Blues Capture Sixth CCWSL Championship

The Mashpee Blues earned the 2014 Rhiannon McCuish Trophy by winning the CCWSL title for a sixth time. Teammates include (back row, from left) Jackie Lynch, Stephanie Striglio, Kaitlyn Lima, Michaela Moran, Kristen Knight, Haley Schechter, Holly Sessler, Sophie Paarup and Ashleigh Berg; (center row) Julia Cormier; (front row) Natalie Benjamin, Emily Brook, Lily Peterson, Aurianna Franco, Carolyn Sessler, Alex Yow and Olivia Plante.
COURTESY KEVIN RADFORD - The Mashpee Blues earned the 2014 Rhiannon McCuish Trophy by winning the CCWSL title for a sixth time. Teammates include (back row, from left) Jackie Lynch, Stephanie Striglio, Kaitlyn Lima, Michaela Moran, Kristen Knight, Haley Schechter, Holly Sessler, Sophie Paarup and Ashleigh Berg; (center row) Julia Cormier; (front row) Natalie Benjamin, Emily Brook, Lily Peterson, Aurianna Franco, Carolyn Sessler, Alex Yow and Olivia Plante.

Young athletes dream of the scenario: championship game, tied score with time running out, and here comes the winning play to earn the trophy. The Mashpee Blues’ Lily Peterson got to live that dream scenario out last Thursday night in Plymouth and by fulfilling it, brought home another title for the Blues, their sixth overall in Cape Cod Women’s Soccer League history.

With the 2014 championship game knotted at 1-1, and the clock running into four minutes of injury time, Peterson was able to score the championship-winner in the 92nd minute to put Mashpee over the top. The goal was the end result of a great play by teammate Olivia Plante, who had started to take over the late stages of the second half for the Blues.

Plante, who had nearly won the game with a shot that hit the crossbar just a few moments earlier, made a big run up the middle of the field and fired a shot on net that was stopped by the Plymouth goalkeeper. The ball ricocheted off the keeper’s hands to the front of the net, where Peterson used her hip to nudge the ball into the goal for the difference-maker.

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That provided Mashpee with another title, and one that they weren’t necessarily supposed to have. Plymouth had been the dominant force in the women’s league throughout the season, and the clear-cut favorites to win the title. Mashpee had other thoughts about that, though, as they went on the road and played a great contest, winning it in the end.

“We’re the only team that had beaten them in the league, and then to beat them on their own ground, that’s satisfying,” Manager Kevin Radford said. “The girls played some brilliant soccer, and deserved to win.”

Defensively, the Blues brought their best to the field. Against a team known for its quick-strike ability, and adept passing, the core of Aurianna Franco, Kristen Knight, Haley Shacter, Caroline Sessler and Jackie Lynch held up strong, allowing only one goal in the game.

Making the showing by the D even more impressive is that they were able to come through and win without their usual goaltender, who was out of town. Colby-Sawyer College goaltender Emily Brook filled in for the Blues during the plays and “played wonderfully,” according to Radford.

Mashpee had taken the initial lead just 11 minutes into the game. Stephanie Striglio headed in a shot to give the Blues the cushion. It was Striglio’s ninth goal of the year.

Plymouth struck back early in the second half to tie the score, and from there on it was a back-and-forth affair, with each team having its share of chances to take the lead. Ashley Berg may have made the play of the day for the Blues late in the second half as she swept in to clear out a rebound, off a shot that Brook had stopped, that was hanging dangerously close to the goal line with time getting low.

“They just took care of business,” Radford said. “This is a great team. I’m hoping we can keep them together a while longer.”

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