Westborough girls soccer comeback falls short in state semifinal game

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Sophie Boyd battles with a Whitman-Hanson opponent as a ball rolls out of bounds. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough High School (WHS) girls varsity soccer team’s playoff run came to an end in Mansfield on Wednesday as the Rangers fell to Whitman-Hanson Regional High School 2-1. 

The loss came despite a comeback effort that nearly knotted the score at 2-2 in the game’s final minutes. 

Whitman-Hanson had jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half. Westborough responded in the second half, though, scoring to cut their deficit to 2-1 with roughly 30 minutes left on the clock.

The Rangers then held possession during large swaths of play over the ensuing minutes, coming especially close to a game tying goal late in the second half, only to be denied with a diving save by Whitman-Hanson’s goaltender. 

Westborough entered the game as the only team out of 62 schools in Division II to have remained undefeated throughout the regular season. That earned them the seventh seed in the MIAA’s postseason bracket

That bracket, in turn, saw the Rangers move through contests with Marblehead, Masconomet and Westwood High School before getting to Whitman-Hanson in the semifinals.

Despite Westborough’s unbeaten record, meanwhile, Whitman-Hanson earned a higher seed in the tournament through the state’s new power ranking system, which takes into account a number of data points beyond win-loss record. The third ranked Whitman-Hanson squad got to this game with wins over Northampton, Minnechaug and Medfield.

They’ll now advance to play for a state title on Saturday against Silver Lake Regional High School.

“What an unbelievable ride this team took us on,” WHS Athletic Director Johanna DiCarlo wrote in a message on social media after this loss.There was just no quit in them. So much to be proud of.”

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