In its return to the Division 4 South Sectional playoffs, the Upper Cape Tech girls’ soccer team suffered an opening-round shutout to a division rival to end its otherwise memorable season.
Traveling to Walpole to meet eighth-seeded Norfolk Aggie on Monday, November 4, the Rams were shutout against their Mayflower Athletic Conference Small Division rival, 6-0.
“With players returning from what has been a legitimately injury-plagued season our hopes entering the game,” second-year head coach Paul Ahern said.
Add to it that UCT split its regular season home finale with Norfolk Aggie in Bourne, 3-3, a game in which the Rams had 3-2 lead before NA tied the game in the waning moments to salvage a point, and there was good reason for the ninth-seed to be upset-minded.
“We never trailed in that [previous] game,” he said. “We were looking to build off of that performance.”
Unfortunately, the game did not play out the way UCT had hoped for. Norfolk Aggie spread out its scoring throughout the course of the 80-minute game, never letting its foot off the gas pedal.
Ahern pointed out that senior Taylor Charlton stood out offensively for the Rams, generating shots, crosses and a number of different combination moves.
“The fact that the team earned a berth in the tournament is a testament to the bench and junior varsity players who stepped up in the long absences of injured starting players,” he said.
He went on to add that the lone consolation to his team’s opening-round loss is that he wouldn’t have to coach against his daughters and undefeated Sturgis West, the top seed in Division 4 South, in the quarterfinal round.
Norfolk Aggie felt the wrath of the Ahern’s daughters and the Navigators as they captured an 8-1 win to remain unbeaten at 16-0. Ahern’s daughter, Sydney, had a goal in the win.
UCT concluded its season with a record of 8-7-4 and a 6-1-1 record in the MAC-Small. Its only conference non-wins were to Norfolk Aggie.