Late goal lifts Concord over Timberlane

  •  Caroline Quirk (4) tries to cut a Timberlane offensive chance short in Concord’s 1-0 girls’ soccer win over the Owls on Tuesday. MATT PARKER / Monitor staff

  •  Avery Fitcher (10) plays defense against Maia Parker of Timberlane in Concord’s match on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. The Crimson Tide won 1-0. MATT PARKER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 10/13/2021 1:02:42 PM

It was the type of match you’d expect from two teams trying to establish themselves in a good spot heading into the postseason.

There were contested chances; sparsely, there were open ones. There were defensive triumphs, especially saves. There were corrections on the field from players, and as the game drew close to an end, those corrections turned into desperation.

Eventually, those three things combined toward the end of the game as Concord defeated Timberlane, 1-0, Tuesday evening at Memorial Field.

Concord knew going into its match against the Owls that it would be one of the more competitive ones during this back half of the season. After all, Timberlane (11-2-0) was riding high with a 10-game win streak following its 1-0 loss to Exeter in the season opener.

Yes, it hadn’t lost a game since August.

Until it met the Tide.

The difference in the match didn’t come until the 75th minute, after senior captain Mary Martinson scored the lone goal on a shot that was near midfield, sailing left of goalkeeper.

Tuesday’s game closely mirrored that of a playoff game, but according to Concord coach Andrew Mattarazzo, every game is going to feel the way Tuesday did.

“Both teams showed up to play,” he said. “It was a good game, back and forth. They’re not going to be an easy out for anybody.”

Mattarazzo was proud of his team for staying on what he calls the front foot. Rather than reacting to what’s happening, Concord has been in the figurative driver’s seat in its now five-game win streak.

It wasn’t totally on the front foot, but for most of the match, its dominance was on display.

In a back-and-forth contest that started from the opening whistle, individual efforts were seldom seen. Sure, in the 24th minute, the Tide ripped off three shots one after another. All of which were blocked by various Owls defenders. Timberlane had its share of chances and offensive opportunities as well, but it could never seem to get the ball past the last line of Concord’s stingy defense.

Usually, in tight games, there’s a halftime message meant to stir the team into the next gear and find a way to win. That speech never came as Mattarazzo said his team knew how important not only this game was, but all of them down the stretch will be, and anything less than a win isn’t going to cut it.

“We just kept battling, and it was good to see,” he said.

The Tide (10-3-0) are getting hot at the right time. They only have three games left to keep climbing in the standings and give themselves the best chance possible heading into the state tournament, which starts on Oct. 27.

Until then, Concord will try its best to maintain its winning ways as of late. It closes out the week with a road match at Merrimack on Thursday, with a 6 p.m. start.

Matt Parker bio photo

Matt Parker is a sports reporter at the Monitor and started in August 2021. He is an Ohio native and relishes being from the Buckeye state. A proud graduate of Ohio University located in Athens, Ohio, he served as the sports editor for the student-run newspaper, The Post, from 2019-20. When not at a game or chasing around a coach, you can catch him playing his guitars or looking for the next Peanuts memorabilia piece to add in his growing collection.

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