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Kijima wins XC title, Bobcat girls win soccer championship

November 08, 2010
WOLFEBORO — In the Lakes Region Championship race last Wednesday at Proctor Academy, junior Reika Kijima was the big story for the Bobcats, taking home first place and the honor of Lakes Region League Girls' Runner of the Year. She trailed right behind Kimball Union Academy's top runner for most of the race and waited for the perfect moment during the race's third and final mile to overtake her for the big win.

In the boys' race, senior Kazuki Kawabata capped a fantastic season with another top-five finish, earning him fourth place overall individually in the league. As a team, both boys and girls finished the season in fourth place. This Saturday the team competes in the NEPSAC Class C championship race at Governors Academy.

Girls' varsity soccer

In Wednesday's well-contested rematch, St. Paul's started brightly, carrying the play and creating a few chances through the opening 10 minutes. As the half progressed, Brewster gained some ground and play shifted from Brewster's final third to the middle third of the pitch. Over the rest of the half, St. Paul's would place a few shots wide, and Brewster served some tempting balls into the box, but neither team could score.

In the second half, the match opened up a bit, and both teams were able to attack and counterattack. St. Paul's put a few balls into the box that Brewster's Taylor Booth had to work to collect, and one Big Red cross led to a nice scoring opportunity, but the redirect went just wide of the post. Brewster's best chance developed when Natalia Naro struck powerfully from inside the Big Red 18, but a St. Paul's defender rose bravely to block the shot. As the game drew to a close, each team pushed for final chances, but both defenses held strong.

On Saturday, an early goal from Heather Richardson, committed team defense, and eight saves from Booth led Brewster to its 1-0 victory over the Holderness Bulls.

Though the only goal of the match came in the opening minutes, both teams had numerous chances to score. The Bulls' steady build-up play led to several dangerous crosses into the box and shots from dangerous positions. In the first half, Holderness almost drew level on two occasions; a Bull headed a dangerous corner just over the crossbar, and with seconds remaining in the half, a Holderness player made some space for herself and struck well, but just wide of the post. In the second half, improved defensive play from Becca Jones and Kate Silvia helped to limit the Bulls' left flank attacks and to launch some dangerous counters. Bobcat forwards Meaghan Spurling, Chelsea MacNeil and Shannon Godin made great attacking runs and looked through on several occasions, but the Holderness keeper came off her line well to intercept and keep Holderness within striking distance.

With this victory, Brewster moves to 11-2-1 and clinched its fourth consecutive Lakes Region League title.

Varsity field hockey

The intensity was slow to start last Wednesday against St. Paul's School. Play was evenly matched in the midfield, but 10 minutes into the half the opposition capitalized off broken form in Brewster's backfield and took the early lead beating the keeper one-on-one. Both teams won breakaway opportunities, and the Bobcats certainly had their chances at net with 23 shots and 13 penalty corners to St. Paul's nine shots and seven corners. However, Brewster could not beat the agile St. Paul's goalkeeper. Captains Chelsiea Goll and Jessie Howard never lost heart and showed standout performances to lead the Bobcats to a comeback. Hanna Skelley demonstrated great versatility in defense winning vital balls for the counterattack, and Amy Misera showed all-out effort to support the team out wide. It was not a one-man job, however, and St. Paul's slipped in a second goal with just 1:33 remaining on the clock for a 2-0 lead at the half.

Brewster was ready to play in the second half and started knocking on the door and repeatedly put the opposition under pressure in their 25. Catherine LeBoeuf was fast on her feet in attack to help open up opportunities at goal face, and Goldie Paul was solid in winning the lose ball. Brewster's efforts finally paid off when Misera inserted to Goll at the top of the circle. Goll laid the ball off to Howard wide of the post who redirected right past the keeper to give Brewster the boost that they were looking for. This was the potential turning point for Brewster; they lifted their play and showed grit at the top of the circle to earn several corners. However, they were to be denied by the tenacious St. Paul's defense and keeper, and with 9:05 on the clock the opposition caught the Brewster back three and keeper off guard to pull away 3-1. The Bobcats won back the momentum, but time was their enemy, and St. Paul's took the win.

Despite having been victorious earlier in the season over New Hampton, the Bobcats knew that the Huskies would rise to the challenge during their rematch. Brewster took to the field defending the center pass to start play but quickly gained control to set the tempo of the game. With focus and determination to score early, and just 1:35 into play, the Bobcats broke to net to force the first penalty corner of the game. Poised and ready, Misera inserted a quick, flat ball to Howard at the top of the circle. Howard hit clean and hard at net with Goll in the perfect position to tip the ball past the keeper and give the Bobcats the early 1-0 lead. Brewster worked well as a team and played some excellent give and go balls to maintain possession. Defensively, Allie Hughes rose to the call and dominated the opposition player in possession of the ball in Brewster's back left field to win key tackles and counterattack past the halfway to help regain the Bobcats' momentum. The midfield unit worked hard to connect defensively and transition to attack, and Skelley, LeBoeuf and Paul showed positive play in the circle to put the New Hampton defense on the back foot. As the clock ticked down in the half, the intensity cranked up for both teams, and the Bobcats fought hard to win a short corner in the final minute but were unable to score.

Brewster did not let up in the second half and in the opening minutes they were down in the attack circle with repeated attempts at net, but the Husky goalie would not have it. Play got tough in the latter minutes, but the Bobcats kept their team composure and focused on their game plan. Every player worked hard and kept the Huskies from taking a single shot on goal in the second half. Goll led by example as the standout, making phenomenal coverage of the field both defensively and on the break. Howard surged at center, and Rachael Paul made impressive breaks to the top of the circle from the right wing and was dangerous in attack. Nicole Levesque was able to win possession in open play and lay it off to her teammates. Up until the final minutes Brewster was knocking on the door, and Howard, Toni DiGeronimo and LeBoeuf almost pulled off Brewster's second goal with hunger at the goal face, but the ball was picked off at the post in the last moment by a New Hampton defender. Goll played her best game of the season and was determined to lead the Bobcats to victory in the penultimate home game of the season. The team commitment to lay it on the line today sealed the 1-0 Bobcat win. The girls are 8-4-2 on the season.

Boys' varsity soccer

The boys fell to Holderness School on Wednesday 4-1 and earned a 3-0 victory over Berwick Academy on Saturday. The boys are 6-8-1 on the season.

Martin Lord Osman
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