T-Wolves squeak by Knight ladies in first meeting
|PROSPECT’S KELLY JONES goes airborne along the sideline to try and keep the ball inbounds as Kingswood’s Rhianna Llewellyn provides the defensive pressure on Oct. 9 at The Nick. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)|
October 11, 2010WOLFEBORO — Many of the girls on the Prospect Mountain and Kingswood soccer teams have played on the same team over the course of their club soccer careers.
However, Saturday, Oct. 9, was the first time that the neighboring schools had met up on the girls' soccer field.
Prospect Mountain made the trip to The Nick for the Saturday afternoon game and the fans that turned out saw a back-and-forth battle the entire way, with the Timber Wolves breaking through twice in the second half to escape town with a 2-0 win over the Knights.
"In the first half, our touch was not what it usually is and on a good field like this, you have to have a good touch on the ball," said Prospect coach Matt Locke. "The girls stepped it up in the second half."
Locke also was quick to praise the Knights, who he stated were better than the 5-5-1 record they sported coming into the game.
"They're a lot better than their record," Locke said.
"It was a great game," said Kingswood coach Paul Harvey. "The girls played awesome and they worked super hard.
"They've got to realize we're starting to play the game the way we're supposed to," he continued.
The two teams exchanged chances in the early going, with Megen Pollini testing Prospect keeper Danielle Tidd right out of the gate. Britney Therrien and Kirby Beranger returned the favor for the Timber Wolves, with the Kingswood defense stepping up to stop Beranger's bid and Therrien sending hers wide.
Casey Harrigan came right back for Kingswood with a long shot that sailed wide of the net and Sarah Clifford's pass went just ahead of Kelly Jones as the Timber Wolves came right back.
The Knights got some good pressure in the offensive zone, as Kelsey Rodgers sent in a good ball, but Prospect's Kelsey Hannafin stepped up and cleared it out of the zone. The Timber Wolves turned that into a scoring bid, but Therrien's pass was just ahead of Jones. Jones and Beranger kept the offensive pressure on, but Rhianna Llewellyn and Melynda Hirtle played strong defense for the Knights and kept Prospect from getting in close to the net. Pollini also had a nice defensive clear.
Beranger just missed connecting with Jones for a Prospect scoring chance, with Kingswood keeper MacKenzie Porter coming out of the net to snag the ball. Brittany Roy turned the ball in the other direction, just missing connections with Alyssa Nelson, letting Tidd come out to scoop the ball up.
Morgan Ekstrom hit Nelson with a nice look, but Nelson tipped the ball wide of the net.
Therrien just missed connecting with Jones on a good look, allowing Porter to again scoop the ball up. Sahara Brown also sent one wide of Porter's net.
Kingswood had some more good offensive pressure, with a corner kick included, but the Timber Wolf defense stepped up and got the ball out of the zone. Prospect turned the defensive clear into an offensive chance, with Clifford and Jones making bids, but Porter made a save and Pollini cleared another bid.
Harrigan put a gorgeous crossing pass in front of the Prospect net, giving the Knights a great scoring bid, but Rodgers' shot just went wide, keeping the game scoreless.
Clifford and Therrien each had chances for Prospect and Pollini did the same for Kingswood in the final minutes, but the half ended with the two teams still scoreless.
Brown's strong defense turned away a good bid by Brittany Roy early in the second half and Tidd made a great save on a strong chance from Ekstrom. Rodgers also had a bid but Tidd raced out and beat the Knight speedster to the ball.
Prospect got the ball turned in the other direction with Nicole Dwyer making a scoring bid, only to have Porter snuff it out.
Nelson came in on net for Kingswood, only to see Hannafin knock the ball away. Tidd also made a diving save on a corner kick chance by the Knights.
The stalemate was broken 17 minutes into the second half, as Jones sent in a direct kick and the ball deflected off a Kingswood defender and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Neither team gave in after the first goal either, as the Timber Wolves went looking for more, with Clifford and Beranger forcing Porter to make a few strong saves. Pollini also had a good clear to keep the ball away from her keeper.
Pollini had an indirect kick sail wide and Nelson had a shot that Tidd snared to keep the shutout intact. Dwyer hit Jones with a great pass at the other end, only to see Porter make the save. Clifford also drilled one on net that the Knight keeper grabbed.
Cheyanne Harris put a nice cross through for the Timber Wolves, but the Kingswood defense cleared it out. Jones also sent an indirect kick wide of the net.
Nelson just missed connections with Roy for a scoring bid for the Knights and Harris did the same at the other end for Prospect, just missing Jones.
However, a handball in the box on the play gave the Timber Wolves a penalty kick.
Jones calmly buried the ball to the lower left side and the Timber Wolves had a 2-0 lead with just a few minutes to play and they finished the game out with the 2-0 win.
"We didn't take enough shots," Locke said. "We should've been teeing off from 30 yards out."
He noted that his team was in need of every win it could get as the tournament approaches with eyes on a top-four spot in Division III.
"We have to really come alive as tournament approaches," he said.
"We're doing all the right stuff," Harvey said. "The way they played today is the way this team can play."
He praised his squad for working well with each other and creating some great opportunities.
"We're in every game, we're not a bad team at all," Harvey said. "The way we played today and worked as a unit is what every coach looks for. They feed off each other and left 110 percent out on that field."
The Kingswood girls opened the week with a 3-1 win over Inter-Lakes in Meredith on Monday, Oct. 4.
Pollini gave the Knights a 1-0 lead in the first half and added another goal in the second half for a 2-0 lead. Rodgers scored with 16:29 to play to make it 3-0 and the Lakers scored on a penalty kick with 12 minutes to play for the final tally of the game.
The Knights will be in action on Friday, Oct. 15, at home against Inter-Lakes at 4 p.m. and will host Gilford on Monday, Oct. 18, in the final game of the regular season, set for a 4 p.m. start.
More Timber Wolves
Prospect opened the week with a 2-1 win over Somersworth on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Clifford tallied both goals for the Timber Wolves, netting one in the first half and the other in the second half to break a 1-1 tie.
The girls then hit the road to Kearsarge on Thursday, Oct. 7, and came away with a 2-1 overtime win.
Jones scored to give the Timber Wolves a 1-0 lead at halftime, but the Cougars answered in the mud and the muck of the second half to tie the game at one.
In overtime, Therrien found the back of the net from the side, drilling the ball off the far post and in for the win.
"That's what I want to see, shooting long ones," Locke said. "They're hard to stop."
Prospect will be in action on Friday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m. against Belmont in the season's final home game. The girls will visit Inter-Lakes on Monday, Oct. 18, in the season's final game. Locke will be missing three veterans for that game, including Tidd and was planning on starting Sarah Stone in the net.