Girls Soccer: Mahar advances to Div. 3 quarterfinals

  • Mahar’s Carra Fitzgerald, right, takes a shot past Drury defender Madeline Nesbit to score in the second half Tuesday night at the Woodward Athletic Complex in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Mahar’s Siobhan Davis, second from right, clears the ball away from Drury’s Elli Miles (9) and Jacqueline Moulton in the first half Tuesday night at the Woodward Athletic Complex in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Mahar’s Sienna Moore, left, shoots past Drury defender Tess Zoito in the second half Tuesday night at the Woodward Athletic Complex in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Mahar’s Brynn Adams, left, fights for possession against Drury’s Elli Miles in the second half Tuesday night at the Woodward Athletic Complex in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Mahar’s Sienna Moore, right, fights to get the ball past Drury goalie Mackenzie Dobbert on a breakaway in the first half Tuesday night at the Woodward Athletic Complex in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 11/5/2019 9:20:50 PM
Modified: 11/5/2019 10:22:30 PM

ORANGE — The final score doesn’t indicate how dominant the Mahar Regional girls soccer team was Tuesday in the first round of the Western Mass Div. 3 tournament. 

The No. 3 Senators (16-1-2) looked like the favorites throughout against No. 14 Drury (6-11-2), controlling possession from start-to-finish and holding an 18-7 shot advantage to advance with a 2-0 victory. 

Mahar will take on Mount Greylock in the quarterfinals at a date and time to be determined. 

“We played a very responsible game,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said. “I thought our defenders did a real solid job keeping them in front of us. We scored a couple goals, wish we had a couple more but that’s soccer.” 

The Senators were applying relentless pressure throughout the first half, but the Blue Devils did a great job of defending and not allowing Mahar to put anything on the scoreboard. 

In the regular season meeting between Drury and the Senators, Mahar forward Delaney Parker went off, scoring six goals in a 6-2 win. 

The Blue Devils made sure to swarm her anytime she touched the ball on offense the second time around, doing a good job of forcing the ball off her foot for the majority of the game. 

Like good players do, they still find ways to make plays even when the defense is focusing on them. Parker did just that in the 27th minute, taking a pass from Isabella Zani and powering a shot on goal from 30 yards out that went past Drury keeper Mackenzie Dobbert to put Mahar up 1-0. 

Parker’s goal was the lone score of the first half, one Softic felt played a huge role in his teams confidence going forward. 

“It was huge,” Softic said. “You start pressing when you’re the favorite and a team’s hanging around. All it takes is one opportunistic goal. It was a weight lifted off our shoulder. It was a beautiful goal by Delaney. That settled us down.” 

The Senators tallied a second goal seven minutes into the second half, with Gracie Rich dishing to eighth-grader Carra Fitzgerald, who made a move and blasted a shot into the net from inside the box to give Mahar a 2-0 lead. 

Like the first half, the Senators controlled possession throughout the final 40 minutes of play, keeping the ball on their side of the field and not allowing any easy opportunities for the Blue Devils. 

With the game played on turf, Drury coach Maria Bartini felt her team struggled to win possession as they weren’t used to the way the ball moves on the smooth surface. 

“We weren’t able to convert our opportunities and win the 50/50 balls,” Bartini said. “This turf plays a lot faster than our field. It rolls really fast.” 

Defensively, Mahar came in with one goal of shutting down Blue Devil forward Kayla McGrath. 

The sophomore had a good opportunity early but just missed the net, but from that point forward the Senators kept her from making threatening plays offensively. 

Mahar sophomore Natalie Belloli stayed with McGrath the entire game to limit her opportunities, with fellow defenders Rich, Mackinley Drew and Kendrah Doane providing help and playing a key role in the shutout. 

“We never really felt threatened,” Softic said. “Except for one play early in the game. It felt good after that.” 

Maddie Lloyd made three saves in goal while Dobbert came up with eight saves for Drury. 

Mahar 2, Drury 0

Drury

0

0

0

Mahar

1

1

2

Goals: (M) Parker, Fitzgerald.

Assists: (M) Zani, Rich.

Saves: (D) Dobbert 8. (M) Lloyd 3.


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