Slim losses to Bedford and Manchester Central last week left the Londonderry High girls’ soccer squad contemplating a record which had slipped back to the .500 mark to 6-6.
The Lancers had their season mark slip to one small notch above .500 with a 2-0 shutout loss to the Bedford High Bulldogs on the road last Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Bedford was fresh off of its first defeat of the season – to Exeter – so the hosts were certainly motivated to get themselves back on the winning path.
The match was scoreless after one half of play, but the 8-1-2 Bulldogs changed all of that by scoring 23 minutes into the second and then again 12 minutes after that.
The Lancers almost always out-shoot their opponents, but on this day they saw Bedford bang 11 shots on their net while they countered with just six in the opposite direction.
“We were too tentative early in the game,” lamented coach Derek Dane. “Better in the second half. We missed a penalty that would have tied the score with 15 to play.”
Londonderry goalie Jasmine Richards made eight saves, her contribution to her 6-5 contingent’s effort.
“Teams are playing a very direct game against us. We try to possess the ball and build an attack. They win the ball from us and play forward quickly. If you look at the teams that have beaten us, they have scored goals in the last 10 minutes of the game. We clearly need to be better at that,” said coach Dane. “We’re aiming to play well for 70 minutes, consistently. Thus far we’ve gotten 65 minutes on a few occasions. Despite our results, we’re not too far from our goal.”
The LHS crew then played its next match on its home pitch on Friday Oct. 6 against a Manchester Central contingent which began play with a 10-1 record and a 10-game winning streak rolling.
The Queen City crew made it 11 consecutive successes with a 2-1 nipping of Londonderry on the rival field.
In what was a very evenly matched game, with the ball being battered back and forth through the entire first half, the score sat deadlocked at 0-0 at halftime, and the Lancers grabbed a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the second period when Sammy Leclair set up Gwen Barnes with a beutifully placed kicked from the left side just out of the reach of the Central goalie.
However, Central responded halfway through the second half with goal on a penalty kick inside the box in the 72nd minute of play and then again six minutes later to claim the 2-1 win.
On the penalty kick, goalie Richard made an outstanding initial save which was defected right at an opposing foward, who knocked in the easy goal.
The locals out-shot their opponent by a 7-6 margin in the match, but the scoreboard showed the visiting Little Green bunch with one more goal than its host.
This week’s slate had Londonderry looking to climb back up over .500 with success in road matches at Dover this past Tuesday the 10th – after Londonderry Times press time – and then on the Keene High Lady Blackbirds’ home pitch this Friday, Oct. 13.