Ashley Ryan Scores Twice For Mashpee Field Hockey
By: Rich Maclone
Senior night was a good one for the Mashpee High School field hockey team. On a night when the weather improved just before the start of the game, the Falcons surged by the Storm of Sturgis East, 3-0, to run their current unbeaten run to five straight games.
Ashley Ryan scored a pair of goals for Mashpee, and Taylor Chicoine added another as MHS (5-3-1) gave a dominant performance all over the field. Mashpee’s defense was exceptional in front of goalie Sean Mahony, who did not see an offensive flurry of any kind until midway through the second half and stopped the only shot that he faced, which did not come his way until there were just six minutes left to play in regulation. The goalie used his hand pad to push aside the bid as he earned the shutout in the net.
It was Ryan who was the star of the night, though. The forward put the Falcons ahead by scoring two goals in just over five minutes early in the first half.
Her first came during a scramble at the end of a penalty corner. The ball found her in front of the Sturgis East net and she banged it in for a quick 1-0 lead just 3:01 into the contest.
Five minutes later, at the eight minute mark, she struck again with one of the prettiest goals of Mashpee’s season. This time one of the Falcon set plays on the penalty corner worked just as it is drawn up, with a spectacular result. Brianna Ball triggered the ball in play from the baseline, to the right of the keeper, to Ryan, who was on the left side of the circle, lined up outside the near post.
The ball came to Ryan and she kept her head down and drilled the ball with authority for the far post. The shot rocketed toward the net, went right through the legs of a defender, and whistled six inches past the inside of the far post for a 2-0 Mashpee lead.
“That was a beautiful goal; I don’t know what else to say. It was pretty. You couldn’t draw it up any better,” Coach Heather Watson said. “That was field hockey poetry right there.”
There were plenty of other chances along the way, but for most of the game Mashpee held on to its two-goal lead.
Rashida Plummer just missed on a bid that sailed inches wide of the post and Kayla Orlando also flirted with a third MHS goal, but it was Chicoine who finally got the last one for the home team.
With just over 10 minutes to go in the second half, Chicoine came to the ball at the top of the circle after a Sturgis clear attempt and just let into one. Her hard roller barreled toward the keeper, who appeared to get the five-hole shut down just in time to stop the shot. For a heartbeat, both sides stopped as they waited for the goalie to open her feet and kick the ball out of play, but when she did start to separate her feet it was evident that the ball had somehow made it all the way through and into the back of the cage for a 3-0 Mashpee lead.
That finished off a memorable night for the Falcons, who now look ahead to making a bid at a spot in the MIAA state tournament. The next step along the way is a visit to East Bridgewater High School this afternoon, and tomorrow the team boats over to Nantucket to play the Whalers.
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