Finishes 10th in Massachusetts Tournament of Champions
Published in the July 29, 2016 edition
MELROSE — The Melrose Girls’ U14 soccer team had an outstanding year capped off with placing 10th in the state and the only Melrose Youth Soccer team to participate in the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC).
The team was comprised of 12 eighth graders and five seventh graders. Nine of the eighth graders have played together for years, and after falling short the last two years, they finally reached MTOC.
This spring Melrose finished second in a very competitive Middlesex League with a regular season record of 7-3 and outscoring its opponents 25-9. Melrose’s record qualified the team for the Commissioner’s Cup as the second seed.
In the first round (Saturday, June 18), Melrose beat three seed Wakefield 3-1.
Goals were scored by Emma Lynch Galvin, Lauren Carlino, and Grace Donohue. The speed and skill of Katie Wright, Olivia Scarpa, Lexie Turner, Ciara Smith, and Alyssa Champange kept consistent pressure on the Wakefield back line. The defense played outstanding, specifically Liz Zelten saving a ball dramatically from the goal line. Julia Deeble, Chloe Halligan, and Kelsey Sullivan controlled the midfield winning every 50-50 ball and leaving Wakefield unable to counter.
Sunday’s championship match against four seed Wilmington had a similar tempo and outcome to the previous game with Melrose prevailing 3-0.
Halligan, Donohue, and Olivia Scarpa score the goals with Scarping having a beautiful left foot finish from 20 yards out. The defense had its sixth shutout led by goalkeeper Becca Hamberg, Maggie Sullivan, Deirdre Flannagan, Jenna Champange, and Ava Palumbo.
The following weekend the squad lost in its first game to a physical Ludlow team, 2-0, despite controlling the run of play. In the second game Holbrook-Avon won 2-1 holding off a tremendous second half Melrose effort. In its final game of the year Melrose lost 3-0 to eventual state semifinalist Hull.
Despite the outcomes of their MTOC games, the Melrose girls were extremely proud to represent both the city and league at the state tournament. The girls had an exceptional season filled with friendship and success of the field.