Click here to view additonal photos from this game
HAMPDEN—- Kara Singleton and Emily Lane have been passing the soccer ball to each other since they were six-years old. Saturday afternoon in their last game together as members of the Sacopee Valley Hawks, Singleton sent one last pass to Lane. This one was with 9:58 remaining on the clock in overtime. Lane finished off the play by putting the ball into the net to give the Hawks a 2-1 victory over the Fort Kent Warriors and sending the Hawks back to South Hiram with the gold ball for winning the class C girls soccer state champions for the first time in school history.
“It has been longer then four years,” Singleton said, “Me, Catherine (Murch), Emily (Lane), Maeve (Downey), and Courtney (Ross). We have played together since we were literally six-years old. This is the perfect way to end our senior year.”
The teams played a scoreless first half. Both teams took five shots on goal with none of them getting by Hawks goalie, Courtney Ross or Warriors goalie, Carissa Pelletier. Both goalies only had to make two first half saves thanks to great defense turned in by defenders from both teams. Fort Kent defender, Samantha Carapellucci was around the ball anytime the Hawks had the ball on the offensive side in the first half. Kevin Murphy is the coach for the Hawks and his team started off the game in awe of the whole state championship environment.
“The girls really didn’t know everything to expect when they ended up here,” Murphy said, “It took them 10-15 minutes to get rolling. They started to come around at the end of the first half.”
Catherine Murch led the way for the Sacopee defense. Morgan Sanborn and Michelle Pellegrino were also solid for coach Murphy’s team. At the start of the season one adjustment that the Hawks made was moving Murch to the sweeper position. That decision is a big reason Murphy’s team had the success they had.
“The biggest adjustment we made to start the season was to approach Caherine Murch who can play any position on that field.” Murphy said, “By moving her back to the sweeper position we went from a team that gave up 25-30 goals a season to a team I believe that one was the 10th or 11th of the season. That is a tremendous turn around. It also allowed us by having her presence back their we scored over 40 as a team. That is like night and day. She (Murch) and Courtney Ross too. She had a point blank shot (in overtime) that would of put us down 2-1. You don’t teach that.”
Murch played a solid game as she has so often this season for the Hawks. She knows that what she does becomes much easier thanks to great play from Sanborn, Ross and the rest of the Hawk defenders.
“It wasn’t as much just me,” Murch said, “It was Morgan and the people I have around me. If I didn’t have them I wouldn’t be able to read the field as well. I would not want any other goalie behind me. I trust her (Ross) 100 percent. If I get beat she will be their.”
The Hawks came out in the second half and dominated play. They out shot the Warriors 13-5 in the half. The game remained scoreless for the first 27 minutes of the half thanks to solid play from Pelletier. The Hawks were able to finally get one past her with 12:31 remaining in the half. Singleton took a pass from Lane and put it into the net to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Lane was confident that good things were going to happen if she got the ball to Singleton.
“There is a group of us that have been playing together since we were really young,” Lane said, “Over the years we have learned our tendencies. I know Kara has no fear. If she goes in alone with the keeper, nine times out of ten she is going to get the ball in.”
When you have players as talented as Lane and Singleton, coach Murphy knows just to stay out of the way and let them do what they do best.
“Emily and Kara have played together for so many years,” Murphy said, “You can see that they almost know where each other are going. They play off each other so well, you just let them play. There is so much creditability in those two young ladies. There is not a lot of coaching you need with those girls. I would be re-missed if I didn’t mention another senior. Maeve Downey, without her presence in the middle of the field we could not of strung together what we did. She is one of the original five. The five girls that have played up through the pee wee programs and the travel program. That nucleus working with the rest of these girls around them was the key.”
After that goal by the Hawks it seemed as though Fort Kent took over the momentum of the game. For the next three minutes the Warriors controlled the ball more than they had the entire half before the Sacopee goal. With 8:56 remaining in regulation the Warriors tied it up when Alexis Desjardins took a direct kick from 30 yards out and put it in the upper right of the goal. The Hawks let their guard down after taking a 1-0 lead.
“We kind of let down our guard a little bit,” Singleton said, “Which we don’t usually do. They had a really nice shot.
The last eight minutes of regulation the game got much more physical but the game remained tied at 1 through the end of regulation.
Fort Kent (14-3-1) had the first great opportunity in the overtime. Lauren Doak drilled a shot from about 10 yards out. Ross was their to stop the shot and keep the tied. With 9:58 remaining Singleton sent the ball to Lane and she put the ball past Pelletier and the celebration began for Hawks. For the program at Sacopee Valley they have come a long ways since girls soccer started at the school 12 years ago. This is Murphy’s 7th year as coach. He can remember years when getting a win or even a tie was a special thing for the team.
“It was some seasons, when we were 2-9-3. I can remember them very clearly,” Murphy said, “Try to motivate the girls to get that win or that tie. When you turn into a program like this, it took a different type of focus. Trying to keep these girls focused on that next game and not look to something like this was the key and these girls did it.”
Robby Nadeau was a first year coach for the Fort Kent Warriors. He and his team have a lot to be proud of. The Warriors played a great game.Nadeau knew Lane and Singleton were the two that were going to need to be stopped for his team to be able to go back to Fort Kent as state champions.
“We knew coming in that those were going to be the kids that were going to do it for them.” Nadeau said, “They (Sacopee) are a great team. They have a lot of veterans. They absolutely earned it.”
Ross finished with six saves on 11 shots. Pelletier finished with nine saves on 20 shots.
Girls Soccer Scoreboard