LYNN — The full-time whistle blew as Tuesday’s Agganis All-Star Girls Soccer game came to a close, followed by hugs and handshakes as the girls played in their last games as high schoolers.
It was North going home victorious, 4-0. Swampscott’s Mia Schena (1 goal, 1 assist) received MVP for the North, while Eliana Anderson of Danvers was awarded MVP of the South.
Both teams took some time to settle in, but North struck first as Marblehead’s Cait Mullins curled in a shot for a 1-0 cushion.
“I’ve been working on my shooting. I think I’m going to be playing halfback in college (St. Anselm) so I was trying to get those goals in,” Mullins said.
From rivals to teammates, Mullins, alongside Schena, ran the show for North, utilizing their speed to open up the defense.
“It was also really nice to play with people I played against because obviously there’s that rivalry during the season, but it’s just a nice community,” Mullins said.
Schena then placed a perfectly-weighted pass to Kayla Carlin of Bishop Fenwick, who doubled the North’s lead to 2-0.
Not only did Schena show her playmaking ability, but had a goal-of-the-day candidate with a flick around her defender before powering one home for a 3-0 advantage.
South had its opportunities, but North’s defense positioned itself effectively behind Swampscott’s Lilian Gosselin between the pipes.
A breakaway gave South a chance to respond, but Lynnfield Pioneer and Buffalo State-bound Trinity Gesamondo provided a crucial interception to help keep the clean sheet in store.
North’s fourth goal came from Ava Bellachini of Bishop Fenwick, who found the right spot to tap in a deflection (4-0).
“This was a great end to the season. I’m going to miss it so much,” Mullins said. “There’s something special about high school soccer. It’s not as serious [and] people have fun instead of yelling and getting mad at each other. It’s nice to meet everyone that I’ve played against and play with them.”
After the game, Lynn Classical and South coach Jessica Gambale said the game was a great way to highlight the players’ careers.
“It’s a great time,” Gambale said.
Gambale was familiar with the Agganis Games, as she played in them.
“I was super excited to coach this game. It was a great opportunity.” said Gambale, who graduated from Swampscott. “I played in it when I was younger, so I was excited to be a part of it again.”
Gambale’s pregame message: have fun.
“For a lot of the girls, this was their last soccer game ever, so I wanted them to have fun, leave it all on the field, play their best, and meet some new people,” Gambale said.
Gambale embraced the opportunity to coach four of her former players one last time.
“It was awesome,” Gambale said. “It was a group of girls I was really close with, so I’m happy I got one more game with them before they’re all off doing their things next year.”