Rainy day women
Prospect girls battle past Kingswood on a rainy night in Wolfeboro
PROSPECT’S ABBY DROUIN moves the ball up the field at Kingswood’s Melynda Hirtle gives chase. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 24, 2011WOLFEBORO — The weather couldn't have been worst, but the game couldn't have been better.
In blowing wind and rain on Wednesday evening, Oct. 19, the Kingswood and Prospect Mountain soccer girls took to Alumni Field in Wolfeboro for the regular season finale for both teams.
The Timber Wolves got off to a quick start, as Britney Therrien found Kelly Jones for a strike just three minutes into the game and the visitors had a 1-0 lead.
The Knights went back with some solid pressure, with Megen Pollini sending a direct kick wide. Brittany Roy also had a shot on net that was stopped by Prospect keeper Shannon Meyer.
Prospect also went looking for more, but Morgan Ekstrom made a nice clear on one bid and Kingswood keeper Amber Carpenter stopped the next, keeping it a 1-0 game.
Jones made a nice cross to Therrien for a scoring bid, but Kingswood's Shelby Sawyer stepped up with a good defensive play. Sahara Brown also sent a ball in to Therrien for another bid, but Pollini was there to clear it out.
Prospect had a couple more chances, with a corner kick and a direct kick, but Carpenter stood solid and didn't let the ball get through.
However, Prospect managed to get on the board about midway through the first half, as Therrien drilled home a shot for a 2-0 lead.
Carpenter came right back with a save on a direct kick from Brown and Prospect's Ella Montminy stepped up and stopped former Timber Wolf Cheyanne Harris on a scoring bid.
The Knights were able to crawl back into the game with about 10 minutes to go, as Roy tipped home a rebound off a Meyer save and the Knights cut the gap to 2-1 heading to halftime.
About 15 minutes into the second half, after scoring bids from Brown and Therrien at the other end, Pollini drilled a shot to the top shelf over Meyer's head to pull the Knights even at 2-2.
The Knights didn't wait too long before scoring again. Pollini drilled a direct kick on net and Meyer made the save. However, the rebound bounced to Ekstrom and the senior tapped it in for a 3-2 lead.
Prospect answered almost immediately, bringing the ball down the field. The Timber Wolves were awarded an indirect kick and Jones drilled it just over Carpenter's fingers and into the net for the tying goal.
A couple minutes later, Brown hit Jones with a pass into the offensive zone and she broke in on net, got Carpenter to commit and dribbled around the Kingswood keeper and into the net for the go-ahead goal.
From there, the two teams went back and forth, with both squads getting great chances but neither able to capitalize and the game came to a close with the Timber Wolves taking the 4-3 win.
"I thought both teams played well," Prospect coach Matt Locke said, noting that the lopsided win the Timber Wolves had over the Knights earlier in the season wasn't an indication of Kingswood's play.
However, Locke wasn't totally thrilled with the way he ran the last 20 minutes, as he had his girls just kicking the ball out of the zone every time rather than controlling it.
"You'd think after 20 years, I'd learn," he said.
He was, however, pleased with the fact that the Timber Wolves scored early, as his squad had battled back from early deficits in the three previous games.
"That was big," he stated.
He praised Brown and Nicole Dwyer for their solid efforts and noted it was nice to have Abby Drouin back in the lineup, as she contributed the best first touches on the team.
Locke also pointed out that in a playoff situation, all the games are going to be intense like this one was.
"If we get Belmont (in the playoffs), we're definitely going to get that," he said. "Kingswood was physical and it plays to a more physical team when it rains."
He also noted that while the experience may not have been completely enjoyable from a weather standpoint, it is a game that the girls will remember when they're looking back on their high school careers years from now.
"That was a great game," Kingswood coach Paul Harvey said. "They came out and worked hard. It's tough not having a lot of depth on the bench.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126