Published November 17, 2023
Soccer girls remained thrilling till the end
By STEVE MARTELLUCCI
NASHOBA—A memorable season came to an end for the Melrose High girls varsity soccer team last Saturday evening as they were nipped, 1-0, by host No. 2 seed Nashoba Regional out in Bolton on a chilly night in the MIAA Division 2 quarterfinal round. They finish with a remarkably strong 16-3-2 record.
This was a real heartbreaker for Melrose as the goal came on a penalty kick with just 38 seconds left in the contest.
The officials called a hand ball on Melrose late in the game and Nashoba senior Kylie Marshall’s shot found the left side of the net for the game-winner.
“The manner we lost was unbelievable,” stated Melrose head coach Rob Mahoney. “Those are central Mass. officials that I have never seen before and will probably never see again.”
The Wolves had entered the game with only one defeat all year and a strong record of 15-1-2.
“They have a very skilled team that scored 97 goals this year and we played pretty even with them,” said Mahoney.
The best chance for No. 7 seed Melrose to score came in the game’s 15th-minute as Melrose’s Sophie McElligott had a partial breakaway that was stopped by Wolves goalie Gina Braddock (five saves).
Melrose goalkeeper Ava Tormo made six saves as her record finished at 11-3-2, a tremendous season for the four year starter and senior captain.
With the defeat, Melrose ends the year at 16-3-2. The Wolves, meanwhile, improved to 18-1-2 and were scheduled to take on Mansfield in the state semifinal on Nov. 15 (results not available at press time).
But the road getting there was one of excitement a week prior.
Melrose enjoyed a PK thriller against Oliver Ames
In getting to this illustrious quarterfinal event, Melrose had the win of the year against Oliver Ames on November 8 at Fred Green Field in Melrose when they hosted the Tigers in the Round of 16 game following their 1-0 playoff opening win against Longmeadow.
What followed was a thrilling overtime victory as Melrose doubled up guest Oliver Ames, 4-2, in penalty kicks in front of an excited home crowd.
After a scoreless regulation and two, ten-minute overtime sessions the game went into penalty kicks.
In the shootout, Melrose goalie Ava Tormo saved the first Tiger shot and the third Tiger shot went over the net.
Melrose scored all four times as Ellie Deeble, Sofia McElligott and Lily Nolan had the first three goals. Melrose’s Abby Taylor then ended the game on the fourth kick going to the right side of the net setting off a big celebration on a cold night.
“We have been working on our penalty kicks a lot during practice,” said Mahoney at the time.
According to Mahoney, Tormo was the star of the evening with eight saves. “There were all quality saves,” he said. “They had the better opportunities but Ava put on the single greatest performance I’ve ever seen in net as a head coach.”
With the loss, the tenth-seeded Tigers ended the season at 14-4.
Melrose now says goodbye to ten seniors who will take pride in being the winningest MHS girls’ soccer team in history.