WILMINGTON — While trying to bend and not break, while holding off a strong offensive attack by Lexington, the Wilmington High School girls' soccer team was able to do just that for about 77 minutes of Monday night's game.
However, with about three minutes to go in the pouring rain, the Minutemen were able to convert on a long shot from about 35 yards out which sailed into the top left hand corner to come away with a 1-0 victory over the Wildcats in a Middlesex League cross-over contest during Sr. Night at Alumni Stadium.
Wilmington keeper Alyssa Morrison couldn't do anything to prevent the goal which sailed well over her head, but she did do everything she could to keep the game scoreless through the first 77 minutes making 14 saves, including several gems from in tight.
"Alyssa made some fantastic saves for sure," said Wilmington head coach Sue Hendee. "She reacted well to the balls that were right on point shots from six yards out, and did a very nice job. Alyssa is very athletic so she has those good reactions."
Morrison played fantastic from start to finish, especially in the second half when Lexington all but dominated. A number of the saves came off the foot of a talented striker, Aleia Gisolfi-McCready, who initiated a lot of the offense with a number of quality shots.
For most of the game, Wilmington's Kaitlyn Maguire did a fantastic job defending her.
"(Gisolfi-McCready) is a good player and Kaitlyn did a nice job on her," said Hendee. "I thought Kaitlyn had a great game tonight, especially with all of the attacking runs that (Gisolfi-McCready) made and Kaitlyn turned around, caught up to her and kept her outside."
Wilmington managed just two shots on net both in the first half and really struggled maintaining possession in the second half.
"They took it to us in the second half and we kind of played flustered and they played with composure," said Hendee. "We didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had — the few that we had in the first half. It was a good game. There were opportunities on both sides."
Before the Lexington game, the Wildcats were defeated by Arlington by the same 1-0 score and then last Wednesday, the 'Cats topped Melrose 2-1 behind two goals by sophomore Alyssa Granara.
The 1-2 week drops Wilmington to a 6-5 overall record and the team needs six points in their last seven games to qualify for the post-season.
On Thursday, Wilmington will travel to Woburn for the final league cross-over game of the season before second round match-ups against Freedom Division teams to follow with two more on the road with Burlington on Monday morning and Wakefield Wednesday night, before hosting Stoneham next Saturday night at 7 pm. The season will conclude with the final three games against Watertown, Melrose and Tewksbury.
Wilmington finished with a 4-1 record in the first go-around with the Freedom Division teams.