Sad music and plenty of tears filled the Mashpee High School girls’ soccer team’s bus on the long ride home from Blackstone Valley Tech on Tuesday, November 9. The Falcons, after dominating their first-round game in the MIAA state tournament, succumbed to the Beavers on the road by a 4-1 score and were eliminated from the Division 4 field.
A fast start by the 5th-seeded Beavers set the tone for a tough day for Mashpee. Blackstone scored two goals in the first 10 minutes and then made it 3-0 halfway through. Mashpee senior forward Sam Kersey scored to cut the deficit to 3-1, off a feed from Hailey Garcia, with about 10 minutes to go in the first half, but the home team answered before the halftime horn. Neither team was able to score in the second half, but the three-goal advantage was enough for BVT to move on to the round of eight.
“When we made it 3-1, we all felt like, ‘OK, we’re back in this thing,’” senior co-captain Callia Eaton said after the game. “Then they got the last one, and we kind of let down.”
Fellow co-captain Sam Morry said that Blackstone’s ability to take advantage of its surroundings was a difference in the match. She explained that the field that the Beavers play on has a much harder surface than the Falcons are used to playing on, and that the home team had a great plan of attack.
“They liked to play the ball in the air, we knew that they’d do that, but it’s tough to defend and they killed us on that. My job is to slide to the ball there, but they were able to beat us with speed, and there were a lot of 2-on-1’s,” Morry said.
MHS cleaned things up on defense in the second half, but could not penetrate the BVT defense.
“We did a lot better in the second half, especially defensively,” Kersey said. “I would just say that they were going really hard defensively. We had opportunities, but we just didn’t take advantage of them.”
The hardest part, the Falcons said, was knowing that this chapter of life was coming to an end. Eaton, Morry, Kersey, Skylar Rimple and Alexa Garcia have been teammates for as long as they can remember.
“We’ve all played together for so long, since we were four years old,” Eaton said.
On Saturday, November 6, the Falcons got off to a fast start against Tyngsboro and dominated the No. 21 seed in the tournament, 6-2. The Mashpee offense was on fire from the get-go, scoring its first three goals in the opening 13 minutes, with Hailey Garcia getting two and Kersey one, and they never looked back. Garcia went on to net four goals in the lopsided win, and Kersey had the other two.