TYNGSBORO -- North Middlesex controlled the tempo in Tuesday night's season opener at Tyngsboro, but it was not enough as Tigers forward Olivia Notini scored early in the second half to disperse the Patriots, 2-0, at a hot and steamy Irmin Pierce Field.
First-year head coach Maragaret Nickless was pleased with her team's effort.
"I thought we played very well tonight," Nickless said. "Tyngsboro is a great team. They came out very strong. I know that the Tyngsboro girls play a lot in the off season, which really is beneficial to them as well. We kind of died out at the end of the game."
North Middlesex had a bevy of chances in the opening 20 minutes of the match, but it failed to sneak one past Tyngsboro goalkeeper Syd Fagurdes.
"Shalee Callahan and Leah Hannon had some absolutely great runs," Nickless said. "I think Leah played exceptionally well with it being her first time on varsity. I think that she was by far our best player today."
North Middlesex midfielder Sydney Morgan ripped a curling shot from about 25-yards out, but it sailed haphazardly over the crossbar.
The Patriots controlled the midfield in the first half, but quality drives from Callahan and Hannon fizzled out due to steady backline play by the Tyngsboro defense.
The Tigers broke the stalemate in the 38th minute on a goal from just outside the 18-yard box by Alyssa Geaudreau. Geudreau ripped her shot past the outstretched mitts of North Middlesex goalkeeper Katherine King (8 saves).
North Middlesex continued to put pressure on the Tigers' defense with quality runs from Callahan and Gabriella Trust. Callahan kicked the ball over to the speedy Hannon in the 52nd minute, but her shot sailed wide-left.
Notini put the game on ice for Tyngsboro with a spectacular finish in front of the net in the 72nd minute. Notini baited King off her line and chipped the ball in the back-left corner of the cage to make it 2-0.
"I think the heat definitely played a factor in the loss today, but unfortunately for us it was a factor for both teams," Nickless said. "We were not able to capitalize on our opportunities today."
North Middlesex attempted to make an offensive push late, but it was not enough. North Middlesex out-shot Tyngsboro 14-10 in the match.
The Patriots are back in action Friday afternoon at 3:30 in Ashburnham against Oakmont.
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