Boston High School: Maya Szymanski
June, 1, 2012
By Shawn Myrick | ESPNBoston.com
SUDBURY, Mass. -- Seconds away from the semifinals keeper Meg Mullin stared down Framingham ace Melissa Renauld and told her self she was not going to lose.
It was the second free position play she had faced in the final 30 seconds, but Mullin had the extra step. As she nipped a lofty rip out of the air, the Lincoln-Sudbury sophomore watched the final eight seconds click off the clock. The top-seeded Warriors (21-1) had weather the late rush of guest No. 9 Framingham (12-8) at Myers field on Friday and held on to a 7-6 victory to take an extra step towards their second Division I North title.
“I looked at the girl and the ball and said 'you are not going to get a goal.',” said Mullin. “As long as I kept telling myself that, I saw
the ball come in and put my stick on it. I was ready to go home.”
L-S stepped into the five minute mark with a 7-4 lead, but fell victim to a free position finish and an isolation tally by Flyers' senior Maya Szymanksi at 4:06 and 3:32, respectively, in the second. A foul in the final 30 seconds gave possession to Framingham who
forced another pair of near net fouls.
Caroline Vonachen created an extra free position with an opposite side lob to teammate Renauld, while Renauld shot high into Mullins' grasp on the second.
“We were looking at the stick positions on the field to see what we were going to have,” said Framingham coach Stacey Freda. “The first was an eight meter mark in which the angle was not too great so instead we made a pass right across the eight meter. A kid got in shooting space so we got the ball back.”
Mullins and Framingham goalie sophomore Aileen Kelly played a big role for their squads, with eight saves each.
Quick off the Draw: L-S prides itself in quick efforts off draws and steals. Seniors Madison Acton and Rachel Sexton are a major part of that speed.
The Duke-bound Acton tallied three goals and two assist, while future Notre Dame midfielde Sexton finished with a pair and one assist. Acton scored off the initial draw in 23 seconds and battled another face off victory to draw out the defense for a backdoor score by Sexton at 8:51 in the first.
The score started a four goal streak for L-S who finished with a steal and score by senior Sarah Ganio for a 5-2 halftime lead.
“When we get the ball we know we are pretty fast (to) bring the ball down and control it,” said L-S coach Deb DeJesus. “The key to this game was getting the draws and once we get the draws we just need to control possession. If we have a fast break opportunity we will take it.”
Slow and Steady: The Flyers worked passes in a wide box around the goal to slow down play and limit efforts from an athletic Warriors squad. L-S averaged 19.6 points per game, but was held to only one score in the first sixteen minutes.
Working a couple minutes off the clock a-piece, Vonachen and Renauld force set positions for a 2-1 Framingham lead at 8:34.
“We did not want to get into a track meet,” said Freda. “We were not confident to match them in the midfield and a transitional game.”
Even when trailing, Framingham stuck to their patient attacking scheme.
“We were looking for if they were making any proactive slides or slashers inside,” said Freda. “Even though they are sets, not plays, we were looking to see if we could get a mismatch on the inside for any easier catch and turn shot.”
Early Tradeoff: Renauld and junior Kaitlyn Wilder were able to use shoulder positioning to score off outside cuts and push the margin to 5-4 in the first five minutes of the second half. L-S responded with a turn-around finish by Acton at 14:14 and a tally off a slide by sophomore Whitney Hartstone seven minutes later.
“There (are) a lot of ups and down,” said DeJesus. “We have some girls who are young as far as experience and this kind of game
prepares us for tougher games ahead.”
L-S advances to battle the tomorrow's victor between No. 4 North Andover (15-5) and No. 5 Masconomet (16-3), with the date to be
April, 20, 2012
By Shawn Myrick | ESPNBoston.com
WESTWOOD, Mass. -- Two years removed from the squads that faced off in four straight state semifinals, defending state championships No. 2 Westwood (5-1-0) looked poised and ready to repeat this Friday afternoon, while guest No. 14 Framingham (2-3-0) struggled for a second consecutive year with a 15-8 loss.
“It is always good for us to play them because they really do bring so much fire and intensity,” said Westwood senior Kate Rich. “We knew they were going to be aggressive and play a really fast paced game. We tried to slow them down and push the ball when we needed too.”
The two teams have won the last seven MIAA Division 1 state titles, with Westwood claiming four. The Wolverines showed that advantage early by opening with five straight scores and never looking back.
Westwood's attack was fronted with five goals from Rich and four tallies from senior Shelly Walsh. Fellow upperclassmen Laura McHoul buried a hat trick, while also assisting two.
Early Rhythm: Motioning the rubber around the back of the net, McHoul hugged the post where she found Rich out front for Westwood's opening tally at 21:24. Continuing to rotate the ball around the crease, the Wolverines were able to offset the defense and open up one-on-ones with Framingham sophomore keeper Aileen Kelly.
Using her hip for positioning, junior Marina Burke nailed a deep sidearm at 12:22 to put Westwood up 5-0.
“If we could beat (Aileen) with a two versus one down low that would be our best shot,” said Westwood coach Leslie Frank. “They started doubling down on the ball so we had to adjust as well.”
Good, But Not Enough: The Flyers cut the deficit to two by the 11th minute, but were unable to get any closer as Westwood gradually slipped away.
Sandwiching a Wolverine tally with a pair of goals, junior Casey Duggan broke halfway down the field and bodied through a group of defenders to score first for Framingham. Senior Maya Szymanski (three goals) forced a set piece and buried it at 3:40 in the first to trail 6-4.
The Flyers kept within three until 12:47 in the second half, but were outscored six-to-one for the remainder.
“Our team is really solid within eight meters and that is really what our whole sets are built on,” said Framingham coach Stacey Freda. “If we were even fifty percent more successful with our shots that is eight more goals.”
The Finishing Touch: Using a stutter-step to offset her defenders, Rich buried a set play midway through the second half to go up 10-6. With Westwood scoring three straight, McHoul caught a long toss out of the back corner of the Flyers' turf by Walsh and finished them off with a 12-6 score at 10:24.
“We did not take any cushions,” said Frank. “To be patient on offense not only gives your defense a break, but shows them how much you respect what they did.”
Aileen made 19 saves, while Westwood senior keeper Mollie Brown knocked away 24.