Freshman forward Gabby Diorio’s golden goal with 4:50 left in double overtime gave visiting Acton-Boxboro a stunning 1-0 win over reigning Division 1 girls’ soccer state champion Peabody Sunday night.
The Tanners (17-2-0), who earlier this year were ranked as the top team in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, lost twice to the Colonials (10-6-3) this season.
“Beating [Peabody] once was a great achievement, but to do it a second time in playoffs on a field that they haven’t lost at in a long time is absolutely magnificent,” said Acton-Boxboro coach Lee Billiard.
However, the victory wasn’t without controversy.
It appeared that a Peabody header in the first overtime crossed the goal line before being saved by goalkeeper Kelsey Bourne, but neither referee signaled for a goal and play continued.
“To us, at our angle, that ball was in,” said Peabody coach Dennis Desroches.
“That should have been it. However, you know the refs don’t make that call and it should have been made, especially with the ref on that side of the field. What are you going to do?
“We could have put it away late, but we were unable to finish. If we take care of that we don’t have to worry about [what happened].”
Hamilton-Wenham 2, Gloucester 1 — Generals keeper Taylor Morong stopped three of four shots in penalty kicks as the hosts advanced.
Wilmington 1, Marblehead 0 — Holly Niemiec scored the game’s lone goal 53 minutes in.