Updated: Nov 5
By Dante Curry
Framingham State defeated Bridgewater State 3-2 in the first round of the MASCAC Tournament at Maple Street Field Nov. 1.
Framingham’s Kaylee Beck, one of the team’s captains, said, “Honestly, we just knew we needed to pull through today.
“Bridgewater is one of those teams that no matter what the score is, they're always going to fight to every single ball, tooth and nail, so we knew we needed to bring that same energy today,” she added.
The first quarter began slowly, with few shots on the goal.
Bridgewater’s Jordyn Perry took a shot, but Framingham’s goalie, Kaitlyn Tello, saved it.
Just before the 19th minute, Bridgewater produced the first score of the game with a shot from Madison Ellis, assisted by Lexi James.
It appeared the Bears took a 2-0 lead in the 20th minute, but the officials recalled the point after agreeing the ball had touched the chest of one of Bridgewater’s players during the play.
Framingham turned things up and took five consecutive shots, none of which resulted in a goal.
The third quarter was extremely impactful - the meat and potatoes of this game.
Framingham started the half with a lot of energy and momentum on their side.
Framingham’s Isabella Kondi, one of the team’s captains, said the shift in energy came “from last year's playoff run.”
She said, “Being in the LEC [Little East Conference] last year and getting a playoff game was absolutely spectacular. Losing really put things into perspective for us.
“At this halftime, because we were down, we really did not want to be in that position again, so we kicked it into gear and put it to bed,” Kondi added.
The Rams brought that same energy. At the 31-minute mark, Beck sent in a score on an assist by Angelina Serra, leaving the box score 1-1.
Beck said, “It feels amazing. It's like one of those things where it feels like time stops and you just keep going.”
After the score, the Rams seemed to get into a groove and quickly sent five more shots toward the net.
They were all unsuccessful, and the next point came from Bridgewater with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Bridgewater’s Perry scored on an assist by Zoe Bergeron, taking a 2-1 lead.
Less than 20 seconds later, Framingham’s freshman Allison Harmuth tipped in a loose ball on a solo shot. Harmuth scored off a Rams penalty corner as time expired.
She scored her first goal in the MASCAC playoffs, of the season, and in her Rams career, to tie the game at the end of the third period.
Harmuth said, “It feels awesome.
“I'm so happy to have this opportunity to play for this team. I'm so proud of how far we've come.
“And honestly, it was the team who did it, not just me,” she added.
The game went into the fourth quarter all tied up at 2-2, thanks to Harmuth’s goal.
Bridgewater did not take this lightly and came out swinging in the fourth, desperately trying to prolong their MASCAC championship run.
The first two penalty corners and the next three shots on the goals all came from Bridgewater, but Framingham held strong.
In the 49th minute, Framingham took the lead with a huge goal from Kondi, assisted by Serra.
Kondi said, scoring the game-winning goal was “absolutely electric.”
Framingham kept the pressure up and the next five shots at goal all came from the Rams.
Kondi’s goal seemed to be the final dagger for Bridgewater. They did not have any more shots for the rest of the fourth period and they failed to produce another score.
Framingham won round one of the MASCAC playoffs 3-2.
This is a single-elimination tournament, which means Framingham's win eliminated Bridgewater for the season.
After moving to the MASCAC this season, this is Framingham’s first year in the playoff tournament.
Head Coach Allie Lucenta said, “We love” being in the new conference.
She said, “It's a very competitive conference compared to the conference we were in before. It's nice being able to play each team twice, so now this is our third time playing Bridgewater.
“It was a good battle,” Lucenta added.
Framingham managed to achieve success in all three of their matchups with Bridgewater this season.
The Rams advance to the semi-final round, hosted by #2 seed Westfield State Nov. 3.
Coach Lucenta said the plan is to watch film to prepare.
She said, “It's mostly just mental at this point - making sure that everyone is in the zone.”