KATHRYN HAWKES of Kennett and Sarah Paraskos of Kingswood chase the ball in action last week. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
October 15, 2020WOLFEBORO — The Kennett and Kingswood field hockey teams again played one of their usual tight games when the two squads met up in Wolfeboro on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Kingswood scored first and last, but the Eagles were able to score three goals in between and left Wolfeboro with a 3-2 win.
"The turf always gets us, we couldn't do any work on a faster surface," said Kennett coach Cassie Daley. "And Kingswood is always good, it's always a great game, every year."
"It's always just a battle," said Kingswood coach Kaitlin Reilly. "You know you have to bring your best."
Kennett's Elizabeth Koroski and Jaelin Cummings teamed up for an early bid that the Kingswood defense stopped. Abby Kelly answered with a chance for the Knights but Amber Grant was able to knock the ball away for the Eagles. Erin Meyer got in close for Kingswood and Kennett keeper Elizabeth Graustein made the save in net. Allie Drew and Kelly teamed up on another bid but could not convert.
Kingswood got on the board first with seven minutes gone in the first quarter, as Kelly made a nice charge through the defense and was able to put the ball home for the 1-0 lead. Kelly made another run into the zone that Ella Chandler was able to make the stop defensively. Hailey Kelly made a nice defensive play at the other end on Kathryn Hawkes and Taylor Gaudette made a good run in the zone for the Eagles.
Kennett got three corners in a row, with Maddie Stewart getting her shot blocked and Rachael Paraskos making a nice defensive stop for the Knights. Gaudette also made another run into the zone but could not convert. Kennett had a final corner in the quarter, with Stewart getting a shot off and Kingswood keeper Nia Garland made the save and the first period came to an end with Kingswood up 1-0.
The Eagles got an early corner but could not convert and then Abby Kelly and Meyer teamed up on a bid at the other end that Graustein turned away. The Eagles had a couple more corner chances with Tessa Capazzoli getting a good look on the first, but Alexus Booth was able to clear the ball.
The next corner saw the Eagles tie the game at one with 5:43 to go, as Stewart ripped a shot from the edge of the circle. Capazzoli and Gaudette teamed up on a bid and then Meyer had a bid at the other end with Ava Gaudette helped with a solid defensive stop. Hawkes was able to knock the ball out of the air for a good chance for Kennett and Stewart had a shot go wide on a corner to finish out the half with a 1-1 tie.
The second half got off to a quick start for the Eagles, as Hawkes put the ball in the net just 33 seconds into the third quarter, giving Kennett a 2-1 lead. The Eagles got another chance that Garland was able to stop and then Haley Brooks came through with a nice defensive stop for the Knights. Tatum Brett had a shot deflected wide of the net and the Eagles got another corner, with Stewart's shot going wide.
With 5:08 to go in the third, Kennett upped the lead to 3-1 as Hawkes tipped home a feed in front. Kingswood got a nice defensive play from Paraskos on Capazzoli and Brett had a bit that just missed connecting with Capazzoli. Ana Ekstrom and Abby Kelly teamed up for a bid and then Ekstrom drilled a shot off the post in the final moments, sending the game to the third with the Eagles up 3-1.
Garland made a couple of solid saves to start the fourth quarter, with Capazzoli and Cummings teaming up for a bid and then Meyer and Abby Kelly teamed up at the other end for the Knights. Chandler made a nice defensive stop on a Kingswood corner.
With 8:12 to go, Ekstrom came through with the second goal of the game for the Knights, cutting the lead to 3-2. Abby Kelly and Meyer teamed up on another chance and the Knights continued to pressure. Drew, Ekstrom and Abby Kelly all had chances, but the Knights were unable to put the ball in the net and Kennett had the 3-2 win.
"They fight, they have some talented girls," Daley said of the Knights. "But I'm proud of your girls, they got it together and figured it out."
She noted that Graustein had never played a game on turf, so that is always a new experience, as the game moves faster.
"They have great stickwork and great passing," Daley continued. "It's always a great team when we come to Kingswood."
"You have to fight harder than in other games in some respects," Reilly said. "Kennett just got a step on us today, but we battled back and made it a game."
She also praised the work of Garland, who was playing in only her second game in goal after filling in for Quinn Meserve in the season opener.
"She's doing a good job and our defense is doing a great job helping protect her," Reilly said. "We have great team chemistry and we'll keep fighting."
Kingswood will finish the season with games today, Oct. 15, at home against Gilford at 6 p.m. and at home against Winnisquam on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or email@example.com.