All tied up
Friday, October 11, 2013
Michelle Winning and Derek Dane have known each other for nearly 20 years, and it was no surprise to either of them what transpired Tuesday between their high school soccer teams on the field.
The Bedford and Londonderry girls soccer teams played to a 1-1 stalemate in a Division I game Tuesday, after the Bulldogs had tallied the initial goal in the first half.
With six minutes remaining in regulation, Alexa Bedell masterfully weaved through a pair of Bedford defenders and zipped a shot into the right corner of the net to keep the Lancers alive. The goal was the senior’s first of the season after having been absent for the duration of her junior year due to injury.
“(Londonderry) was just more aggressive, they were the stronger team in the second half in terms of just physical play and we just had to match it,” said Winning, the Bedford coach. “It’s exactly what I expected.”
In the first half, the Bulldogs (8-1-2) appeared to be the team to beat, as they frequented the Londonderry end with smooth transitions up the field through the Lancers’ defenders.
After several thwarted efforts on net, Bedford was able to break through 13:05 into the game. Londonderry (6-4-2) goalkeeper Merissa Brousseau (six saves) batted a Bedford shot away only to have the loose ball knocked in by Meghan Foley, who raced in uncontested.
“I saw the ball crossing in and I figured that I should be there,” Foley said. “When I saw it rebound, I went in for the shot.”
In the second half, the teams switched ends of the field, but the action did not. The Lancers came out with aggression and had their foot on the ball as much as the Bulldogs had in the first half. Leading up to Bedell’s equalizer, the Lancers mounted nine scoring opportunities, but could not put the ball on the net.
“We took a while to get started,” said Dane. “We were playing around with a couple different things in formations. We started the game one way, it wasn’t working so we switched it. It looked as though the Bedford team got tired toward the end. When (Bedell) scored, we fed off that energy and we went for it.”
In the first extra period, the Lancers nearly saw their persistence come to fruition when Maeve Holland was set up with two separate chances at the net, but was denied each time by goalkeeper, Brooke Barrett. Barrett compiled seven saves on the day.
“(Londonderry) was trying a lot harder to play together,” said Bedford’s Janelle Makmann. “I heard them talking.”
Bedford had a shot of its own in double overtime, when a Johanna Celli pass found Sawyer Biron in front of the net, but Biron’s shot careened wide.
“(Londonderry) is big and physical,” Winning said. “We’re young, we’re smaller, but we stayed in the fight and that’s what we’re going to see in the tournament.”
The Bulldogs will have a chance to boost themselves in the Division I standings on Friday, when they visit Pinkerton.