Second-Half Goal Lifts Cards
New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens reacts after striking out Seattle Mariners' Mike Cameron in the seventh inning of game four of the American League Championship Series in Seattle, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2000. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett during Game 4 of the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007, at Coors Field in Denver. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Sunapee — After a slow start, the Stevens High girls soccer team got a wake-up call in the second half, scoring the game’s only goal and threatening for more in a 1-0 win over an impressive Sunapee team on Tuesday.
The New Hampshire Division III Cardinals held off the D-IV Lakers, who won a state championship two years ago, won 15 games last year and are 11-2 this season. Sunapee has outscored the opposition 54-4. The Lakers’ only other loss was to top-seeded Derryfield, a defeat they avenged last week.
“We don’t mind playing the bigger schools. We know it gets us ready for the postseason,” Sunape coach Myles Cooney said.
Like Sunapee, Stevens is also in the midst of a fine season (8-1-2). Its only loss is to Kearsarge, with the ties coming against Kearsarge and Monadnock.
Both teams are in third place in their divisions and and will play each other again Monday in Claremont.
The game’s only goal came with 14:10 left in the second half after the ball ricocheted around in the offensive zone.
It eventually rolled to the Cardinals’ Maddy Whipple, who stuck the ball on the short side between the post and the diving grasp of Sunapee keeper Erika Waterman.
After the first half saw a lot of midfield play, few scoring threats and not one corner kick, the Cardinals picked up the pace in the second 40 minutes.
“We just stepped it up,” Stevens coach Tom Belaire said.
Sunapee has been dealing with a lot of injuries, but Cooney wasn’t using that for an excuse.
“A lot of teams are banged up this time of the year,” the coach said.
But Cooney did admit that the ideal situation would have been for his team to get an early lead, “then sit on it.”
But the early lead never came, although freshman Danielle Usko had a couple of good looks in the first half and Mary Grzanna had a shot tipped over the cage by Stevens keeper Molly Early.
Stevens showed some spark right after the halftime break, getting the game’s first corner, followed by a Desneige Roy header that challenged Waterman.
That opportunity was followed by a solid Sunapee opportunity, when Rosie Webb had what may have been the Lakers’ best chance of the day. She had the ball at her foot and nothing in front of her but the Early, who anticipated well and made the save.
The last Laker attempt came with time running out, as Abby Armstrong’s direct kick went over the net.
Stevens ended with a 9-8 edge in shots on goal and 4-1 in corners.
Before the Cardinals host the Lakers next Monday, they have a Friday game at Newport.