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Lady Raiders blank Inter-Lakes, 3-0

Ennis tallies twice to lead Belmont

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Belmont senior Kayli Ennis dribbles through the midfield during her teamís 3-0 win over Inter-Lakes on Aug. 28 in Meredith. Ennis scored twice for the Lady Raiders. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
September 03, 2012
MEREDITH Ė Kayli Ennis admitted she was a little nervous when tasked with taking a penalty kick on Aug. 28.

The senior midfielder didn't show it.

Ennis buried a PK with 16:30 remaining in the first half of a scoreless game, giving the visiting Belmont High School girls' soccer team all the offense it would need in a 3-0 win over Inter-Lakes High School in a more tightly contested Division III game than the final score would indicate.

"It's always a little nerve-wracking taking a penalty kick," said Ennis, who beat I-L goalkeeper Tricia DelRossi after the Lakers were called for a handball on the goal line. "You get some nerves when you're first walking up to the ball but then you just focus in and not worry about it."

Ennis' PK score was the only strike of the first half, as Belmont led 1-0 at intermission and I-L stayed tight after intermission to stay within striking range. The Lakers used the defense of Madelyn Edgar and the goalkeeping of DelRossi to keep the Red Raiders off the board for as long as possible. I-L freshman forward Caitlin Rotonnelli had the team's best scoring chance of the day, as she took a giveaway from the Belmont defense and got in along on Raider sophomore goalie Amelia Kotusky with 14:00 remaining in regulation. Kotusky came up big however, turning the shot away and preserving the 1-0 lead.

McKenzi Phelps scored with 4:30 left to double the BHS lead to 2-0, and Ennis added her second of the day on a pretty one-time shot off a feed from Cassie Contigiani in the waning seconds to account for the 3-0 victory.

"We're still trying to find our identity," admitted Belmont coach Amy Dutton. "We have to continue to make small steps forward because we're a work in progress."

After winning the program's first game in five years in the season-opener against Laconia, Inter-Lakes continued to look like a much-improved side for the majority of the afternoon against Belmont.

"We kept telling our team that we knew they would be on an emotional high after just winning that game," said Ennis of I-L. "We knew they would have a spring in their step and they were really one play away from tying that game up for the majority of it."

Dutton, who coached in the Winnisquam system while current I-L coach Steve Jordan was playing his high school soccer there, was impressed with the improvement she's seen from the young Lakers.

"I have a lot of respect for Steve, especially coming off a great 'program win' like they just had," Dutton explained. "This was a very competitive game. I don't think the score was indicative of how this one went down."

Emelia Pendergast and Charlotte Morrow had strong games in the I-L midfield for the hosts, while Belmont's defense was rock solid in front of Kotusky, led by sophomore Zoe Zeller at sweeper. Ennis was her usual dangerous self in the center of the BHS midfield.

"We're still struggling to find what will work for our team but the goal is to just improve as the season goes along," Ennis said.

The teams meet again on Oct. 9 in Belmont.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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