Sports

Big Blue girls soccer holds off Weston

Haley Bernhardt provided all the offense for Swampscott Sunday. (Item file photo)

SWAMPSCOTT — The Swampscott girls soccer team got the first of two goals by Haley Bernhardt just 33 seconds into Sunday’s Division 3 North quarterfinal game, and it set the tone for the the next 60 minutes.

That’s when Weston got itself untracked and started taking the play to the Big Blue, which, by then, was back on its heels in a defensive posture.

It turned out not to matter much. Swampscott still won the game, 2-0, and will play the winner of today’s Austin Prep-Stoneham game Wednesday (7) at Manning Field in Lynn.

Before the Big Blue and Weston fans could find their seats at Blocksidge Field, Bernhardt received a through-ball from Sydney Clark at about the 20-yard line. She dribbled a few feet and then unloaded on the Weston goalie, beating her cleanly and giving Swampscott a 1-0 lead.

The Big Blue maintained its frenetic pace through the half, and Bernhardt got No. 2 in the 16th minute, with the helper from Allison Tribendis. This one bounced around off a couple of players before Bernhardt got control of it and kicked it in.

Swampscott tried in vain to put another one past Weston before the half ended, including another good bid by Bernhardt for the hat trick, but it was not to be.

“It was good to get off to the fast start,” said Swampscott coach Alvi Ibanez. “We need to give (Weston’s) midfielders something to think about. They are very good, and they showed it in the second half.”

Swampscott, 11-7-2, stayed on the offensive through the first 20 minutes of the second half, but as it wore on the tide began to turn. However, Swampscott keeper NIkki Rosa was equal to the ask of keeping the ball out of her own net, keeping the shutout intact and preserving the victory.

Though Ibanez was happy with the win, he said he felt his players had to make better decisions on offense from hereon out.

“Every team we play from now until the end is a good team, and they’re going to be making good decisions out there. We have to force our opponents to play defense.”

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