AMESBURY — Perhaps the Boston Red Sox can learn a little something from the Amesbury Indians.
Less than 24 hours after the Red Sox blew a one-run lead and their season to the Baltimore Orioles, coming out slow and uninspired after a rain delay, the Amesbury girls soccer team encountered a similar problem.
After playing a bruising, back-and-forth, mud-soaked, scoreless first half against Hamilton-Wenham, the skies opened up amidst the rumble of thunder, sending both teams into the Cashman School for a mandatory 30-minute wait. But the Indians didn't let the break cool them down, coming right back out onto a wet field to score the game-winning goal just five minutes into the second half to take down Hamilton-Wenham, 1-0.
"I was pleased at how we came out after the rain," said Indians coach Cathy Berry. "We came back out with heart. That can be a real game changer, as we saw with the Red Sox."
The Generals (1-5) hit the field in the first half with enough vigor to match Amesbury (4-1-1). Although the Indians outshot Hamilton Wenham 10-5 in the half, they themselves dragged back into their zone after each shot for some exciting action.
Then the rain came and the teams waited. Once the field was deemed safe to play on, the Indians began pressuring the Generals keeper Taylor Morong with new life. Eventually, striker Natalie Dawes got her feet on the ball in front of Morong's left side, passing it clear across the net to find midfielder Amanda Martin ready and waiting at Morong's right.
Martin's kick was on-target, cruising past Morong, and that was all Amesbury needed for the win, out-shooting the Generals 9-4 in the last 40 minutes.
"I was a little bit nervous it would go wide," Martin said of her game-winner. "But I tried to place it in the corner, and it went in."
Toward the end of the game, Indian defender Emily Leary found herself hip-checked by midfielder Sophia Becker, who made her presence known for most of the game with a particularly physical style of play. Leary hit the deck hard, coming out of the game and wrapping her left ankle in ice. But no injury was reported and Leary walked home.
"I feel like we played really strong (today)," said Martin. "We came out after the break really strong."
"We're down a few starters," said Berry, whose team only has two seniors at the moment. "There were a lot of freshmen and sophomores out there. But our experience up front allowed us a ton of good possessions. (Sophomore) Kelly DiFazio stepped in for (injured Junior defender) Taylor Tagliente. She hasn't had a lot of minutes, but she did her job covering the ground."