Longtime Londonderry High girls’ soccer coach Derek Dane is known for giving many of his players colorful and quite accurate nicknames. And this fall sophomore standouts Olivia Stowell and Gwen Barnes were known as “The Wonder Twins.”
And no opposing team which faced the LHS Lady Lancers between August and November will wonder why both Stowell and Barnes – who were their talented squad’s top two point-getters – were recently rewarded with all-state recognition by the state’s girls’ soccer coaches.
The dynamic duo helped the Lady Lancers to an 11-7 overall record this fall, contributing in huge ways as the team made it as far as the Division I tournament quarterfinals before stepping aside.
The skilled Stowell was named a Second-Team All-Stater after tallying some 31 points in pacing a powerful LHS offense.
“She followed up a fantastic freshman season with a phenomenal sophomore year,” said Dane. “She matched her freshman output of 16 goals but increased her assists by 50% from 10 to 15. She plays with a high level of determination and just loves to take players on and score goals. She was the points-leader on the team.”
Stowell’s fellow 10th grader Barnes – who was named an All-State Honorable Mention pick – exhibited versatility and great skills in being a weapon to whom opposing defenses needed to pay lots of attention.
“She was probably the most versatile player on the team,” said coach Dane. “She had 10 goals and five assists while playing primarily as a right back. She moved into a wide midfield role at various times during the season. Gwen scored goals in key moments in many games and ended up being the second highest point-getter on the team.”
The Wonder Twins and their teammates had some rather rocky moments during the first three-quarters of their campaign, standing at 2-3 after five matches and right at the .500 mark at 6-6 after a dozen had been completed. But the locals won their final four contests of the regular season – outscoring those opponents by an 18-3 tally – in bagging the seventh seed heading into the Division I tourney with a real head of steam.
The Lancer crew then pummeled the Timberlane Regional Lady Owls from Plaistow by a 7-1 count in preliminary-round play before having their own title hopes dashed by a loss to third-ranked Bedford in the quarterfinals.
The Bedford Lady Bulldogs would make it to the D-I title match but fall to top-seeded Central there.