The Salem News
---- — A somewhat fluky goal — and airtight play defensively — has the Ipswich High girls soccer team playing for the Division 3 North championship today against Weston in a rematch of the 2010 final.
The Tigers, seeded 14th out of 19 teams in the tournament draw, advanced to the North final Saturday after upsetting St. Mary’s of Lynn, 1-0, at Bishop Fenwick in Peabody.
Sophie Marsh scored the game’s only goal 17 minutes into the second half for Ipswich when she dribbled up the sideline and fired a pass into the box that hit off the post and crossed the goal line in front of teammate Lia Ziegler, who was there just in case the inital shot didn’t cross over the line.
Meanwhile, junior Claire Gardner shut down one of St. Mary’s top offensive threats while Molly Markos stopped all 10 shots she faced for Ipswich (11-4-7).
“It’s the best game I’ve ever seen out of Claire. She had a really speedy, strong player she needed to contain and she was winning airballs,
getting right up against her (opponent) and not letting her go anywhere,” said Ipswich girls soccer coach Nancy Waddell. “(St. Mary’s) had a hard time getting their attack started.”
Waddell also highlighted the play of sophomore midfielder Ellie Swenson and her defensive showing.
St. Mary’s, the No. 7 seed, finished the season at 13-5-2.