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Last-minute goals sink Eagles in Dover

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

EMILY WATSON and her Kennett teammates earned a postseason berth and played after deadline Wednesday. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 15, 2012
DOVER — Everyone involved was resolved to the fact that overtime was ahead.

However, the St. Thomas field hockey team decided that wasn't what it wanted.

The Saints scored two goals in the final two minutes of play to earn a 2-0 win over Kennett in the final regular season game for both teams on Friday, Oct. 12, in Dover.

"We played fabulous," coach CJ Lang said of her Eagles. "The girls really picked it up and off the bus they were pumped up and ready to go."

The Eagle coach was quick to point out that everything the team had worked on in its practices the previous week was showing up on the field, as the Eagles worked together to get things moving.

"They were taking shots, following them to the net, they executed corners well, we just couldn't get it in," she said.

The two teams battled back and forth the entire way, with neither team able to put anything on the scoreboard until the final two minutes, when the Saints put the ball in the net for the 1-0 lead.

That goal kind of hit the Eagles hard and the Saints took advantage, scoring another less than a minute later to seal the win.

"I think the girls got a little down after the first goal and because of that little hesitation, they got their second goal," Lang said. "You could see, it was like a balloon deflating."

The Eagle coach was quick to praise her team for hanging right there with the number two team in Division II for 58 minutes.

"They gave such a good fight," Lang said. "And they look good heading to the playoffs."

The Eagles finished the regular season at 7-6-1 and managed to secure a home playoff game for the first round of the tournament. The Eagles were facing off with their rivals from Kingswood after deadline on Wednesday.

"Our focus is on Wednesday," Lang said. "It's going to be a great game, it always is with Kingswood."

The Knights defeated the Eagles in overtime the last time the two teams played and the two teams played to a 1-1 tie early in the season.

"But if they play like they did against St. Thomas, we have a good fighting chance," Lang said.

The Division II tournament continues with the second round on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Lebanon at 2 p.m. The semifinals are Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Bill Ball Stadium in Exeter at 7 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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