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Penalty kick lifts Warriors over Wolverines

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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

On a windy day in Westwood, the Wolverines and Medfield Warriors girls soccer teams faced off with both teams looking to get a bit closer to qualifying for the postseason. But after a scoreless half, a Medfield penalty kick with 24 minutes left in the game would be the only goal scored on the day, giving the Warriors a 1-0 victory.

The first half didn’t exactly feature a litany of scoring opportunities, but both goaltenders did a nice job shutting them down.

The second half was the more interesting one. With 37 minutes left in the game, Medfield played a ball that sailed over the Westwood goalkeeper’s head, only to bounce off the crossbar and find its way into her hands.

But the pivotal moment in the game came when Sophia Gustafson was fouled in the box, leading Marissa Gorog to put the ball in the back of the net soon after on a penalty shot. Westwood could never respond, and the game ended 1-0 in favor of Medfield.

Westwood and Medfield jockey for the ball with time ticking away on the Wolverines.

Westwood and Medfield jockey for the ball with time ticking away on the Wolverines.

For Medfield coach Mike LaFrancesca, given the uniquely windy conditions, the key was his players’ ability to control the ball on the ground rather than put it in the air.

“It was a windy day,” he explained. “I though both teams played well. I told the girls that being able to control the ball on the ground and move the ball side to side created the opportunities. It only takes one opportunity, and they got that opportunity to score today. I’m proud of them, but keeping the ball on the ground was the key to me.”

Coach LaFrancesca was very pleased with many of his players and felt great about the team’s chances to get either a win or a tie and make the postseason.

“My defense played a solid game on the back. The front controlled the ball on the ground and didn’t put it in the air. I thought my center mid, Marissa Gorog, did a wonderful job controlling the middle and finding feet up top, and my forwards did a nice job making runs and with through-balls. We are one point away, right now, from the postseason, and if they continue playing like they are, I have no doubt we’ll be in the postseason.”

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