MARBLEHEAD — The Division 2 semifinal battle between No. 2 seed Marblehead and No. 3 Wayland was an exciting, well-played game that was tied six times.
But two words made all the difference in this one: Tyler Phillips.
The Marblehead High senior scored six goals, including her final tally with just over a minute remaining as the Magicians shaded Wayland, 13-12, to advance to the North final..
“We came into the game knowing the two teams were evenly matched; it was foot-for-foot, step-for-step all the way,” said Marblehead (18-2-1) coach Annie Pugh. “Wayland is athletic and strong; we knew we had to play our best game to beat them.
“We’ve worked so hard to get to this point; sacrifice and dedication to the program by everybody on the team. I can’t say enough about the support we received from all the elementary kids here and the community that is behind us. That means a lot to us.”
Marblehead now faces top-seeded Winchester (a 12-6 winner over Manchester Essex) tomorrow at 5 p.m. for the Division 2 North title.
On the game-winner, Phillips was set up by Cassie Rodgers after the latter brought the ball all the way downfield and found Phillips, who fired a high shot past sophomore goalie Anna Downs.
“I never thought that would be the winning goal,” said the Skidmore-bound Phillips, a center midfielder who was also a big factor on draw controls for the Magicians. “I don’t look to put the ball any special place; I just try to get whatever shot that I can.
“This was such a tight, back-and-forth game. We got a little nervous when they took the lead, but we kept out composure.”
Phillips scored Marblehead’s last three goals. With the game tied at 10-10 and 7:08 remaining, Phillips fired a high shot past Downs, but Wayland answered with goals by Any Cunningham (2 goals, 2 assists) and Emily Barnard (2 goals) to take a 12-11 lead with just over four minutes left.