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Matarozzo's overtime tally lifts Knights past Eagles


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

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AS KINGSWOOD’S Emma Danais charges in, Kennett keeper Lara Murnik kicks the ball away during action Sept. 24. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 01, 2012
WOLFEBORO — When the Kennett field hockey team scored two goals in the first eight minutes of its game with Kingswood in Wolfeboro on Sept. 24, the thought of the two Carroll County rivals going to overtime yet again was the furthest thing from anyone's mind.

Yet, there the two teams were, after 60 minutes of field hockey, locked in a 2-2 tie and heading to sudden-death overtime.

Early in the overtime period, Kennett's Emily Watson broke down the field, with a teammate across the field. Kingswood goalie Jess Colpoys came charging from the net and basically went into a slide, stacking her pads and stopping Watson's shot.

Just moments later, Kingswood's Nicole Matarozzo found herself at the other end and she didn't miss, sneaking one past Kennett keeper Lara Murnik with just 3:15 gone in the overtime to give the Knights the emotional 3-2 come-from-behind victory over their county rivals.

"To come back from two goals down was huge," said an excited Knight coach Kaitlin Reilly after the win. "But it was even bigger for ust to see how they responded (to being down 2-0).

"The control and the leadership on the field was able to keep it going," she continued.

"I think we came out really strong and it took the other team a while to wake up," said Kennett coach CJ Lang. "I don't think we played worse late, we just needed to pick it up."

Lang noted that the timeout called by the Knights after the second goal seemed to be the turning point.

"They called timeout and attacked that field as a different team," she said.

Out of the gate, things didn't look like they'd be going Kingswood's way, as Maggie LaRoche scored just 1:04 into the game, just moments after a nice save from Colpoys.

Kennett continued to pressure and got a lot of good looks, though the Knights were able to get the ball out of the zone for a short burst, earning a penalty corner but not putting the ball in the net.

Kennett upped the lead to 2-0 with 8:34 gone in the first half, as Vonde Saunders fired the ball past Colpoys for the 2-0 lead.

After the Knights called timeout, they came out refocused and had some great chances at the other end, with Murnik making a couple of solid saves and Emily Richard helping out with strong defensive play.

Kennett also had a couple good chances, with Erinn Vittum and Marisa Nardello stepping up on defense. Amanda Nusbaum and Elyse Clancy both sent shots wide of the net.

Rachel Lapar, Vittum and Matarozzo continued to push in the offensive zone, as the Knights got a couple of corners, but they were unable to tally until the final 1:05 of the half, when Matarozzo tucked the ball past Murnick to make it a 2-1 game heading to halftime.

The two teams went back and forth through most of the start of the second half, with LaRoche helping to lead the way for Kennett and Matarozzo, Julia St. Germain, Lapar and Emma Danais all getting in on the action for the Knights. Richard, Leah Kelemen and Aimee-Kate Gutowski chipped in with solid defense for the Eagles.

However, with 17:36 to go in the game, the ball got behind Murnik in the net and rolled up on to a Kennett defender, resulting in a penalty stroke chance for the Knights.

Lapar stepped to the circle and delivered the tying goal.

The two teams went back and forth with chances the rest of the way, with corners in both offensive zones, but the two teams were both stopped by defense and goaltending and went to the seven-on-seven overtime.

However, because of a penalty, Kingswood had to spend the first few minutes of the extra frame down a player.

In the end, however, it didn't matter, as Matarozzo ended the game and ignited the Kingswood celebration.

"They stayed focused on our goal, which was working to put the ball in the net," Reilly said. "It was really important to us after the last couple games, that we put the passes together."

She praised the work of Lapar in the midfield and of Matarozzo in getting the winning goal, but also reserved a bit of special praise for Colpoys' efforts, particularly in the overtime.

"That was a high level skill," Reilly said of the big save. "To make that with the timing and pose she did was admirable and her teammates responded to that."

"We got a little comfortable," Lang said. "We fought for every ball, but it wasn't enough."

She also praised Colpoys' work on the overtime scoring chance.

"She made a very smart play, she didn't let Emily make that pass," Lang stated. "Emily did what she could."

The Eagles returned to action on Wednesday, Sept. 26, with a 2-1 loss at Plymouth.

They will not be back in action until the final game of the regular season, which is set for Friday, Oct. 12, at St. Thomas.

The Knights got a tally from Matarozzo but it wasn't enough in their Sept. 26 game at Goffstown, where they fell 3-1. Kingswood's game with Plymouth, slated for Sept. 28, was postponed until Oct. 11.

The Knights will be at Bow on Friday, Oct. 5, at 5:30 p.m. and will close out the regular season with a home game with Oyster River at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

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

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