LYNN — The third time proved to be the charm for the Bishop Fenwick girls soccer team. After falling to Austin Prep twice during the regular season, the No. 4 Crusaders took down the No. 1 Cougars when it counted most with a 1-0 win in the Division 3 North semifinal Wednesday night at Manning Field.
The lone goal was scored in the second half on a shot by freshman Jordan Morris. Senior captain Marissa Orlando set up Morris’ goal with a nice assist.
“It was a great goal,” Fenwick coach Steve Flaherty said. “Jordan is a freshman and that was her first time scoring. I told her before the game, ‘You need to score tonight,’ and she just delivered. She has been working hard in practice, but they all have. It was a good team effort.
“We all know Marissa can play,” Flaherty added. “She caused a lot of problems for their defense tonight, but there is no individual for us. It was a great team effort and now we have to get ready for Swampscott next round.”
Despite a solid defensive game, a lack of offensive chances on the night came back to haunt Austin Prep as the team’s season came to a close.
“Always give credit to the team that wins and I wish them the best of luck,” Austin Prep coach Tim Phelan said. “But the group of girls we have here are top-notch girls. They are great soccer players but they’re even better people. I’m proud to coach them. We’re disappointed with the way that it ended but I love them all.”
After a defensive battle in the first half Fenwick found an opportunity with three minutes before halftime. After a free kick from just outside the box was blocked by an Austin Prep defender, a rebound chance opened up for the Crusaders but they couldn’t capitalize as a shot sailed high over the net.
The Crusaders were eventually able to capitalize on another chance later in the second half. Orlando carried the ball down the right side of the field and into the Austin Prep box. After making a defender miss she dished a perfect pass to Morris in front of the net, who ripped a shot into the back of the net to give Fenwick a 1-0 lead with 16:16 to play.
Austin Prep gave one last surge on offense in the final minutes of play but the Crusaders were able to hold on for the 1-0 victory- sealing their bid into the sectional final.
“Austin Prep is a good team and we both played hard tonight,” Flaherty said. “There’s not much you can do about a game like this. Whoever makes the first mistake, the other team is going to capitalize. It was a good game.”
Fenwick will play in the sectional final against No. 7 Swampscott Sunday afternoon (1:30) at Manning Field. The Big Blue defeated No. 3 Stoneham, 1-0, in the semifinal round.
Flaherty said he doesn’t know much about the Big Blue but his Crusaders will prepare in the next few days.
“This is only one game for us and now we have to go after Swampscott,” Flaherty said. “We are not very familiar with Swampscott because we haven’t played them in the regular season. I watched them earlier tonight and that’s another very good team. We will be up for it.”