With victories over Spaulding and Winnacunnet last week the Londonderry High girls’ soccer squad is out to a quick 2-0 record to begin the 2015 season.
The Lady Lancers managed a decisive victory over Spaulding in game one but were forced to go to double-overtime to dispose of Winnacunnet.
The locals began the new season in strong fashion, busting a 1-1 halftime tie by potting four unanswered second half goals in a 5-1 drubbing of the host Spaulding High Lady Red Raiders in Rochester on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Londonderry snagged a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute of the first half when Laurel Goding tallied on a penalty kick. But the hosts sent the contest to halftime deadlocked at 1-1 by scoring six minutes after the Lady Lancers’ goal celebration.
However, the Lady Lancers received two goals from Halle Hamilton and single markers from Haley Laliberte and Ali Nelson in the second period to win going away. MacKenzie Donovan was credited with an assist for the locals.
Londonderry also enjoyed a 16-6 advantage in shots on net, with goalie Jackie Luckhardt contributing five stops to the win.
“The first half was hotly contested,” said coach Derek Dane. “They had a goal disallowed that would have put them up 1-0, and I think it woke us up. We made one tactical change at the half to try to prevent them from coming through the middle, and thereby shut down their striker, and that worked.”
“(Spaulding) beat defending-champ Exeter in their season-opener and were flying high. It was good to see our team put forth an honest effort, individually and collectively, and come away with a victory on their field,” said Dane.
However, when the Londonderry High crew played its first home game of the season against Winnacunnet of Hampton two days later, it appeared as though the two determined teams were destined to wind up in a scoreless tie when play ended, if it ever ended.
The Lady Lancers were largely dominant in the first half, keeping the ball in the Winnacunnet end throughout most of that stanza and ending up with a commanding 8-3 lead in shots on net.
But there were no goals scored in the opening half, or the second, or in the first overtime either. But the hosts managed to walk away with the 1-0 win when Gretchen McGrath was set up by teammate June Cranmer during overtime number two – in the 94th minute of play – as Londonderry advanced to 2-0 on the season.
Londonderry keeper Luckhardt contributed eight saves to the shutout, and the victorious locals out-shot their guests by a commanding 16-8 margin.