Wellesley girls soccer rolls in opener

Olivia Francis and teammate celebrate the go-ahead and would-be game-winning goal midway through the first half of Thursday’s 3-1 victory against Weymouth. Photos by Mike Flanagan

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

The Wellesley High School girls varsity soccer team opened up its 2019 season last Thursday afternoon at home against Weymouth.

The Raiders (2-0-0) began their season on the right note, thanks to first half goals by Rory Clare and Olivia Francis, followed by a shutdown defensive effort in the second half, to earn a 3-1 victory. Less than 24 hours later, the Lady-Raiders traveled to Braintree and earned a 2-0 victory for their second win in as many days.

Sophomore midfielder Catherine Smith (14) moves the ball up the field early in the first half.   Photos by Mike Flanagan

Sophomore midfielder Catherine Smith (14) moves the ball up the field early in the first half. Photos by Mike Flanagan

With 30:19 remaining in the first half, Rory Clare intercepted a pass inside the box, cut to the middle and fired home a shot into the right side of the cage to give Wellesley an early 1-0 lead.

With exactly 21 minutes to play in the half, Weymouth tied the game at one with a goal off a breakaway.

Just two minutes later, however, Wellesley fought back. Rory Clare broke in uncontested for a one-on-one with the Weymouth keeper. Clare’s shot was saved, but the rebound came right to Francis, who stood about 20 yards away. Francis unleashed a cannon of a shot that went bar-down and in to reclaim the lead for Wellesley at 2-1 with 18:41 to play in the half. Wellesley tightened up defensively and brought their one-goal lead into halftime.

The game remained 2-1 in favor of Wellesley late in the second half, thanks to shutdown defensive play by the Raider backs. Lulu Rourke sealed the season-opening win for the Raiders with a goal with 5:05 remaining.

Wellesley will look to keep up the momentum when the Raiders travel to Brookline on September 19.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.

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