Boston High School: Georgetown Royals

Soccer: Georgetown 2, Spellman 1 (PK)

November, 16, 2011
LYNN, Mass. –- After experiencing the joys of a penalty shootout victory in the sectional final, Division 3 South champion Cardinal Spellman felt the lows that PK’s can also offer, losing to the Georgetown Royals 3-1 on penalties for a 2-1 loss.

“We knew if we went to PK’s we’d have it,” said Georgetown head coach Chris DiFranco. “We were very confident heading into PK’s and we took it home”

Spellman (22-1-0) could have been up 2-0 inside the games first five minutes. Senior forward Ryan Walsh was just off the mark two minutes into the match, but he made up for his early miss by slotting home his next shot in the 4th minute for an early 1-0 lead.

After the early, tally Georgetown (19-1-3) picked their game up and held the Cardinals goalless the rest of the way.

“We came out a little flat, but we woke up after the first goal,” said Royals goalkeeper Ben Warren.

Georgetown senior Matt Bitchell ran the midfield for large portions of the match, and created several scoring opportunities for his team. But the one that matter the most came just 7:50 from the final whistle.

Bitchell whipped in a cross that skipped all the way through the Cardinals' penalty area, and senior forward Chris Birnie was on the back post to smash home the goal, tying the game at one.

“I’m just always ready for that,” said Birnie about being on the end of Bitchell’s cross. “There has been so many plays this year where the loose ball comes out, and you don’t want to regret not making that extra run for that ball.”

DiFranco had high praise for Bitchell’s state semi-final performance.

“He’s a two-year captain, a four-year varsity starter, he’s an unbelievable player, and he comes and brings it everyday," DiFranco said. "He can play any position on the field. Today we had him playing striker, midfield and it gave them fits, because you can’t guard him.”

Bitchell was always confident his team was going to find the equalizer.

“The early goal woke our team up, we knew we had to get back in it, so we just kept playing hard, we knew it would come.”

After two scoreless overtimes the teams headed to a shootout.

Bitchell, Andrew Nowak and Ben Noelk all kept their composure and buried their penalties for Georgetown. But it was their keeper, senior Ben Warren, who stole the show during the shootout, stopping three of the four shots he faced.

Cardinal Spellman’s effort can’t be overstated enough. It was their third game in four days with the last two ending in double overtime shootouts.

“Their one of the hardest working groups I’ve ever coached,” Cardinals head coach Mike Gerrish said of his 2011 squad. “I’m real proud not just of what they’ve showed us in the tournament, but what they’ve showed us all year.”

Georgetown will travel to Worcester on Friday to play Sutton for the division three state championship.

Soccer: Dover-Sherborn 1, G'Town 0 (OT)

November, 16, 2011
LYNN, Mass. -- Victoria Ortega’s 92nd minute goal in the second period of extra time sent the Dover-Sherborn Raiders to the division three state championship in dramatic fashion.

The Raiders (15-5-3) enjoyed the majority of the possession during the game and in extra time, but they were unable to make it count on the scoreboard. They didn't crack the scoreline until the second period of extra time, and have made late game heroics a habit this post season.

“We had to earn it the hard way,” explained Raiders head coach Dave Wainwright. “But this team likes to do things the hard way, I don’t know why, but we love our drama at Dover-Sherborn.”

The breakthrough came off a corner kick early in the second overtime. Raiders senior midfielder Nadine Cutler whipped in a corner, which sophomore Jackie Gouldreault cushioned down for Ortega to smash home.

“Nadine took the corner and she had a nice ball in, like we’ve been doing all game,” said Ortega about her match winner. “It came in, it was deflecting around and Jackie pushed it out to me and I had the shot with everything I had, I saw it go in and it was great.”

Gouldreault and Ortega owned the midfield for most of the match. Despite having less possession, the Royals (13-4-6) still had some quality scoring chances.

In the ninth minute, forward Kristin Hogan ripped off the Royals' first shot of the evening, but was denied by Raiders freshman keeper Megan Hall. D-S controlled the game's tempo with its five-man midfield, but were still unable to find the game's first goal.

Gouldreault had two good chances late in the first half, including a blistering shot in the 33rd minute that sailed inches over the crossbar. Hogan had the best scoring chance for either side with the final kick of the first half, but was again denied by Hall.

Hogan had another chance when the teams retook the field. Royals senior forward Nicoline Holland played in a lofted cross which Hogan took down brilliantly, but the shoot ripped just wide left of the net.

Georgetown junior goalkeeper Jamie Block made three of her five saves over a ten-minute span in the second half. In the 62nd minute, Gouldreault sent in a cross to Raider forward Taylor Coutts, who headed a shot on target, only to be denied by Block.

Block then made two spectacular diving saves denying Gouldreault and Coutts on separate occasions. Royals head coach Colleen Gibbs had high praise for her net minder after the defeat.

“She’s been solid all year long,” said Gibbs. “She’s a great keeper, she’s made some great saves tonight, she’s been playing hard all year and she’s come through for us a lot.”

After the teams finished regulation scoreless, Ortega scored the winner in sudden death overtime.

“We just take it game by game, we just play for our seniors,” said Ortega of her upperclassmen. “We love them and we do everything we could do, and we got it done.”