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Soccer: Rivendell 2, Windsor 1: Two goals in final 10 minutes propel visitors

  • Rivendell teammates Alex McFate, left, and Savannah Gray embrace after their 2-1 win over Windsor in Windsor, Vt., on Sept. 7, 2021. McFate scored the winning goal on a penalty kick following a tackle in the box. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — Geoff Hansen

  • Windsor's Audrey Rupp takes a tumble while moving the ball against Rivendell's Lea Matea. Matea was called for a push during their game in Windsor, Vt., on Sept. 7, 2021. Rivendell won, 2-1. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Rivendell's Harper Trendley takes a shot on goal while defended by Windsor's Sarah DeSchamp (21) and Skylar Thibodeau during their game in Windsor, Vt., on Sept. 7, 2021. Rivendell won, 2-1. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Geoff Hansen

  • Windsor's Holly Putnam (4) and Rivendell's Elisia Sonsalla vie for control of the ball during their game in Windsor, Vt., on Sept. 7, 2021. Rivendell won, 2-1. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Geoff Hansen

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/7/2021 9:30:20 PM
Modified: 9/8/2021 9:43:58 PM

WINDSOR — Sometimes, all it takes is a lucky — or unlucky — break to change a game. On Tuesday, Rivendell Academy’s game at Windsor High was decided by two such breaks.

Windsor led 1-0 with 10 minutes to play, and that’s when things changed.

A deflection off a Yellowjacket defender’s leg set up a Rivendell equalizer, and the Raptors captured the lead on a penalty kick three minutes later. Rivendell closed out the game to earn the 2-1 victory.

Raptors head coach Tim Goodwin lauded his team’s resolve in the comeback win.

“It was well-earned,” Goodwin said. “It was a good sign (that) we were able to play that hard (and) come from behind against a really quality team. To win out here is not easy, so I was very proud of them.”

Windsor (0-2-0) controlled possession for much of the game, though both teams had plenty of chances. The game was scoreless until the 60th minute, when freshman Audrey Rupp connected with her sister, senior Elliot Rupp, on a through ball.

The elder Rupp smashed a shot into the left side of the net to put the Yellowjackets ahead.

But even with his team playing well and then in front, Windsor head coach Jeff Bachey was still weary of Rivendell (1-0-1).

“I’m never confident with a 1-0 lead. It’s the easiest lead to lose,” Bachey said. “I love Elliot’s effort and I love her finish. I love that it provided that little spark for us. But one (goal) tonight wasn’t enough.”

Rivendell stuck with its original game plan after falling behind. Goodwin knew the key against Windsor is limiting the Elliot Rupp, who was a first-team all-state selection last year as a junior. And he knew that if the Raptors pressed too hard in attack, they’d be left vulnerable on a counterattack against capable scorers.

So Rivendell dug in, continued to create chances on counters the way they had before, and waited for momentum to shift.

The Raptors’ moment came in the 70th minute. A backward pass caromed off a Windsor defender’s leg and right into Rivendell freshman Erin Ricker’s path at the top of the penalty box. She applied a first-time finish and placed it past Windsor freshman goalkeeper Sophia Rockwood to tie the game at one.

“That’s soccer,” Goodwin said about the deflection. “It happens to every coach and every player. We’ve all gotten the good side of that, we’ve all gotten the bad side. But (Ricker) was at the right spot at the right time. A lot of kids panic in that spot, and she didn’t. She put it home.”

The goal didn’t open the game up any more in terms of opportunities, as Rivendell created plenty of chances throughout the game. But it boosted the team’s confidence, Goodwin said. And it didn’t take long for that confidence to pay dividends.

Three minutes after the equalizer, Rivendell eighth-grader Harper Trendley passed to junior Ryleigh Butler, who was back on the field after limping off earlier in the half. Butler dribbled past a defender, ran into the penalty box, and earned a penalty kick. Windsor sophomore Miah McAllister clipped Butler in the leg. Goodwin said drawing penalties is an overlooked part of Butler’s game.

Senior Alex McFate stepped to the penalty spot, and shot the ball to the goalkeeper’s right and into the back of the net to put her team ahead with seven minutes to go.

McFate, Rivendell’s go-to penalty taker, said she tries to clear her head when she takes a penalty kick. She wasn’t thinking about the score, the time, or anything except her and the goalkeeper.

“It’s not so much about confidence,” McFate said. “It’s more about just keeping calm, keeping a sane mind, and knowing where you want to put the ball.”

Rivendell senior goalkeeper Savannah Gray gave her team a chance to pull off the comeback. She made several crucial saves as Windsor created chances throughout the game, and finished with nine total. Rockwood also recorded nine saves.

Gray is new to playing goalkeeper, but has impressed Goodwin early in the season.

“She earned the role. She gets better and better every day,” Goodwin said. “The difference from her now from two weeks ago is really pretty big. Her positioning is good, and her intensity is good, and she’s just got the right demeanor for being a goalie.”

Bachey was ultimately disappointed with the result but was still pleased with his team’s performance.

He said the difference between Tuesday’s game and Saturday’s loss to White River Valley was noticeable.

“We had the space. We had the opportunities today. It was just that final third,” Bachey said. “We’re a good team, we’re a fast team, we’re a well-coached team. And they’re a good team, a fast team, a well-coached team. And so it’s just, ‘Who’s going to get the breaks tonight?’ and they didn’t fall our way.”

Windsor hits the road to face Woodstock on Friday. Rivendell is back in action Thursday at Bellows Falls.

Seth Tow can be reached at stow@vnews.com.

 Correction

Sophia Rockwood is a freshman on the Windsor High girls s   occer team. An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported what grade she is in.




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