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That winning feeling

Meyer, Crew lift Knight soccer girls to first win

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

MARIA HENDRICKSON gets the ball away from a Laconia attacker in action Oct. 15. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 21, 2013
WOLFEBORO — Coach Tom Merrell could see it coming.

His Kingswood girls' soccer team played at Somersworth the previous Friday and despite a 6-0 loss, the Knight coach felt that his team was close to getting on the winning side of things for the first time in two years.

"I knew, the way they played at Somersworth, that things would turn around," Merrell said. "I told them, if they played like they had been, there's a good chance we can get a win.

"We could kind of see it coming, so hopefully we can keep it going," Merrell added.

Out of the gate, Laconia had a number of chances at their end, but Kingswood keeper Emily Crew was solid in the net, as she made a number of saves to keep the game scoreless.

Kingswood also had plenty of chances to get on the board, as Corrina Chasse sent eh ball in to Abbie Dempsey for a bid and then sent a couple of shots of her own wide of the net.

Crew continued to make strong plays in the net, including an aggressive move to the ball to stop a drive. Julia Miller chipped in with solid defense as well.

At the other end, it was Chasse continuing to lead the way for the Knight offense, as she had one shot go wide and another stopped by the Laconia keeper.

Kingswood got a couple of corner kick chances, but the Sachems were able to clear the ball out of the zone. Hannah Demain also got a couple of offensive looks in the zone, only to be denied by the defense.

Crew also came out to make a pair of aggressive saves for the Knights and the Sachems also sent shots high and wide. Miller sent a great long clear ahead to Demain, who had her shot denied.

The Knights finished out the half with a couple of corner kick chances and it was one of those corner kicks that got the Knights on the board.

Chasse sent the ball into the box in front of the goal and Tana Meyer fought her way through to push the ball into the zone to give the Knights a 1-0 lead with just about four minutes to play in the first half.

Crew closed out the half with a couple of nice saves to keep the Knights in the lead heading to the break.

Out of the gate early, the Knights had a number of good chances to up the lead, with Chasse sending a couple of bids wide of the net, while Emma Bellefleur and Sawyer also had a chance going in. Meyer sent a nice pass to Chasse, who's shot was stopped by the Laconia keeper.

Chasse and Maria Hendrickson led the continued charge at the offensive end with chances, but the Sachems were able to battle back and got a number of nice chances. Crew made a great save on a good crossing bid and Miller stepped up with strong defense in front.

The Knights had a corner kick go wide of the net and Dempsey had a good look in the zone. Laconia came back and sent a ball high on a corner kick chances and had more pressure, but couldn't convert.

Chasse had a great direct kick chance that soared through the crease, just missing connections with Meyer at the far post. The Knights followed that up with a pair of corner kick chances, but the ball just missed the net

Crew continued to impress, as she made a nice aggressive save on another Laconia chance, while the Knights had a good corner kick chance turned away. Chasse had a bid on a corner kick, but it was stopped by the Sachem goalie.

Becky Peternel, Alejandra Beaudet and Chasse turned in strong defensive play down the stretch and Crew made a couple more saves and the Knights were able to hang on for the 1-0 win, the first win of the season.

"They've worked hard, they've earned it," Merrell said of his squad. "They've got that taste of winning and how good it feels."

Merrell also had props for his sophomore keeper, who had a stellar game between the pipes.

"Lots of props for our goalkeeper," Merrell said. "She's just got no fear, she'll just dive at their feet."

The Knights suffered a bit of a letdown on Thursday, Oct. 17, at Gilford, dropping a 4-1 decision, though Merrell pointed out it was marked improvement from their earlier meeting with the Golden Eagles.

The Knights held the hosts scoreless for the first 24 minutes and they added a second tally just minutes before the half. Gilford netted two in the second half, while Demain scored for the Knights in the second half.

Members of the girls' soccer team, along with members of the boys' soccer team and middle school teams made the trip to Foxboro to see the New England Revolution and the Columbus Crew do battle.

The Knights will be wrapping up their season with a home game against Somersworth, under the lights of Alumni Field on Friday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m.

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

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