Old Rochester teams up Dighton-Rehoboth in battle of undefeated football teams

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MATTAPOISETT – Although Jen Williams developed a passion for athletics, she still enjoys soccer, a sport she grew up on.

When both sports were offered in Fall 2, Williams chose to focus on the track in consecutive seasons and did well, competing in the All-State competition in the spring for the first time in his career and winning. Standard-Time Girls Track. Athlete of the Year Award.

But he still missed football.

“It’s great to be back,” said the Old Rochester senior on Wednesday. “He feels good. This team is so welcoming. This team is like family to me. We are playing really well together and this season we are giving everything and doing very well.

Old Rochester celebrates an equalizer with Jen Williams on Wednesday.

As much as Williams is thrilled to be back on the field, the Bulldogs are happy to see her again.

“It made sense to do the track in the winter and spring during those shortened seasons, but it definitely hurt us last year,” said Old Rochester head coach Jeff Lombard. “A lot of what we struggled with last year was Maddie (Wright) on offense and putting them together makes a bigger difference for sure.”

Old Rochester senior Maddie Wright agreed, “We’ve got Jen back. Playing with her was much better offensively. We struggled a bit last year. I love seeing her again.

The dynamic duo connected on Wednesday afternoon for the first of two Old Rochester goals in an exciting 2-2 game with defending South Coast Conference champion Dighton-Rehoboth in a battle of undefeated women’s soccer teams.

Jen Williams of Old Rochester and Ella Damon of Dighton-Rehoboth run for the ball from the sidelines.

“Last year we lost 6-1 (to Dighton-Rehoboth), so a 2-2 tie was really exciting for us,” said Wright. “It was amazing.”

After finishing fourth in the CSC last year, Lombard felt facing the Falcons would be a good step for the Bulldogs.

“I was happy, especially going down both halves,” he said. “It’s always a test. How are you going to react? How will they react? How is it going to play out? Last year it happened against these guys and it was a 6-1 result and they stacked it.

Lombard was happy to see his Bulldogs hanging on to the Falcons the entire game.

“This is where I underestimated some of our stuff,” he said. “We’ve had a few good games against decent teams so far, but I knew he would be the one with that high speed and fast play. As much as I saw him in training and saw him sometimes, I wasn’t sure we could last 80 minutes. I must say I was impressed.

Former Rochester head coach Jeff Lombard chats with his team during the half-time break.

HOW DID IT HAPPEN

Both teams came out early on and had plenty of chances.

Old Rochester senior goalie Bella Hunt stopped the first 10 shots she faced, but the Falcons managed to pass her in the 32nd minute when junior Tasha Ponte scored to give DR 1- the lead. 0.

Old Rochester responded in the 39th minute when Williams headed a well-placed cross from Wright to tie the game 1-in at half-time.

“It was such a great goal,” said Lombard. “It was the perfect build-up from midfielder to Maddie. This is what you want to see. It shows the talent there is. There were a couple of passes tied to the corner, Maddie’s cross was right on the money and the header, Jen pushed him to the back of the net. This is where this team could be. There are a lot of skills. It will depend on the younger ones – not just freshmen, but those new to college – coming together. “

Jen Williams (13) and Cameran Weaver (2) of Old Rochester celebrate a tying goal on Wednesday.

Wright and Williams said they’ve practiced heads countless times before, but never had one in a game until Wednesday.

“We’ve always wanted to do this,” Wright said. “Finally doing it here in high school, it’s so much fun. “

Williams added: “The coach always said that headers are so scarce in a game. We do crossovers all the time in practice. It’s crazy to finally make one in a game. was really good when he walked in.

Dighton-Rehoboth regained momentum in the second minute of the second half when senior Carleigh Hall sent the ball past a Hunt dive for a 2-1 advantage.

Maddie Wright of Old Rochester controls the ball in the attack zone.

Old Rochester went on the attack, sending Dighton-Rehoboth senior goalkeeper Eliana Raposo nine shots and scored the equalizer in the 67th minute when Wright set up senior Mia Hall in transition.

“We played really well today,” said Williams. “We really stepped up the game in the second half. It was a big game. He’s one of our biggest competitors, so I feel like we played really well against this team. This team was obviously a great team and a great group of girls, but we really made progress. We played our part and did what we had to do.

Old Rochester's Tess Adams moves the ball down the field Wednesday.

WHAT THIS MEANS: With the tie, the Bulldogs go 3-0-2. They welcome Dartmouth on Saturday morning. … The Falcons, who are 2-0-2, visit New Bedford High on Friday afternoon.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: The Falcons managed 16 shots on goal, but only managed to score twice, resulting in their second straight tie. “It’s frustrating,” DR coach Trish Madsen said. “It’s very frustrating right now. Two games in a row, we can’t finish. The girls worked and broke their tails and they created opportunities and again they couldn’t finish two games in a row. I think they are pushing a bit too much. Sometimes by shooting too early and sometimes by hanging on too much, then the defense has time to come in and deny.

SOUTHCOASTVARSITY GAME PLAYER: Wright scored both goals for Old Rochester.

Old Rochester's Audrey Thomas sends the ball into the attacking zone from midfield.

MADSEN ON OLD ROCHESTER: “They have always had an amazing program. I think last year was just a slack year for them. We would never take them lightly. Coming here, it was not. We didn’t think it would be an easy day here. We were ready for it, but we couldn’t put the ball away.

LOMBARD ON WILLIAMS: “She is an extraordinary athlete. She’s a real stag up front and she’s got a good touch on the ball and she’s got height, but that’s her attitude. She is a wonderful child and she always has such a great effort. She’s always upbeat about things and it’s contagious for everyone. It’s great to find her as an elder.

Old Rochester's Bella Hunt focuses on a low shot from Dighton-Rehoboth.

STATISTICS: Wright had two assists while Williams and Hall each scored one goal for Old Rochester. Ponte and Hall each scored one goal for DR. At net, Raposo made 12 saves while Hunt blocked 14 shots.


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