By John Anderson
Each sports season brings new faces, less developed talent, and a lot of nerves to the fields. Girls varsity soccer is no exception. Since winning the State Division 2 Championship in 2011, the program has faltered a bit, but a turnaround is within sight. For the second year in a row, Coach Larry Midura is fielding a young team, but young does not mean inexperienced.
The nerves may have taken over in the first 30 minutes against Grafton as Auburn was unproductive and behind 1-0 after 15 minutes. Finally, with 5:08 left, Jordyn Abasciano found the net with an assist by Colleen Cutting. This score appeared to ignite a fuse on the Rockets, and they launched at full speed after the break. Coach Midura said he was glad they finally “got the jitters out.”
30 seconds in, and after some spectacular ball movement, Abasciano got her second goal with a Tori Richards assist. Less than four minutes later, Jianna Baroni scored her first goal of the season with assists by Abasciano and Richard. In three more minutes, Baroni scored again with Emily Sarkisian assisting. At just over 13 minutes into the second half, Lauren Ferris made the fifth and final Auburn goal with a Sam Moreau assist.
At this point in the game, Coach Midura made a radical change on the field and subbed in most of his bench. With a comfortable lead and Grafton showing very little offense, one couldn’t really question this move, but there were some painful moments ahead. The less experienced bench frequently got bunched up and pulled into one corner or another. They’ll eventually get the game, but not on Wednesday.
Grafton added one point at the 22-minute mark, but that was all they had. Although Auburn would not score again, they played decent defensively with the time left. Without a doubt, putting Abasciano and Baroni back on the pitch would have added points if needed. Midura credited the victory to “staying with basic stuff” and the flexibility of these girls. It was nice to see Symantha Brothers get out of the backfield and move the ball which she is quite capable of doing.
One thing that was not basic was the ball movement in this match. At times it was amazing and led to several scores. Girls who aspire to varsity status or more play time need to take note of this. Accurate passing and trapping look like a must in the future.
It was also good that Jenna Matthews and Micaela Almeida are back on the field. Both missed most of last season with injuries. This looks like a potentially solid season for the Rockets, and Auburn Mass Daily will be there for all home games and the playoffs when they arrive.
Boys soccer lost their opener 1-0, away in Grafton. They will face Leicester at 3:30 today at home. Auburn Field Hockey beat Grafton 4-0, away as well. Auburn Boys Golf beat Leicester on Tuesday 5.5 to 3.5.