Johnston Takes Control

Mashpee High’s Brooke Johhnston fends off Falmouth forward Ariana Silvia during the first half of the two team’s opening-day battle on September 3. Mashpee rallied to tie Falmouth, 1-1.

A day after an extremely close-knit and entertaining opening game, the Mashpee High School girls’ soccer team enjoyed a much easier day at work with a contest on the road against St. John Paul II. The Falcons ran out to a 4-0 lead by halftime and cruised to an 9-1 win over the Lions, securing their first win of the season.

Mashpee is now 1-0-1 overall.

Senior Ashley Keleher and sophomore Sam Kersey had two goals apiece and five other players netted goals in Mashpee’s lopsided win. “We showed solid teamwork and effort despite having to play back-to-back games,” Coach Julienne McCuish said Wednesday, September 4.

Mashpee needed 17 minutes to break the ice, but then the goals flowed. Kersey started it and then Keleher scored twice before Kersey’s second made it 4-0 late in the first half.

In the second half the Falcons got goals from Emma Holmes, Caroline Shields, Emmas Morry, AbbyThompson and Tassia McGrail. McGrail’s goal was her first in a varsity uniform.

Mashpee 1, Falmouth 1

Opening Day between the Falmouth and Mashpee High School girls’ soccer teams was everything it was supposed to be. Playmakers made plays, grinders ground and two evenly matched squads played to an exciting 1-1 draw at Falmouth High School.

The game’ on Tuesday, September 3, was the first of the year for both clubs. Unfortunately it was not the first game to be officially played on the new All-Purpose Field at FHS. An equipment issue with the soccer nets prevented the game from being held there and moved the contest to the Clippers previous home field inside the now-torn-up Kalperis Track.

Each team got a goal from one of its young standouts and the two defenses played exceptionally throughout the game as Falmouth and Mashpee played to the draw. Falmouth’s goal came late in the first half by freshman Elizabeth Janes.

Recognizing the double teams that she’d been drawing all day from the MHS defense, Falmouth junior Ari Silvia slipped a pass from the top of the box to Janes on the right side for a low and hard snipe that whistled by Abby Dorman in the 36th minute of play.

“At this early stage of the season, we just like that those opportunities are happening,” FHS head coach Cory Dubuque said following his first official game on the bench for the varsity program. “I liked what we saw from the young players… I have some great girls out there.”

That goal nearly stood up for the whole game, but the hard-pressing Falcons came back to tie it up in the 75th minute. The middle of the Falmouth defense, primarily Erin Boudrot and Olivia Peterson, had done a great job of keeping MHS sniper Sam Kersey under wraps for the bulk of the game, but the talented sophomore made the most of a Falmouth mistake and put it away to tie the score.

Kersey stole the ball from the Clippers at the top of the box and got inside the defense. She made a move to the middle and then used the outside of her right foot to beat a diving Anya Thomas to the near side pipe to knot the score up.

Falmouth carried the first half and probably should have led by more than just one goal. Silvia hit the crossbar on an early bid and Jasmine Moran’s bid for just under the bar was tipped just over the iron by Dorman to keep the game scoreless midway through the first. With Janes putting Falmouth ahead late in the half, the home team seemed to have the momentum, but they were never able to put the Falcons away.

“The first half we didn’t have as much energy, but there was a shift of momentum in the second half,” Mashpee coach Julienne McCuish said. “After halftime we seemed to wake up and played our game. Kersey had great composure to finish that at the end. They were all over her in the first half, double- and triple-teamed. That was a team goal. Caroline (Shields) sent the ball through and Kersey finished it. Emma Holmes sparked a lot of offensive opportunities in the first half as well.”

After hanging around for most of the game, the Falcons took over late. After Kersey tied it the visitors had a bid to take the lead, but Thomas came up with a big stop to keep the game knotted up.

What doesn’t show up on the scoresheet was the game inside the game as Falmouth’s best offensive player, Silvia, battled all afternoon against Mashpee’s top defender, Ashley Keleher. Typically Silvia has a noticeable speed advantage against defenders she plays against, but Keleher—a track star at Mashpee—stayed with the quick Clipper and broke up a number of plays that normally would have resulted in the ball being in the back of the goal.

“Ashley was huge back there. We trust her, we rely on her. She uses her speed and doesn’t get distracted,” McCuish said of Keleher.

“They have similar speed. We’re hoping in the future that Ari will have the advantage (against other teams), so Ari had to be creative. Elizabeth realized that Ari was getting bogged down, so she got open. I think some of our my girls started to recognize that (space) was opening up in other places.”

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