LINCOLN – The Lincoln girls soccer team won't be the most skilled or experienced team in Division II this season, but there won't be many teams in the state that have more resolve and determination than the Lions.
Reigning Division III champion Toll Gate rolled up to Ferguson Field on Saturday morning and after the first 10 minutes it looked like junior Olivia Dutra was going to match Thomas Corcoran's seven-goal effort on Friday night at the same field.
Dutra scored twice early, but the Lions found their game and eventually tied the contest in the second half before Dutra finished off her hat trick in the 70th minute to rebuild Toll Gate's lead. Lincoln responded again and thanks to late goals from Ava Bauzyk and Allyson Cole, the Lions secured an important 4-3 victory.
“We never put our heads down and just worked as a team and once Ava scored that tying goal, we wanted to win it,” Cole said. “We really started to pass the ball well and our coaches always tell us to keep our heads up and that's what we did.”
“The girls really fought hard and they fought together,” Lincoln coach Chris Allen said. “Our forwards really worked well together and played to progress the ball. They have a heck of striker over there who scored their goals, but we kept going. We just had to get our heads into the game and realize we needed to work as a unit.”
Lincoln (1-1 Division II) started the season with a 1-0 defeat to Scituate where the offense simply wasn't clicking, but Saturday a talented group of underclassmen came together to create numerous opportunities. Freshman midfielder Caitlyn Procter scored her team's first goal and was a driving force for the first-half turnaround before she suffered an injury in the final seconds of the half.
Toll Gate (1-1 Division I) has relied on Dutra for all of its offense this season after the junior scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over East Providence earlier in the week. The Titans needed just four minutes to grab the lead and then Dutra doubled the lead at the 10-minute mark when she ripped a shot past Amy Stevens.
The Lions, who had their offside trap exposed by the Titans early, finally started winning the midfield battle and that led directly to a goal in the 20th minute when Procter scored off a corner kick. The hosts tied the game on a 56th-minute finish from sophomore Skye Adam.
“As the game went along we finally started to work as a unit,” Allen said. “We've been looking for a connection from the back to the front because our defense has been playing strong and our offense was able to finally compliment that by being a threat in front of the goal.”
Dutra beat the offside trap again in the 70th minute when she beat Stevens to a through ball before scoring into an empty net, but the lead lasted just six minute when Bauzyk poached a goal from inside the penalty box. Lincoln took its first lead of the game two minutes later when Cole finished a nice move.
“I honestly wasn't even aware of what was happening before I scored, I just wanted to get the win for the team,” Cole said. “Ava Bauzyk made a nice pass to me and I just wanted to score to get the win.”
The Lions travel to West Warwick tomorrow afternoon.
Follow Branden Mello on Twitter @Branden_Mello