Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By Matt DiFilippo firstname.lastname@example.org
ORONO - It had every indication of being an even game, and it was. But there's something about a goal barely a minute into the game that changes the whole complexion of things.
Arianna Kahler, 31, of Lisbon follows her goal as Winthrop goalie Alyssa Arsenault reacts too late in the first half of the Class C State Championship game at Orono.
Photo by Michael York
Arianna Kahler scored for Lisbon with just 1:02 elapsed, and Winthrop never got even. Lisbon held on for a 2-1 victory and the Class C state title at Morse Field on Saturday afternoon.
"When they score early like that, the kids didn't get down, but you're in a hole," Winthrop coach Sharon Coulton said. "It was just one of those things."
Lisbon finishes at 17-0-1, with the tie against Winthrop. The Ramblers, who reached the state final for the second straight year, end up at 15-2-1.
The Greyhounds earned a penalty corner less than a minute in, then scored on their second corner, with Kahler tipping in a tipped pass from Bailey Cutler.
Winthrop got six penalty corners of its own in the first half, but did not have a shot. With Lisbon playing back on defense, the Ramblers could not get a shot through the maze of players. Often on corners, Winthrop got an open shot from the edge of the circle, only to have a Lisbon defender like Allison Bubar stop it five yards from the cage.
"I know that their drives are impressive, so I just tried to keep my stick down," said Bubar, who also had a defensive save.
"We don't really have the philosophy to pack it in," Lisbon coach Julie Wescott said. "(We) just mark up and find the most dangerous opponent, and don't allow them to get the first touch on the pass."
Down 1-0 at the half, it was clear Winthrop's best chance for a goal would be to get a breakaway and a numbers advantage. Instead, Lisbon scored that way.
The Ramblers got their first shot when three players got behind the defense on a corner, and crowded Lisbon goalie Stevie Charest. After Charest made the save, the Greyhounds raced upfield.
Lisbon got three shots in the sequence, and Winthrop had to play chase and never got its defense completely set. Molly Nicholson slid a pass to Hannah Jordan on the left post for a goal, and Lisbon led 2-0 with 23:52 left.
Again, Winthrop had chances. But at this point, Lisbon could focus even more on defense.
"They were either doing a super job of getting back, or they pulled some extra people back in," Coulton said. "When you're (ahead), you can play more defensively."
Winthrop got its goal on a busted play. The insertion pass on a penalty corner went only a few yards, and Winthrop's Shauna Carlson frantically got the ball out of the circle and back in to make the play legal. Carlson then got a pass to Mary Claire Blanchard, who scored with 5:34 left.