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Knights win one for the home fans

Harris, Ekstrom score in first half to lead Kingswood soccer girls to first win

CHEYANNE HARRIS does her best to push the ball past a White Mountains defender during action Friday in Wolfeboro. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
September 05, 2011
WOLFEBORO — Maybe it was just a little home cooking that was needed to get the Kingswood girls' soccer team back on track.

The Knights, after being shutout in their first two games, scored less than two minutes into the home opener at Alumni Field on Friday, Sept. 2, and went on to score a 2-0 win over White Mountains Regional, exacting a little revenge on the Spartans, who had beaten the Knights 1-0 in overtime in the season opener Aug. 26 in Whitefield.

"Getting one early helps," coach Paul Harvey said. "And today they were more aggressive than they have been."

Cheyanne Harris got Kingswood off on the right foot, as she poked home the team's first goal of the season off of some great Kingswood pressure less than two minutes in.

The Knights didn't back off, however, as Brittany Roy, Megen Pollini and the rest of the Knights kept on pushing the ball forward, but couldn't put it in the net.

White Mountains did get an early look at the Kingswood net, but defender Corinna Chasse did a great job in helping out keeper Amber Carpenter, booting the ball away from the open net to keep the Knights in the lead.

Kingswood came back with some solid pressure, with Pollini and Roy leading the way, but neither was able to put the ball in the back of the net.

However, Morgan Ekstrom was. The senior headed home a beautiful cross from Pollini 15 minutes into the first half and the Knights had a 2-0 lead.

Both teams continued with the offensive chances, as Pollini had a couple shots stopped and Roy's pass went in just ahead of Harris on another bid. Steph Valpey stepped up with a big defensive play and Carpenter made a couple of saves as well.

Pollini sent one shot high and Rhianna Llewellyn had a direct kick stopped by the Spartan keeper. Carpenter also turned in a key save as the half wound down, allowing the Knights to take the 2-0 lead to the break.

Kingswood came out firing in the second half, as Harris had a great cross that just missed connections in front, another shot sailed high and Pollini had two bids stopped by the keeper.

White Mountains rallied back, getting a couple of chances to get on the board, but Carpenter shut the door with a couple of good saves.

Harris just missed connecting with Julia Miller on a scoring bid and Pollini's long direct kick was stopped by the keeper, keeping the score at 2-0.

Both teams had chances as the game wore down, but Carpenter and the defense in front of her held tight at one end and the Spartans clamped down at the other, allowing the game to finish at 2-0.

"We keep looking for a spark and today they all came out with enthusiasm," Harvey stated. "We started off the way we should be playing."

He noted that he changed up a few positions for the game, hoping to fight the right combination.

"We put people in different positions and that seemed to get things going," he said. "We still, at times, have holes on the field, but they're getting smaller. The girls are covering them much better."

Harvey pointed out that the defense deserved a ton of credit in the shutout, in addition to the strong game played by Carpenter.

"We stopped them in the middle third of the field instead of letting them get into the last third," the veteran coach said.

The Knights opened the week with a 2-0 loss at Belmont on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Kingswood will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 9, when they host Gilford at 4 p.m. The girls host Kennett at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

Varney Smith
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