Chances were numerous for each team, and some were glorious, but neither goaltender proved to be porous in a game that ended scoreless on Tuesday night.
Just shortly after the United States had played 90 nil-nil regulation minutes in Brazil at the World Cup, the Mashpee and Sandwich squads from the Cape Cod Women’s Soccer League followed suit. The two teams took turns having the better halves, with Sandwich owning most of the first 45 minutes, and Mashpee dominating the latter half. Neither of the game squads were able to solve the other’s goaltender, though, as they played to a goal-less completion.
Mashpee saw its record move to 3-2-1 on the season so far with the deadlock. The draw, the first for Sandwich, moved the team’s record to 1-4-1 overall for the 2014 season.
The effort was one of the better ones for Sandwich so far for the year. The squad did a very nice job of controlling the midfield during the first half, and had number of quality scoring chances during that span of time.
“We played them even. We’ve been working on jelling, now we just have to work on putting a few more goals in,” Sandwich manager Paul Gannett said.
Sandwich nearly pulled out an upset win in the final minutes, with their lone quality second half scoring chance. Mashpee had dominated the majority of the final 45 minutes, but with about three minutes left to go, the home team came close when Kenna Garrison came away with a 50-50 ball on the left side, just outside the box, and sent it right across the middle for Megan Congro. The forward connected solidly, sending a rocket towards the Blues’ net, but Mashpee keeper Maggie Levangie leapt stop the bid.
Chances for Mashpee came regularly in the second half, but Sandwich keeper Kasey Noonan came up with a number of big stops. She leapt to deny a Holly Sessler bid in the 60th minute, gobbling up a snipe that was headed just under the crossbar. In the 72nd minute, Noonan dove to her left to steal away a quality chance off the foot of Natalie Benjamin, who tried to beat the goalie long to the far side, but couldn’t sneak it in.
Mashpee also had a couple of nice scoring opportunities that just missed the net. With two minutes to go, Michaela Moran’s free kick from 30-yards out was struck authoritatively, but blew just wide of the near post. In the 58th minute, Lily Peterson sent Benjamin up the right side with a beautiful diagonal pass into open space. Benjamin struck a hard shot well, but it flew high over the crossbar.
Defensively, both teams were recipients of strong individual play. Moran and Kristen Knight were stalwarts in the back for Mashpee, as was Aurianna Franco, who crisscrossed the field with reckless abandon throughout the evening. Sandwich’s Allie Lizotte, Jessie Lizotte and Erin Hurley were all thorns in Mashpee’s side, limiting the opportunities of their dynamic attackers, Alexa Yow and Izabella Miranda, regularly throughout the contest.
“They’ve got to play the ball around and get it in quicker. We did that in the second half, but it was just one of those games where you couldn’t buy a goal, even if they were selling them cheaply,” Mashpee manager Kevin Radford said.