Sometimes a tie isn’t so bad.
Remaining undefeated for the season, at 3-0-1, the Mashpee High School girls’ soccer team rallied from a 1-0 deficit to draw even against Rockland in the second half and finish in a 1-1 tie against the Bulldogs.
Without offensive catalyst and leading scorer Sam Kersey, and facing one of the best goaltenders in the state in Emma Cameron, Mashpee dominated the second half and came ever so close to keeping its winning streak alive. Mashpee was also without one of its top defenders for the game, Stella Stecei, who was out sick.
Senior midfielder Callia Eaton picked up a good deal of the slack with Kersey not able to play due to injury. Eaton was excellent throughout the game, especially in the second half, as she wheeled through defenders as if she had the ball on a string. Twice in the final minutes she came close to breaking the tie with break-ins, coming closest on the second opportunity with three minutes left. Dancing through two defenders, Eaton got free with just Cameron between her and the goal.
“I can’t find the back of the net,” Eaton joked. “She came out; I thought I had her. I thought I could do one move around her and get open, I really should have just shot sooner. It was a bad call on my part. I could do it against some other goalies, but she’s really good.”
While that move did not work, a play that Eaton made in the 56th minute worked to get the game even. The midfielder flew up the right side, got deep into the zone and fired a shot at Cameron from a tough angle. The Rockland goalie dove to bat the ball out, but it landed right on the foot of Ava DeSimone, who popped in the rebound to tie the game up.
“I was bringing it down and I got a shot off—their goalie was really good—and I shot it and she dove and it went out, and Ava was in the perfect spot and she just kicked it in. It was like the perfect play,” Eaton said.
DeSimone also came close to giving Mashpee a lead about 10 minutes later, with a volley from 20 yards out on the left wing. The Mashpee attacker chipped the ball high from near the sideline and it carried over Cameron’s head and into the back of the goal, but the referee ruled the play offside.
“We played with a lot of heart. That’s what you can say about these guys. They give me everything that they have,” coach Patricia Morano said. “In the first half we were shooting everything in the air, and she’s really impressive in the air, so we focused on shooting it low and that’s how we scored. She tipped it, but Ava ran onto it. I have a smart team, and we talked about it at halftime, getting the ball on the ground and looking for a rebound. I wanted them to go near post a few times, and that would open up the far post, and they got it right.”