In the 19th minute, Dowd got behind the defense and finished for the game’s first goal and a 1-0 South lead.
Digiacomo made some nice saves as the North outshot the South 8-3 in the first half, including one she leaped to punch away, (“I got some height on that one,” she said). Defenders like Bishop Fenwick’s Gina Vellucci and Becky Mercuro helped break up some attacks and Danvers’ Renee Pohle was particularly strong in the box.
With 2:54 left in the opening half, North finally broke through when Amesbury’s Megan Cullen converted a 2-on-1 chance.
The defenders certainly weren’t as physical as they typically are in a regular season contest, but that didn’t take away from the spirit of the game.
“It was fun. My strength is more athleticism and this was more of a skill game, so some things were a struggle, but it was cool,” said Ipswich’s Brigid O’Flynn, who played well in the middle for the North. “It’s great to get a chance to play with girls outside our league and some of the girls we read about during the season.”
“Everyone was enjoying it out there,” Ipswich defender Courtney Long added. “It was a good time and it was great to be out there getting to know people.”
Melrose’s Olivia Downey scored three minutes into the second half to give the North a 2-1 lead. South brought all kinds of pressure from Digiacomo, Swampscott’s Erin Cassidy, Salem’s Joy Lima and Beverly’s Meggie Manzo, but North MVP and goalie Lauren Flynn of Central Catholic came up with some excellent stops to keep her team in the lead.
With about 17 minutes to go, Dowd had her best save when she got her hands on a high shot that bounced off the crossbar and directly to a North attacker. Dowd made the second save to keep the game 1-1.