Bulldogs bounce BG
NASHUA – The Bulldogs again.
For the second straight year, the Bedford High School girls soccer team thwarted Bishop Guertin’s dreams of Division I soccer glory.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs, a year after upending the Cardinals via penalty kicks in the semifinals, used a Saylor Clark goal to upend fourth-seeded BG 1-0 in the quarterfinals Sunday night at Rivier University’s Raider Field.
"It’s devastating, I feel bad for the girls because they had high expectations," Bishop Guertin coach Pat Mulcahy said. "I don’t think we were the second-best team here. … We came up a little short."
Thus it was the Bulldogs (14-4) not the Cardinals (12-4-2) who moved on to face No. 1 Pinkerton Academy in Thursday’s semifinals at Stellos Stadium. The game was not done at presstime.
Bedford came out strong on Sunday night, dominating the first half, but didn’t score until a Guertin miscue helped Clark, the Bulldogs’ best scorer, get her foot on the ball and she beat stunned BG goalie Brooke Barrett wide with just over two minutes left in the half. Sobria Dobrowski was credited with the assist.
"She got the ball to me and I just dribbled past a couple of defenders," Clark said. "This is great."
"This is the toughest quarterfinal we’ve ever had," Bedford coach Michelle Winning said. "Whenever Saylor has the ball at her feet she’s going to make something happen."
"We miscleared it and it bounced to (Clark), and she was in the box," Mulcahy said. "We had it, we just miscleared it, it happens. They capitalized on the chance they had. They deserved it."
Conversely, the Cardinals couldn’t generate enough scoring chances. They were outshot 8-3, and Kiley Deignan’s header was the only shot Bedford netminder Lauren Johnson had to stop in the first 40 minutes.
"To (Bedford’s) credit, they played great, they created more offense in the first half and were more dangerous than we were,"Mulcahy said. "We did a good job winning the ball in the first half, but we weren’t able to create much offense out of it."
In the second half, the Cards were more active, had more chances, but to no avail.
"I thought we played great, especially in the second half, we held the ball," Mulcahy said. "We created some offense, we couldn’t get anything super threatening."
With just over four minutes left, the Cards had a free-kick opportunity from about 25 yards out. Marie Laplante and Deignan tried a deceptive touch play but the Bulldogs sniffed it out and knocked the ball away with a shot taken.
"We had a play that we used and it’s been successful," Mulcahy said. "To their credit, they defended it well, they stopped it."
And that was that. Winning felt her Bulldogs came of age in this one.
"They knew at one point in the season it would all come together and I think today it came together,"she said.
As BG’s dreams fell apart.
"We played with a lot of character and went down fighting," Mulcahy said.