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Berlin girls look to get on winning track in final week

Aliyah Paquette pushes the ball up the field in action against White Mountains last week. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
October 22, 2020
BERLIN — The Berlin Mountaineers girls' soccer team played twice last week, losing to the Yellow Jackets of Pittsburg-Canaan by a score of 2-1 on Monday, before dropping a heartbreaker on Thursday to the Spartans of WMRHS in the final seconds of regulation. In the process, freshman Ava Bartoli suffered a broken finger when she collided with a Yellow Jacket midfielder on Monday. Bartoli would miss the Wednesday game, but is expected to return to action soon.

On Monday, the Mountaineers would find themselves with an early 1-0 lead on a fine display of ball movement by coach Al Woodward's front three. Jillian Halle would find a sprinting Bartoli with a nice touch pass, before Bartoli would find a seam to send Mak Peare in all alone with the P-C keeper, Trinity Johnson. Peare made no mistake about it, striking home a well-placed ball to put the locals on top. The Yellow Jackets, however, would tie the game before the end of the first half, thanks to a Sophie Grondin goal. Then it would be Amelia D'Aiello who would put P-C on top for good just a few minutes into the second half. For the Mountaineers, goalie Chloe Dagesse made 17 saves in the losing effort. Johnson had five saves in the victory for P-C.

On Wednesday, Woodward's squad would find itself down early, as a Lexi Deming tally would put the visiting WMRHS Spartans up 1-0 just 12 minutes into play. Demming would find herself all alone in the box with nothing but net to shoot at, after a Maddie Lorenz throw in was misplayed by Berlin. The Mountaineers, to their credit, would hang strong with the Spartans, despite being outshot heavily.

Halle would tie the game in the 66th minute when she would capitalize on an excellent passing play by Peare and Lena Caouette to tie things up at one apiece. The game would remain tied until the final seconds of regulation, when the Spartans found themselves with a last second corner opportunity. That's when Josie DeAngelis would slam home a rebound to give WMRHS the late victory. The win would improve the Spartans to a 2-2-1 record, while the Mountaineers now sit at 2-8 after a disappointing week.

Woodward continues to have faith that his team can have a successful run in the upcoming NHIAA Division III playoffs, as he stated, "That was a tough couple of losses, and the girls definitely didn't get the outcomes they deserve. They continue to work hard and eventually, I think it is destined to all come together. We just need to continue to grow and improve every time out on the field."

The Mountaineers will look to turn things around in the final two games of the regular season, starting Wednesday, when they travel to WMRHS for a rematch with the Spartans. The Mountaineers then close the season with a home game Friday against Laconia.

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