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Knight girls battle to hard-fought win over Kennett

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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

ROWAN DONOVAN-LAVIOLETTE of Kingswood and Kayla Erwin of Kennett go into the corner with the ball on Saturday morning. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
October 13, 2021
WOLFEBORO — Over the last 10 years, the Kennett soccer girls have had Kingswood's number.

The last Knight win over the Eagles was in 2011, when the Knights swept the season series from the Eagles.

On Saturday morning, the Knights reversed that trend, getting a pair of second-half goals on the way to the 2-0 win.

"It's a good feeling and the girls earned it," said Kingswood coach Shane Flood. "The girls played excellent, and so did Kennett. Great play by both teams."

"It was a good fought battle," said Kennett coach Ron Krieger. "But, we get to see them again up at our place."

Kennett got a good run in to start the game, with Megan Davey making the defensive stop for Kingswood. Jill Caravella also had a good defensive stop on Marissa Caputo and Avery Dinges had a good clear for the Kingswood defense.

Haylee Burke had a nice cross for the Eagles and also had a shot on net that was stopped by Kingswood keeper Marina Roy. Bryn Fayle made a nice run up the field for the Eagles and Kennett got the game's first corner. Davey was able to clear the ball out of the zone and the Knights got a chance the other way, with Kylie Rapoza making a run, but her shot went wide of the net.

Amelia Kilmister made a good run for the Knights but Emily Kenny was strong on the defensive side for the Eagles. Caputo had a shot on net that Roy was able to stop. Kennett came back with a couple of corners, but Caravella and Rapoza did their job clearing the ball from the box.

The teams exchanged chances back and forth, with Rapoza and Madison Eaton getting bids for the Knights and Carli Krebs and Caputo doing the same for the Eagles. Kenny, Caputo and Katie Brooks were strong on defense for the Eagles.

Marcella DeNitto had a late shot go wide for the hosts and Kenny was able to clear a cross that DeNitto sent into the box. Rowan Donovan-Laviolette made a nice defensive play for the Kngihts and Kennett had a couple of corners that Roy was able to stop, the second coming on a great shot from Kendall Krieger and the game went to the half with no score.

The two teams both had chances in the early part of the second half, with Donovan-Laviolette getting a shot on net for the Knights and also turning in a strong defensive stop on Burke. Kennett had a corner that Dinges was able to clear from the zone and DeNitto came down the other way with a shot that was stopped by Kennett keeper Sam Habert-Jaques.

The Eagles had three corners in a row, with the Knight defense of Eaton and Heidi Roiter doing a nice job to clear the ball out and Roy making a save on another Eagle bid. Fayle and Olivia Scott just missed connecting on a bid for Kennett and Eaton had a shot for the Knights that was saved.

Just five ticks past the midway point of the second half, the Knights struck for the game's first goal, as Kilmister sent DeNitto into the zone, she beat the defenders with a nice move and fired the ball to the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. The teams continued to battle back and forth, with Eaton getting a shot for the Knights and Fayle making a run in for the Eagles. Brooks also had a shot for the Eagles and Rapoza sent one wide for the Knights.

Kennett had what appeared to be the tying goal when they made a bid into the zone, but the whistle was blown and the play was called off.

Kingswood had a couple of corners but could not convert and Kennett came back with a bid from Kayla Erwin but Roy was there to make the save.

The Knights got a late chance when a penalty in the final minutes gave them a penalty kick. Davey stepped up from the defense and delivered the ball to the net for the insurance and the Knights hung tight.

"They're getting better, they're putting together good minutes even when the score line doesn't go our way," Flood said. "We've been trying to put together the full 80 minutes."

"I would've liked to see that advantage play out, but those things happen," said Krieger of the play where his team appeared to tie the game. "They called the foul prior to allowing the advantage to develop."

The Eagle coach praised the work of Rapoza in earning the late penalty kick for the Knights, noting it was a good play and a good call and she earned the call.

The two teams are slated to meet again today, Thursday, Oct. 14, at 5:30 p.m. in North Conway. Kingswood will also be hosting John Stark on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.

Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or josh@salmonpress.news.

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