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Joyce Endee

Five years in the making: Lakers snap streak, win opener over Laconia

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

I-L defender Hannah Krueger tries to keep the ball away from a Laconia player during her team’s 4-1 win over the Sachems at Robbie Mills Field on Aug. 24. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
August 27, 2012
MEREDITH – One game, one win. Drought over.

When the Inter-Lakes High School girls' soccer team opened its regular season on Aug. 24 with a road game at Laconia, the Lady Lakers were well aware of the program's lack of wins in recent times. Entering this fall, it's been five years since I-L won a game. That all changed against the Sachems however, as I-L scored five minutes into the first half and pulled away for a 4-1 win at Robbie Mills Field to begin the regular season with a perfect 1-0 record.

"We were definitely looking for a 'W' this year. We're looking for that right off the bat and then take the pressure off," said second-year head coach Steve Jordan. "This is my second season with a number of these ladies. We both know how to work with each other now."

A pair of freshmen figured into the scoring for the Lakers, as Caitlin Rottonelli (goal, two assists) and Kaylee Converse each found the back of the net. Senior captain Alexandra Brewer also tallied, while sophomore Sarah Dunlap got the other goal. Leah Glenday added an assist in the winning effort.

I-L graduated just one senior starter from last year, and while a few more are gone after transferring, Jordan has a young team loaded with potential to put on the field this fall.

"The big thing was I had a full year to plan after last year," began Jordan. "That's a lot more than the week I had last year after being hired just before the season started. That's tough to do, understanding programs and getting back into coaching, learning the players and all that in a week. But with a whole year to think about it now, I feel much more prepared."

While the underclassmen will hopefully bring victories to the program for the future, this year's senior class has some steady forces as well that will hopefully lead the way. Brewer played defense for most of last year but performed well towards the end when Jordan pushed her up front. She'll likely begin this year as a forward. Classmate Tricia DelRossi is another steady force on the defensive end, while fellow Glenday is expected to be a strong force in the I-L midfield.

After coming close to a win last year – the team lost in double overtime to Laconia – the fact that the team got over that hump immediately in 2012 was a weight off everyone's shoulders.

"Everyone is very aware of it," said Jordan of the five-year drought. "Everyone is excited to see what we can do right off the bat. They played a pretty strong summer season for the first time really. They played indoor and summer soccer. So they've all been prepping for this season."

Despite not having a JV team, Jordan has high hopes for the program as it continues to build.

"The program is still young. The coaches in the middle school have done a great job building some stuff," he said. "I think you're really going to start seeing some great things with this program. Last year's freshman class was great, this year's has a lot of talent and love for the game as well."

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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