When a soccer game goes to overtime, a timely bounce or roll or fall can make the difference between victory and defeat to the opposing contingents.
And with plenty on the line last Saturday morning and early afternoon during the Mack Plaque match pitting the undefeated Londonderry High Lady Lancers and the Pinkerton Academy Lady Astros at LHS, it took a couple of overtimes for the visiting academy crew to hand its hosts their first defeat of the 2018 campaign.
A key to that effort – that wound up being a 2-1 double-overtime comeback victory for Pinkerton – was the work of versatile Astro sophomore Macy Graves, who wound up scoring the winning goal seven minutes into that second OT.
“We came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat an undefeated, strong Londonderry side,” said Pinkerton’s second-year coach Danielle St. Pierre. “Macy Graves came up big, moving from defense up to center-midfield to develop both goals.”
The Lancers stepped into that match with a perfect 6-0 record in tough Division I while the visitors were seated at 4-2. Their dramatic success in the match was the Astros’ third win in a row.
Londonderry bagged a 1-0 lead in just the third minute of play when Alyssa Anderson was set up for a pretty goal by veteran standout Darby Dupuis, who would end the day battered and bruised but still upright.
Dupuis dealt the ball to Anderson who booted a hard, low shot toward the left post of the Pinkerton cage. PA star goalie Reagan Kolinski made a dive at the ball but couldn’t get it as the hosts went up 1-0.
The hosts would pelt another dozen shots on Kolinski but not put another by her in absorbing their first loss of the campaign and moving to 6-1 overall.
After going to halftime with Londonderry leading 1-0 and both sides having put four shots on net, Pinkerton got the equalizer with 8:51 remaining in regulation time when Katie Ziniti blasted a shot from the high slot in front of the LHS cage and into the upper-right corner of the net. Enya Vanasse tallied the assist.
The score remained deadlocked right there at 1-1 through one 10-minute overtime and into the second, with Graves – who had clanged a shot off of the crossbar of the LHS net just as the clock hit the two-minute mark in the second half – getting a breakaway opportunity and finishing it seven minutes into the second OT to send the Lady Astros into full celebration mode. Mattie Sullivan collected the assist.
Both PA goalie Kolinski and LHS keeper Jasmine Richards finished with a Baker’s Dozen of 13 saves.
The Lancers got right back into action – aiming to put the stunning loss into their rear-view mirror – at home against Bedford this past Monday.
And the LHS side succeeded in making lemonade out of lemons by walloping that tough Bedford bunch by a 5-1 score in a match which featured a big second half outburst by the hosts after the score was knotted up at 1-1 at halftime.
Anderson potted the game’s first goal in minute 17, but Bedford (now 6-1) tied things up three minutes later.
However, the Lancers were dominant in the second half with Anderson scoring twice more (on assists from Gillian Vilela and Olivia Stowell) and Ashley Manor and Stowell netting the other two goals. Sammy LeClair and Anderson assisted on those latter two markers.
The hosts hammered some 18 shots on the Bedford net while LHS keeper
Richards contributed eight saves to her team’s success.
The now 7-1 Londonderry crew then enjoyed a couple of days away from competition before returning to play on Thursday Sept. 27 at home against Manchester Central. Coach Dane’s crew will aim to utilize the momentum it regained with the lopsided Bedford win against Central.