Brockton cruises past short-handed Needham

NEEDHAM, Mass. -- In a game that was a bit dampened by the weather and the incidents surrounding the Lady Rockets of Needham High School, the Brockton Boxers cruised to a comfortable 7-1 win.

The Lady Boxers got off the mark in the 12th minute when senior midfielder Tess Stapleton bent a corner kick directly into the net for the early 1-0 edge.

Needham looked likely to respond with three corner kicks over the next two minutes, but were unable to convert on any.

In the 15th minute Brockton sophomore Amy Yang struck a beautiful free kick from 23 yards away, from the angle where the 18 yard box ‘s vertical and parallel lines meet, and she was unlucky in hitting the bottom of the nearside post. The Rockets were unable to clear their lines though and the Boxers capitalized through Morgan Branco who hit home a bouncing cross sent in from Yang, 2-0 Boxers. Yang assisted again in the 26th as the Boxers broke out from a long throw taken around midfield, and she fed the ball across nicely to Tori Hancock who finished coolly for a 3-0 lead that Brockton took into halftime.

In the second half the Rockets team, made up of underclassmen, fought hard and held their own for periods of play, but Brockton’s class was too much. Branco struck again in the 53rd, and completed her hat trick in the 56th. In the 58th sophomore Felicia Mulholland made it 5-0, and she scored again in the 59th both time she was in alone on the keeper and took her strikes well.

At a time when most teams would give up, the Rockets continued to press on for a goal. And they got what they were looking for nine minutes from full time on a corner kick that was headed in. 7-1 was the final and the Boxers will play the No. 2 seeded Bishop Feehan Shamrocks, who were 4-1 winners over Marshfield, in the Quarterfinals.

The other D-1 South Quarterfinals shape up like this, Weymouth will play Oliver Ames after the Wildcats defeated Natick on penalty kicks. Franklin will host Wellesley after the Raiders upset Dartmouth 1-0. And the shocker of the first round is top seeded Whitman-Hanson losing 1-0 to Silver Lake, who will take on Plymouth South.