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Knight stick girls nab two more wins

Field hockey team wins big in its debut on new Alumni Field

RACHEL LAPAR reaches to push the ball away from an attacking Goffstown defender during action Sept. 10 on Alumni Field. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
September 13, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Last year, the Kingswood field hockey team peaked just as the postseason began, sending them all the way to the Class I semifinals.

On Friday, Sept. 10, the Kingswood girls won their third straight game, but coach Kaitlin Reilly pointed out that the team was far from peaking.

"We're excited about the improvements we've made so far, but we haven't peaked," Reilly said after her girls knocked off Goffstown by a 4-1 score on the turf of Alumni Field on Friday night.

The Knights got just one day of practice on the school's new field, but handled the situation quite nicely, dominating the Grizzlies with a relentless offensive attack and solid defense the entire night.

Kingswood went right on the attack out of the gate, with Erin Maguire, Leah Kenison and Nikki Matarozzo all pounding the ball in toward the cage, earning themselves three corners in a row.

The Knights appeared to break through with less than seven minutes gone in the first half, but the goal was waved off on an infraction and the score remained tied at zero.

Goffstown tried to turn the non-goal into a little momentum on their end, but the Kingswood defense shut them down and quickly turned the ball back up the field, with Sasha McCormick, Kenison, Miranda Clark and Matarozzo leading the charge with great chances on the mouth of the goal, only to be denied by the Grizzly keeper and defense.

McCormick and Kenison kept the pressure on and it didn't take long before the relentless pounding resulted in a number going on the scoreboard.

Off a penalty corner, Matarozzo sent in a great shot and McCormick tapped home the ball and Kingswood had a 1-0 lead with 13:07 to play in the first half.

Goffstown came back down the field with some pressure at the other end, but the Knight defense was strong, as Gabrielle Horton and Presleigh Skelley helped turn the ball back around and give the Knights more offensive chances.

McCormick, Clark and Kenison again charged the net with good scoring bids, but all three were denied by the Goffstown keeper.

The Grizzlies in turn, got two corners at the other end but couldn't capitalize, as Maguire and Brittany Drapeau joined Skelley in turning in great defensive plays to keep the ball away from keeper Hannah Bergeron.

The Knights put on more pressure as the clock ticked down toward the end of the first half, as Kenison put on a couple of shots in the final 30 seconds of action.

The Knights were awarded a penalty corner just as the first half expired and on the ensuing play, Maguire drilled home a shot for a 2-0 lead for the Knights at the break.

It took the Knights just more than five minutes to increase that lead in the second half, as Clark fired home a shot with 24:50 left in the second half, upping the Knight advantage to 3-0.

The two teams exchanged offensive bids, with the Grizzlies putting together their strongest pressure of the night, including back-to-back penalty corners.

The Knights came back with some more pressure at the other end and again, it paid off, this time with 14:19 left on the clock. The pressure resulted in the ball going in the net, but nobody on the Knights claimed that the goal was theirs.

Alyssa Berry replaced Bergeron in net for the Knights and made a number of solid saves down the stretch, but the visitors were able to strike for one goal in the final few minutes, making it 4-1, the way it would end.

"They fed off the atmosphere," said Reilly of her squad. "We weren't quite sure how it was going to roll, but they rose to the occasion and they fed off it.

"I think this group really wanted to represent the school and they were excited for the new turf field and putting field hockey on the map," she continued.

Reilly praised the solid defensive effort from Goffstown that kept the game from going in the Knights' favor by even a higher score.

"They had a great defensive team," she said. "They were a challenge to work through."

The Knights opened the week with a 3-2 win over Laconia on Tuesday, Sept. 7, in the Lake City.

Kenison got the scoring started early for Kingswood and Matarozzo found the net to expand the lead to 2-0 with 3:40 left in the first half.

The Sachems bounced right back and cut the lead to 2-1 with just 20 seconds left on the clock, sending the Knights to the break with just a one-goal lead.

Matarozzo broke through for the Knights with just two minutes to play, but the Sachems again responded, cutting the lead to 3-2 just 40 seconds later. However, the hosts were unable to put the tying goal past Bergeron and the Knights took the 3-2 win.

"What we took from that game was making sure we play tough defense after goals," Reilly said. "We definitely still have work to do and they know that."

The Knights will be in action on Friday, Sept. 17, at Pembroke Academy at 4:15 p.m. On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the girls will host Merrimack Valley at 4:15 p.m.

Martin Lord & Osman
Martin Lord Osman
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