Girls’ soccer team plays through puddles to win playoff game
MATTAPOISETT — Before the start of the Old Rochester Regional High School girls’ soccer playoff game on Nov. 5, Coach Jeff Lombard said his team had a strong competitor in Hopkinton, and would need to maintain possessions and look for opportunities to attack. During the game, one of the biggest obstacles came not from Hopkinton, but from massive puddles and pouring rain.
With pressure from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association to continue the first round of the tournament, teams lined up on an already muddy field for their 2 p.m. game.
In the first few minutes of play, it seemed like the weather would hold out, but as time went on bursts of heavy rain started to pour down on the Old Rochester athletic field.
Players slipped and slid across the field, and soccer balls splashed in puddles, and spun in place from kicks that normally would have sent them much further distances.
Despite the added difficulty, the Bulldogs were up 1-0 at the end of the first half thanks to a goal from Sophomore Forward Jennifer Williams, who was assisted by fellow Sophomore Forward Maddie Wright.
As rain continued to bombard the field, players, coaches, officials, and spectators alike toughed out the conditions for another half of play.
Wright led ORR’s offense with two goals in the second half to build a 3-0 lead. Hopkinton responded with a goal late in the game, but ORR won 3-1 to advance to the second round of MIAA playoff action.
When asked about persevering through the intense weather conditions Wright said ,“we wanted this win no matter what… so we were just doing everything we could to avoid all the puddles and everything like that.”
Senior Defender Grace Greany said that the team’s formations are usually through the center of the field, but at halftime they were able to adjust to play more through the wings to overcome the obstacle posed by the many puddles.
When asked about the toughest part of playing through the rain, Greany said “the ball just stopped, it didn’t move” when landing in the middle of the field, forcing the team to play smart and adjust accordingly.
Greany said Hopkinton was tough on defense and played well together, but that ultimately the Bulldogs “were able to get it done.”