Gillis' late goal earns Tigers 1-1 tie with Framingham

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Gabe Dreyer” align=”alignleft” width=”277″]Senior Ellie Abbott passes the ball to a teammate during practice at Forte Field.[/media-credit]

Senior Ellie Abbott passes the ball to a teammate during practice at Forte Field.

by Kristian Lundberg
Heading into a crucial game for her squad, Framingham coach Ellen Sowa knew she would need to stop senior Bobby Grimshaw, a key cog in the Tigers’ offensive machine, to have any chance of winning.
“We needed to stop Bobby because he’s just too damn fast,” Sowa said. “We did a pretty good job of that, and we played a strong game all around.”
Indeed, Sowa’s team held him scoreless, an impressive feat, but, in their concentration to neutralize Grimshaw, they failed to stop an equally prolific player in junior Bridget Gillis.
With 5:27 left in the game, Grimshaw received a pass off of a corner and was immediately surrounded by a swarm of Flyers defenders, and he laid the ball off for Gillis, who was wide open on the left wing. In one motion, Gillis collected and with impeccable poise, whipped a shot at the net. Her rocket slammed into the back of the cage, easily beating the Flyers’ goaltender to her right, tying the game at 1-1 with 5:27 left.
“The goal came on a hard, lifted shot,” Sowa said. “It was an impossible shot to stop, and it was perfectly placed, from their perspective.”
The reaction to the goal from the Tigers’ bench was not so much out of jubilation but relief.
The Tigers had dominated possession, especially in the second half, but they could not find an equalizer until Gillis’ snipe. With time running out late in the second half, the Tigers were close to missing a key chance to inch closer to the State Tournament.
However, thanks to Gillis’ clutch goal, the Tigers drew within a point of clinching a tournament berth. They officially qualified for the postseason for the second consecutive year Thursday after a 6-0 drubbing over Needham.
Overall, Sowa said she was pleased with her team’s performance. “We came out with more intensity than we did last time, which was one of our keys,” she said.
On the other hand, Tigers coach Celeste Myers was not so happy.
“We dominated the game, but we didn’t put the ball in the back of the net,” Myers said. “We had most of the chances, but in the next few games, we need to work on finishing.”
Still, Myers said, “For the most part, we played well, though we had no poise in front of the net.”
In the final couple of minutes, the Tigers continued to threaten with Grimshaw and Gillis once again leading the charge. However, the Flyers’ defense again held tough, stopping many of Grimshaw’s daring runs from the midfield only a few yards from the net. Although the Tigers won 12 penalty corners over the course of the game, they could come up with only the single goal.
Framingham scored its only goal with 17:32 left in the first half, on a loose ball in front of the net. The Flyers also managed to secure a spot in the postseason Thursday, defeating Brookline 4-1 on the road.
The Tigers will close the regular season Saturday against Norwood at Dickinson Stadium.
Tournament play will begin in early November.