By Avonlea Cummings
Hometown Weekly Sports Reporter
Hints of pink adorned the sideline as the Walpole Porkers team and staff geared up to host another home field hockey match for the Sweet-16 round of the post-season. The Porkers gathered, fueling their energy to face the 16th-seeded Lincoln-Sudbury. In intense first and fourth quarters, Walpole effectively leveraged their strengths, securing a 3-0 victory over Lincoln-Sudbury and advancing to the next round of playoffs.
The opening half saw Walpole dominating ball possession, slipping past the Warriors' defense to showcase the prowess of their strong offensive players. The second half witnessed Walpole extending their lead when Taylor Carter scored against Lincoln-Sudbury with an assist from Caitlyn Naughton. Despite the advantage, Walpole's performance leveled out in the third quarter. Lincoln-Sudbury continued their fight, resulting in a scoreless quarter. Jen Quinn, the Porkers' head coach, shared insights into why she believed there was a lull in the third quarter.
“I think there is always that point in the game where they start to settle in, I contemplated whether or not I should call a timeout and I kept saying ‘Nope they are going to dig it out’ and eventually they did, and I thought the fourth quarter they looked great. I think the first and fourth quarters were our best two tonight,” said Quinn.
With the commencement of the fourth quarter signaled by the referee's loud whistle, it appeared as if Walpole's third-quarter struggles had been erased. The girls surged with speed and adrenaline, swiftly netting their second goal of the evening as Izzy Adams unleashed a shot that breezed past Lincoln-Sudbury's defense, aided by an assist from Kate Schneider. Enjoying a comfortable 2-0 lead, the Porkers continued to execute their game plan, showcasing adept ball control and precision passing.
Navigating past the Warriors with finesse, Walpole dominated ball possession. With nine minutes remaining, Kate Schneider received a pass from Taylor Carter, maneuvering the ball past the Warriors' goalie to secure a 3-0 lead for Walpole. Head coach Quinn provided insights into the team's notable momentum shift between the third and fourth quarters.
“I think all in all throughout the whole game we weren’t shooting enough, and I don’t know if we shot anymore, I think we had a bit better flow and use of our speed and space in the fourth, we weren’t allowing them to sit back in the circle,” said Quinn.
The Porkers continued on to win their next round of playoffs against Bishop Feehan winning 1-0 in double overtime. The girls were set to play against Franklin at Taunton High School on November 15.