Millis Girls’ Soccer Captures Division 4 State Championship

Christopher Tremblay
With a 1-0 win over Millbury, the Millis Girls’ soccer took home the Division 4 State Championship. Photo courtesy of Steve Bailen
Issue Date: 
December, 2017
Article Body: 

The Millis girls’ soccer team opened the season with a tie and a loss and suddenly found themselves in a hole at 0-1-1, but instead of feeling sorry for themselves, the Mohawks buckled down and went on a roll that saw the team finish 12-2-2 during the regular season, earn a spot in the Division 4 South Tournament. After cruising through the Sectional Tournament, Millis then went onto win the Division 4 State Championship.
“Coming into the season, I never thought that we’d accomplish this. I do set high expectations, but I was hoping to go .500 in the league and make the tournament,” Mohawk Coach Steve Bailen said. “After those first two games, the girls rallied to come together. I hold them accountable, and they don’t take the criticism personal, they know it’s there to help them improve.”
Having only lost three seniors from last year 11-5-4 team Bailen had 11 returning starters taking to the field with experience this fall; none bigger than the team’s tri-captains. Defender Julia Krauss, striker Kaylee Francis and midfielder Taylor Davis made sure they delivered the Coach’s words of wisdom to the rest of the team.
“As Coaches, we had to scout out our games and put together a strategy,” Bailen said. “The girls took to the field, put that plan in motion and executed it, while not always to perfection, it was good enough to win.”
As the number two seed in the Division 4 South Tournament the Mohawks defeated Rising Tide 8-0, Cohasset 3-0 and Coyle and Cassidy 4-0 to take home the Championship. Millis then went on to outlast Amesbury in overtime 2-1 and Millbury 1-0 for the State Title. With nothing going on in the first half Francis knocked home a Jordyn Ferrantino rebound in the very early minutes of the second half to give Millis the eventual victory. It was Millis’ first State Championship since 1999, when Olivia Zitoli (now the team’s Assistant Coach) was on the squad.
Throughout the regular season in the TVL, Millis plays a majority of Division 2 and 3 teams, which helps prepare them for Division 4 tournament play. As the Mohawks took to the post-season the team played their up-tempo style while using their speed, tenacity and high energy from start to finish.
“We came in not only focused but with a high degree of confidence,” the coach said. “I always tell them you’re only as good as your last win; you can’t assume anything.”
Being able to bring Millis another State Championship was a great feeling for the girls’ soccer team, but the Coach believes it goes further than that.
“The Championship was an uplifting experience, not only for the soccer team, but for the entire girls’ programs at the Millis High School. It shows there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Bailen said. “This builds a lot of momentum and enthusiasm with the Millis Soccer Club as well as town support and that of the school.”