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Harris buries five goals as Eagles edge Hopkinton, 10-9


by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

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Gilford junior Alyssa Hamberger races away from the defense of Kingswood's Autumn Dubel during season-opening action in Wolfeboro last week. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 21, 2014
GILFORD Behind a huge offensive outing from junior Alex Harris, the Gilford High School girls' lacrosse team picked up win number one of the season on Friday afternoon.

Harris found the back of the net five times for the Golden Eagles, and the squad held on for a tight 10-9 win over Hopkinton in Division III action at the Meadows.

It was a back and forth contest all afternoon. But the difference came when Hopkinton received two yellow cards just 17 seconds apart with 8:53 left in the game. The Eagles went two players up for nearly three minutes of action, and in that span they scored to take their first lead since early in the opening half.

"We really got the push of momentum when that happened," said Gilford head coach Jillian Nickerson.

In addition to Harris' five goals, Emily Parker tallied twice in the win. Janelle Page and Laura Zakorchemny each scored for the Eagles, and Hopkinton added an own goal thanks to pressure from freshman Julia Normandin on an attempted clearance.

Normandin added an assist, with Zakorchemny, Parker and Page also chipping in with helpers. Sophomore Julia Harris had a big game defensively, and she intercepted several passes that changed momentum for Gilford.

While they cut the lead to just three goals in the second half, the Gilford couldn't claw all the way back in its season opener last week. The Golden Eagles fell on the road to Kingswood Regional High School, 14-6, in Division III action on April 14.

Kingswood quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead on its home turf field, with the Knights tallying twice in the first three minutes.

But Gilford scored its first goal of the season just five minutes later, with Parker burying a shot to make it 2-1. The Knights went on a roll from there though, scoring four straight goals to take a commanding 6-1 advantage.

From there, the Golden Eagles settled in and went on a mini-run of their own. Zakorchemny found the back of the net, and Page added consecutive goals to pull the visitors within 6-4.

But Kingswood would close the first half well, and the hosts put two in the cage past Gilford goalkeeper Autumn Bos before intermission, taking an 8-4 lead into the locker room.

The second frame began well for Gilford, as Zakorchemny put a nice bounce shot into the net five minutes out of halftime on a man advantage situation to make it 8-5. While Kingswood regained its cushion with a goal right after, Parker tallied her second of the afternoon three minutes later and again the Eagles were close down 9-6.

But that would be as close as Gilford would get. The Knights exploded down the stretch run, putting five straight goals on the board en route to the 14-6 final.

Bos finished with 13 saves on the afternoon, and she added 10 in a loss to Derryfield two days later (10-5). The Eagles trailed a strong Cougars side just 3-1 at halftime however.

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