The Auburn High girls soccer team got ahead 1-0 midway through the first half last night at Auburn High. But visiting Tyngsboro was able to get the equalizer before half.
Early in the second half, Tyngsboro grabbed a 2-1 lead on a rebound put back. About 8 minutes later, on a nearly identical play, the Tigers struck again, taking a 3-1 lead.
Things were looking bleak for the Rockets, but they huddled up and seemed to come out with renewed vigor. With about 12 minutes remaining, Jordyn Abasciano found the net to close the score to 3-2.
The final minutes of the game were unforgettable. With under two minutes left in regulation, a frenzied Auburn squad drew a penalty about 10 yards outside Tyngsboro’s 18 yard box. Just as Auburn’s Samantha Moreau took the free kick – which landed right in the Tyngsboro goalkeeper’s arms – officials stopped play as Auburn coach Larry Midura had called for a timeout. Out of the timeout, Moreau took the free kick again, except this time it sailed into the top left corner of the net to tie the game.
In the final minute, Auburn drew another free kick, and again the senior captain Moreau took a shot that just missed, was nearly deflected into the goal, and hit the post. Regulation would end in a 3-3 tie.
The two 10 minute overtime periods were hard fought, and at times chippy. More fouls were awarded in the extra sessions than in all of regulation, including a yellow card handed out to Junior standout, Jianna Baroni. In the end, however, this game would be decided by penalty kicks.
Baroni and Abasciano both failed to convert the first two Auburn attempts, as did Tyngsboro’s players. Jackie Landry managed to get one into the top left corner to give Auburn a 1-0 advantage momentarily, but Skyler Hickey evened it up on the Tiger’s next shot.
As the excitement and pressure built at Memorial Field, Auburn’s Colleen Cutting stepped up for the fifth and final round, and also put her shot in the top left corner to give Auburn the advantage. It all came down to AHS keeper Sarah Fahey versus Tyngsboro’s Emily Morrison, and Morrison’s shot sailed over the crossbar, ending the match 4-3 Rockets.
The Auburn fans were ecstatic while the Tyngsboro fans were devastated. But both teams can be proud of their efforts and knowing they had just played in one of the more exciting soccer matches most of them will ever experience.
Auburn moves on to play #1 seed Millbury at Millbury High School on Friday at 5pm.