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Stevens Holds Off Jacks, 3-1

Stevens High's Gabrielle Keyser, left, tries to block a ball in their varsity volleyball match against Mascoma at Mascoma on September 9, 2013. Mascoma won 2-1. Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage

Stevens High's Gabrielle Keyser, left, tries to block a ball in their varsity volleyball match against Mascoma at Mascoma on September 9, 2013. Mascoma won 2-1. Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage

Claremont — The turning point of the game came not with a goal, but with an almost-goal. And everybody knew it.

The Stevens girls had a 1-0 lead in the second half when Windsor’s Maryam Orogi screamed a shot from the side that tipped off the crossboar — and past the net.

Instead of a tie score, the Jacks found themselves still playing from behind. Moments later, that 1-0 deficit became 2-0 when Stevens scored en route to a 3-1 victory Monday night.

“If that goes in who knows what would have happened,” said Windsor coach Bruce Mackay. “We started to look a little out of sorts after that.”

The win moved Stevens to 3-0 — an unblemished record the Cards are molding with speed on the wings and steady play in the middle.

The Cardinals are also being stingy defensively, giving up just three goals in the three games.

“We are quick and we pinch in while we’re moving forward,” said Stevens coach Tom Belaire, who also said that some chances were lost when the wings crossed the ball only to find no one crashing the goal to put it in.

“We have to work on that,” said Belaire.

Windsor, 0-2, a school with approximately 230 students, has opened up the season playing Hartford and Stevens, two schools with around three times the enrollment.

“That’s OK,” said Mackay whose girls basketball teams always had a schedule loaded with larger schools. “And we’ve got MSJ (on the road Friday) next, and they are loaded.”

Mackay was actually quite upbeat after the game because he had seen so much improvement from the earlier Hartford game.

“I thought we played pretty well,” the coach said. “We just had a tough time matching up to their quickness. They have a lot of speed.”

After some near misses and some solid net play by Windsor keeper Rebecca Rumrill in the early going, Stevens took a 1-0 lead when Katelyn Belaire collected a Maddy Whipple feed and slid it between the post and the reach of Rumrill.

Windsor came right back with the speedy Orogi causing havoc in front of the Cardinal net. First, Stevens keeper Molly Early came out to smother the ball before Orogi could get a shot off.

Then, just before the half ended, Orogi placed the ball across the front of the goal, but saw it trickle harmlessly by.

As the second half opened, Rumrill was equal to the task when a Belaire to Whipple, to Jazmyn Griffin combination nearly resulted in a goal — followed a little later by a Belaire rush that was smothered at the edge of the net.

That set up the Orogi effort that skipped off the crossbar — only to see Stevens return with a sdcoring vengeance.

In a span of three minutes, the Cardinals tallied twice, the second goal coming with 18 minutes to play. The tally that made it 2-0 was almost stopped by Rumrill — who got a piece of the shot by Whipple — but not enough to stop it from trickling in. Aly Lizotte had the assist on the play for the Cards.

Shortly thereafter Lizotte was recipient of a pass from Whipple and didn’t miss to make it 3-0.

Windsor finally got on the board as the clock started winding down, as Orogi dribbled inside the box and flicked a shot past Early.

Stevens had an 11-3 edge in shots on goal.

The Cardinals are off until Sept. 18 when they travel to Fall Mountain.