TOWNSEND — The powerful Shrewsbury girls soccer team traveled to meet North Middlesex in a MidWach A encounter on Thursday night. The hometown Lady Patriots hung tough for a half and trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes before the Colonials erupted in the second half to pull away to a 6-0 victory.
“We did a nice job of hanging tough for the first half,” said North MIddlesex coach Charlie Valacer. “We got some good defensive efforts from Alyssa Robinson, Katherine Hall, Emily Church and Maia Farrar, but we just couldn’t generate enough offensively and Shrewsbury took control in the second half.”
Shrewsbury received strong play at midfield from Kayla Shea and the Colonials owned an advantage in play in the first half, but the North Middlesex defense held them to just five shots on goal over the first 40 minutes with confident play.
Shrewsbury’s first quality scoring chance came 11 minutes into the game when a cross in front of the net was pinballed and came to Brittany Laramee, whose point-blank shot was stopped by North Middlesex goaltender Julia Murray.
Near the midway point of the first half, Shea cut in from right wing toward the net, but North Middlesex defender Mackenzie Sharp hustled back and broke the play up.
The Colonials drew first blood at 23:07 when Shea sent a pass in front to Emily Benjamin, who ripped a low shot inside the left post to make it 1-0.
A pair of solid defensive plays, one by each side, kept it a one-goal game over the next 10 minutes.
At 29 minutes, North Middlesex’s Maria Rios took a lead pass at the back of the Shrewsbury defense, but Natalie Benjamin of the Colonials broke the play up.
Four minutes later, North Middlesex defender Hall cleverly diffused a scoring chance after Emily Benjamin took a lead pass.
North Middlesex’s best scoring chance came in the final minute when Emily Herrick fired a shot from outside the right post that was stopped by Shrewsbury goaltender Devinne Zadravec.
The Colonials picked up the pace of play in the second half and pulled away.
At 2:15, Shea sent a perfect corner kick to the right post and Emily Benjamin headed it into the net from close range to make it 2-0.
Less than three minutes later, North Middlesex’s Hailey Connor cleared the ball out of danger after a well-placed cross in front of the net.
Shrewsbury extended the lead to 3-0 at 12:09 on another well-executed set play when a corner kick created a loose ball in front and Maggie Kerr netted a shot from close range.
The Colonials made it 4-0 at 18 minutes when Lyndsey Card sent a short header into the net after a perfect diagonal cross by Shea.
Wrapping up the scoring for Shrewsbury were goals by Chelsea Gallant at 26:30, and Jordan Kennedy in the final minute, both on shots from close range.
Murray made nine saves for North Middlesex.