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Lady Eagles hang around, fall to Bow

Sidney Stevens tries to beat a Bow defender during action Sept. 27 in Gilford. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
October 03, 2011
GILFORD – They went toe to toe with one of the top teams in Division III, but a late scoring barrage sunk the Gilford High School girls' soccer team on Sept. 27, as the Golden Eagles fell to Bow High School, 5-0, under sunny skies in Gilford.

"I was pretty happy with the way the girls played, especially in the first half," said GHS coach Becky Zumbach. "We were playing them pretty evenly until they started that scoring-spree in the second half."

Gilford (3-6-1 with the loss) actually had more scoring chances in the first half than Bow (8-1), beginning just five minutes into the contest. Junior captain Molly Dietrich played a beautiful through ball to forward Sydney Strout, and the left-footed striker laced a shot from the left corner of the box on frame, clanking off the crossbar and out of danger as the Eagles barely missed a chance to take the early lead.

"I think if Syd scores there, the rest of the game looks a little different," Zumbach said.

The Falcons would score their lone goal of the first half just over a minute later however, as a defensive giveaway in front of Gilford goalkeeper Paige Laliberte enabled Bow to get off an easy point-blank shot from six yards out, beating Laliberte for the 1-0 lead with 34:11 left.

Strout had another chance midway through the half to tie the game, but the junior's shot went over the goal. Her corner kick late in the frame landed in an opportunistic area in the box, but no Gilford players were able to make solid contact and Bow cleared the ball out of harm's way.

Bow took its 1-0 lead into the second half and came out with several good scoring chances, though Laliberte was up to the task, turning away two tough shots in the first five minutes. Ten minutes into the second frame, Bow threatened on a breakaway but key hustle plays from Sarah Veazey and Ali Daigle allowed the Gilford defense to get back in time to thwart the effort.

The combination of Dietrich and Strout hooked up again just two minutes later, as a long run from Dietrich through the midfield saw her lay the ball off for Strout near the box, and her shot was just wide of the net for another close call.

But with all the pressure being applied from Gilford, it was Bow that put in the next goal, as a blast from 18 yards out with 23:15 left in the game gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead and seemed to deflate the tiring Eagles.

"That second goal might've been the game-changer," said Zumbach. "The defense was working so hard to keep up and give us a chance to tie the game that once they scored their, it might've taken the wind out of our sails a little bit."

The Falcons tallied three more goals in the next 10 minutes, proving their record to be no fluke in pulling out the 5-0 victory.

"We've played some strong teams but they move the ball as well as anyone I've seen," Zumbach said of Bow. "But we did a lot of good things out there, I was pleased with most of what I saw."

Laliberte made 15 saves including several key ones to keep Gilford within striking distance.

It's been a difficult stretch in the schedule for the Eagles, as the loss to Bow marked the team's fifth loss in a row. That mark is deceiving however, as those games came against teams with a combined 35-9-3 record.

"Luckily the girls have been remaining positive and their spirits have been up despite losing these last few games," said Zumbach. "It's a tough part of the schedule but we're still working hard to get through it."

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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