Gardner Comeback Ends Girls Soccer Win Streak at Five Games


Junior Josie Saliga proves to be a big force on the field using her skills to keep the ball away from the opposing team. / by Collin McMahon

by Dakota Antelman

A game that started with a hat trick by Sophia DiPlacido ended with dissatisfaction for her team as Gardner clawed back from a 3-0 deficit in the second half to hand Hudson girls soccer its first tie of the year.

The girls soccer team entered the game fresh off a 7-0 victory over Oxford. Gardner, meanwhile, had lost two straight games. The Hawks were hoping to use the game as a springboard to their weekend meeting with Nashoba, but they were hindered by a slow start to the second half.

“You get sloppy,” said Coach Spencer Fortwengler. “People get confident in the fact that the score is enough. You have to bring them back down to earth and let them know that three is not enough. They go out and the other team scores a couple of quick goals, and it deflates your bubble.”

Hudson’s offense got off to a hot start just 15 minutes into the first half when Sophia DiPlacido was able to settle a cross in front of the net and drive it past the diving Brittnay Cosgrove of Gardner.

Josie Saliga, who assisted on DiPlacido’s first goal, was able to connect with her teammate again just two minutes later as DiPlacido stretched the Hudson lead to 2-0 midway through the first half.

DiPlacido would score once more before halftime, adding a hat trick to a one goal performance just a day earlier in Oxford.

“She’s trying to relax and let the ball come to her and let the play really happen,” Coach Fortwengler said of DiPlacido’s recent success. “When they try to force things out there, it doesn’t go their way.  When she gets relaxed and lets the game come to her, she scores goals.”

DiPlacido’s first half performance had Hudson heading into halftime with momentum on their side. But as the second half unfolded, the Wildcats remedied many of the issues that had plagued them in the first half, just as the Hawks began to struggle themselves.

Gardner was able to break goalie Erin Campbell’s shutout bid just 17 minutes into the half on a Kierra Caissey strike from inside the 18-yard box.

After a brief Hudson offensive surge, the Wildcats were able to erase what remained of Hudson’s lead with two quick goals by Becca Lashua.

According to DiPlacido, Lashua’s game tying goal was the product of confusion on defense. After Lashua was awarded a free kick near the Hudson penalty area, the Hawks were unable to organize their defense in time for the shot.

“We didn’t really know whether to make a wall or not, and they ended up getting the deflection off of us and into the net,” DiPlacido explained.

The loss to Gardner does not cripple the Hawks, only dropping their record to 4-0-1. Their next test will be on Saturday when they face off against Nashoba. As they reflect on the Gardner game, the Hawks’ leadership say they will be working hard over the next few days.

“We need to talk more as a team and get the passing together,” DiPlacido said. “If we come out slow; if we don’t pass or we don’t talk, we’re not ready. But if we practice really hard tomorrow and on Friday, I think we’ll be ready to play on Saturday.”