AUBURN, Mass. – With only five minutes left in the game, the Auburn High School girls soccer team needed a goal to avoid a rare loss. In just in the nick of time, the team came through on a corner kick, tying Northbridge 1-1 on a blustery Monday afternoon in Auburn.
Auburn, which went undefeated last season on its way to a Division 2 State Championship, was behind for a majority of the game. Auburn had some shots go off the post, but it wouldn’t let this corner kick chance slip by.
“They worked, they worked, they worked all game long, and it was well-deserved to get that goal,” head coach Larry Midura said.
Freshman Symantha Brothers sent the corner kick into a group of Auburn attackers and Northbridge defenders. The ball bounced around, but Auburn senior Lesedi Graveline squeaked it past Northbridge goalkeeper Nikki Zuidema to tie the game.
Northbridge scored its goal 11 minutes into the contest. Junior Casey Boucher blasted a shot from 20 yards out that was just over the reach of Auburn goalkeeper Jordann Hauge.
Auburn had a few chances to score in the first half but had nothing to show for it. Senior captain Lizzy Carlson had a good look close to the goalkeeper, but Zuidema deflected the shot. Then junior captain Kayla Almstrom was right in front of the net, and she ripped a shot off the bottom left post.
“We had our opportunities and weren’t too opportunistic in the first half,” Midura said. “We played well, but we’re still young. We graduated seven starting seniors last year, so this is only the second varsity game for a majority of our players.”
It will take some time for the younger players to get used to the varsity level, Midura said.
“They got to learn to play with each other,” he said. “They have got to be more aggressive, and they know it. They see how much faster the varsity level is than where they came from.”
The team’s next game is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at home against Quaboag.