The Tewksbury Memorial High School girls' soccer team and its fans were experiencing a mixed bag of emotions at the end of Tuesday's rainy night game at Andover High School.
There was a collective feeling of euphoria, for the team had just secured one of the biggest victories its seen in years, but there was also a dark worrying shadow cast over the win, and it wasn't because of the gloomy weather conditions.
Captain and top defender Liz Marchand went down hard with a leg injury and was removed from the playing field with just two minutes left to play in the game. The severity of her injury was unknown, making for uneasy teammates, coaches and parents.
Down 1-0 with time running out, a desperate Andover team was not afraid to get rough. A player fouled Marchand in Tewksbury's defensive end within the two-minute warning announcement. The offending player was charged a yellow card and taken out of the game during the injury time-out.
After Marchand was carted off the field, the game resumed.
"Do it for Lizzy!" could be heard belted out from the stands, as parents encouraged the remaining Redmen to secure the win for their fallen teammate.
The Redmen (4-2-3) did just that. Time expired, and Tewksbury defeated the Golden Warriors 1-0 on the road. The girls excitedly ran over to their goalie, Rebecca Davies, to congratulate her on the shutout. Teammates also had Nicole Chaet to pat on the back for she was the lone goal-scorer of the night.
The win was particularly sweet because Andover is typically one of the top contenders in the conference.
Chaet scored 10 minutes into the second half after she out-hustled a defender and took on Andover's goalkeeper one-on-one. Chaet's smooth footwork prevailed as she tucked the ball into the back corner of the net.
Soon after the end of the game, reality set in when an ambulance was spotted in the distance. A stretcher was utilized, and it has been reported that Marchand broke her leg during the collision.
Tewksbury Coach Kelly Barrio was unavailable for comment after the game because she was checking in with the status of Marchand's injury.
Next up, the Redmen will take on Central Catholic at home on Friday at 3:30 p.m., and unfortunately it looks like they may have to take the field without Marchand.