Defending champs come back to edge Bears, 3-2

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Winnisquam senior Erin McNamara winds up for a shot that found the back of the cage for the Bears' second goal of a 3-2 loss to defending state champion Berlin in the Division III quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon. Lauren Bolstridge added the other goal for Winnisquam, which finished the season with a 10-6 record. Jonathan Benton. (click for larger version)
October 27, 2014
BERLIN On the road against the defending state champions, the Winnisquam Regional High School field hockey team gave second-seeded Berlin High School everything it could handle on Sunday.

The seventh-seeded Bears held a lead in the second half and looked like they might have enough to pull the upset. But two goals from the Mountaineers in the final 12:32 of regulation stopped Winnisquam just shy of a trip to the Final Four, as Berlin pulled out a 3-2 victory in a high-intensity Division III quarterfinal.

Winnisquam (10-6 overall) came out on fire, earning two quick penalty corners and cashing in on the latter. Sophomore Lauren Bolstridge got the goal, as she scored off a scramble in front of Berlin goalkeeper Julie Downs to put the Bears up 1-0 just 3:20 into the game.

Berlin tied the game with 10:30 left before halftime, as Jenna Arguin scored on the Mountaineers' first penalty corner off a feed from Jensyn Dandeneau to tie the score at 1-1.

But the Bears bounced back quickly, and they scored a huge goal with just 2:33 left before halftime off another dangerous penalty corner. This time it was senior Erin McNamara, as she took a feed from Bolstridge and flicked it past Downs to reestablish a lead at 2-1 heading into intermission.

Winnisquam held Berlin off the board for a good chunk of the second half, but the defending champs finally got the equalizer with 12:32 remaining in regulation. Arguin got her second of the day, tucking in a shot off a penalty corner to make it a 2-2 game.

With 10 minutes left in the second half, the Bears had two very good back door looks at the goal, but they were unable to get the go-ahead strike. Berlin countered and scored what wound up being the game-winner with just 4:31 remaining, as Dandeneau chipped one into the back corner of the net past Winnisquam freshman keeper Riley Toupin for the 3-2 lead that held until the final whistle.

It was an outstanding effort for the Bears, which held advantages in penalty corners (10-9) and shots (11-6).

Berlin advanced to the semifinal and a matchup with 11th-seeded Laconia High School, an upset winner over number three Monadnock. The other semifinal also had a local flare with 12th-seeded Gilford meeting top-seeded Hopkinton.

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