day in a jam in front of her net to rob Edgett.
Sophomore Danielle DelTorto made some nice runs and hustled all over the field. Late in the game Merry Harrington was injured, and Fenwick teammate Emily Rocker took over in goal the rest of the way.
“Emma Harrington did a great job in the middle on their No. 22 (Scollard),” said Guillemette. “She was our best player today. Jenny Nasser and Ellen Fantozzi did a nice job on defense, and Ruggiero had a great second half. I’m glad to see the way we played with intensity in the second half.”
The Crusaders are losing 10 seniors, but have several good young players returning, including five sophomores and five freshmen that benefited from the two playoff games.