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Oyster River ends Kingswood's season with 1-0 semifinal victory



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GABRIELLE HORTON (left) and Nicole Matarozzo share a hug and huge smiles after the Knights shocked second-seeded St. Thomas on Friday in Dover, 3-1. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 19, 2009
EXETER —The Class I field hockey semifinals was a meeting of a pair of Cinderella stories, and the glass slipper was made for only one foot.

Unfortunately for the Kingswood Knights, that foot was not theirs, as the 14th-seeded Oyster River Bobcats ended the Knights' Cinderella run and will continue their own Cinderella run to the state championship game.

The two teams took to the field at Exeter High School on Tuesday, Oct. 27, with a spot in the title game on the line and both teams seemed eager to prove their mettle to earn that spot. The squads battled to a scoreless tie through the first 30 minutes and for more than 10 minutes in the second half the score remained tied at zero.

Finally, with 18:15 to play in the second half, the Bobcats converted on a penalty corner, slipping a ball past Kingswood keeper Renee Bernier to take a 1-0 lead.

The Bobcat defense then held up its end of the bargain and kept the Knights from tying the contest. Kingswood did have a couple of penalty corner chances in the final minute of play, but the Oyster River defense kept the shots at bay and the Bobcats earned the 1-0 win and the right to play in the title tilt on Nov. 1.

Look for more info on the first two rounds of the playoffs in the Oct. 29 editions of The Granite State News, Carroll County Independent and Baysider and check out the Nov. 5 editions for the complete story on the semifinal battle.

Quarters

The Kingswood field hockey team's Cinderella run through the Class I playoffs took another step forward on Friday, Oct. 23, as the Knights knocked off second-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas in Dover by a 3-1 score, earning a berth in the Class I Final Four.

The Saints scored within the first minute of play and held the 1-0 lead through halftime. However, less than five minutes into the second half, Leah Kenison ripped the tying goal past the Saint keeper and a minute and a half later put the go-ahead goal in the net following great Kingswood pressure. Less than three minutes later, Nicole Matarozzo added an insurance tally and the Knights didn't allow the Saints much of a chance to come back and walked off the field with their second upset win of the playoffs.

Kingswood will play in the Class I semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 5 p.m. at Exeter High School. The Knights will face off with Oyster River. The 14th-seeded Bobcats knocked off Bow and Portsmouth to reach the semifinals. The two teams split 1-0 decisions during the regular season, with the Knights winning at home Sept. 22 and the Bobcats winning in Durham on Oct. 6.

Look for a complete wrapup of the first two playoff games in this week's print editions and check back here for updates on the semifinal contest.

First round

The Kennett High field hockey team was ousted by fifth-seeded Milford in the first round of the Class I tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 20, while the KIngswood Knights pulled off the upset of seventh-seeded Plymouth to move on to the next round.

The Knights came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to tie the score with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation and scored the game winner in the seven-on-seven overtime period. Freshman Nicole Matalozzo netted the game-winning goal for the Knights. They advanced in the tournament to face second-seeded St. Thomas. That game will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, in Dover.

The Eagle girls played the Spartans to a scoreless tie in the first half, only to see the hosts score just two minutes into the second half. The Eagles tied the score three minutes later and the teams went to overtime tied at one.

In the extra frame, the Spartans were able to get the game-winner with just more than six minutes remaining to oust last year's Class I runners-up from the tournament.

Look for more information and detailed articles in next week's edition.

Brackets set

The Class I field hockey playoff brackets were released this morning (Oct. 19) and both the Kennett Eagles and the Kingswood Knights are tournament bound.

The Eagles, who finished at 3-9-2 in regular season action, earned the 12th seed in the 16-team field and will head to Milford to take on the fifth-seeded Spartans. Milford finished the regular season at 11-2-1. The two teams didn't meet in the regular season. Milford's two losses came at the hands of undefeated and top-ranked Souhegan and Hollis-Brookline, the tourney's ninth seed. The Spartans also handed the Souhegan girls the only blemish on their record, a 2-2 tie on Oct. 15. Common opponents included Oyster River and Portsmouth. The Spartans beat both teams, while the Eagles lost one and tied one with Portsmouth and beat Oyster River twice, including in the final game of the regular season.

The Knights earned the tournament's 10th seed after a 6-5-3 campaign and will travel to take on regional rival and seventh-seeded Plymouth in the first round. The Bobcats finished at 9-4-1 on the regular season and met up with the Knights twice in the final two weeks of the regular season. The Knights knocked off the Plymouth girls in Wolfeboro on Oct. 2 by a 2-0 score and the two teams played to a 3-3 tie in Plymouth on Tuesday, Oct. 13, the final game of the regular season for the Knights.

The Class I tournament gets under way on Tuesday, Oct. 20, with game times tentatively set for 3:30 p.m. The playoffs continue on Friday, Oct. 23, also at 3:30 p.m.

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