(Wenham) I guess it never gets old.
Roger Williams (12-6-3) won its third straight Commonwealth Coast Conference women’s soccer championship with a 1-0 victory over top-seeded Gordon on a sunny/windy Saturday afternoon.
The Scots (17-3) had defeated the Hawks 3-2 on the same field on October 13th but that didn’t matter a bit in November.
The Hawks (#2 seed) weathered a first half of sun/wind disadvantages and then poured on the heat in the second half. The second-half shot stats tell the story – seventeen for RWU and three for Gordon.
That kind of pressure was sooner or later going to lead to something bad for the home team….and sure enough it did.
With fourteen minutes left, Hawk freshman Haley Carignan came in from the right and stroked a shot/pass toward the front of the net. Sophomore Kristen Tetreault dove in from the left and Kristen, the ball, and Gordon goaltender Kari Christensen met at the same time in front. Kristen’s momentum forced the ball past Kari for the only goal of the game.
A tremendous crowd (estimated at 700) took in the championship match. Many of them traveled north from Roger Williams University (Bristol RI). There is no question that winning championships will get a team a following.
It was a tough game to watch for the Gordon faithful who saw the Scots’ eight-game win streak snapped.
The struggle for Gordon was generating offense. While the Hawks moved easily into the Gordon end, the Scots were able to make few connections in the RWU end.
Hawk goalie Stephanie Jaques’ biggest save was midway through the second half when she dove out to smother a shot-attempt by Taylor McSherry.
In the first half, Karina Scavo hit the cross bar and Hannah Midwinter launched a missile over the net.
Beyond those three tries it was Roger Williams threatening and threatening. Mariah Kaiser misfired on an open-net look in the second half. Later a direct kick by Katie Lydon came loose off of GC goalie Kari Christensen, after a save to her right, and rolled temptingly across the front of the Scot net.
But one goal was all that RWU got and that was all they needed.
The Hawks get an automatic NCAA tournament bid by winning the CCC championship.
Hats off to the tireless Gordon defense – senior Rachel Ashley, freshman Shelby Parafox, senior Krysti Leach, junior Kari Christensen, and junior Julia Miller. To say that they were busy is to put it mildly.
Most impressive Gordon player? For my money it was sophomore Hannah Midwinter. She was quick to step up and intercept passes and nifty at escaping defenders and getting a big foot on the ball.
I was told about a month ago that this edition of the Fighting Scots was something special and I should check them out. I did for three games and they proved to be as special as advertised.
(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)