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Mansfield Edges Sharon In State Girls Soccer Opener

Host Hornets win 3-2, Saturday night.

The Mansfield High School varsity girls soccer team scored three times in the first half to beat visiting , 3-2, in a 2011 Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Soccer South Division 1 preliminary round match at Mansfield High on Saturday night.

No. 17 Sharon (10-6-4 regular season) tied the score at 1-1 on junior Samantha Alves' goal at 13:50 in the first half, and cut Mansfield's lead to 3-2 on senior Haley Cremer's goal 16 minutes into the second half.

Senior Jennifer Esposito scored twice and freshman Abby Broyles once for No. 16. Mansfield (8-4-5 regular season), which advances to a first-round match at No. 1 Bishop Feehan (16-0-1) at 6 p.m. Monday.

Monday night's winner advances to Wednesday's quarter-final against the winner of Sunday's first-round match between No. 9 Weymouth (13-4-1) at No. 8 Franklin (12-2-4).

Feehan, Franklin and Weymouth all received preliminary round byes.

Mansfield head coach Kevin Smith said Feehan is "excellent."

"I've seen them twice. They're very, very talented," he said.

"They've got two fantastic scorers. They have a great center midfielder. They have tremendous defense, excellent goalie. So, they'll be a stiff challenge, that's for sure."

Saturday night, "Sharon was very good. They were very good," Smith said.

Sharon competed in the state tournament for the first time in many years.

"They gave it their all," head coach Jon Lavien said.

"To be down 3-1 at halftime and come back and have a second half like that. One bounce one way, one call one way, it's a different game."

Esposito scored at 2:20 into the match for a 1-0 Mansfield lead.

Alves tied it about 11 minutes later.

Esposito then scored at the 19:40 mark, assisted by senior captain Kailee Paulson.

Esposito has played better after missing the first two weeks of the season with an injury, Smith said.

"She was our leading scorer last year. Now, she's starting to get her feet wet and get into form," he said.

"We expect it from her."

Broyles scored at 37:30 of the first half for a 3-1 Mansfield lead.

Sharon kept the pressure on, though, getting to within one goal in the second half.

"I really think the girls have accomplished a lot this year. They have a lot to be proud of," Lavien said.

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