(Exeter NH) “You take your eyes off them for just a couple of seconds, and you get punished,” said Pembroke Academy coach Jess Kaufman-Desrochers afterwards.
The Spartans coach was referencing the LaPerle twins of Bow.
In the New Hampshire Division II girls’ soccer final this afternoon, Bella and Lyndsey were the difference-makers in the Bow Falcons, 2-1 win in overtime.
Bella scored in the closing seconds of regulation to get the game into overtime. At 2:20 of overtime, her sister Lyndsey drove home the game winner.
“The LaPerles are feisty, fast, and aggressive players,” added the Pembroke coach, “and we knew we needed to watch them.”
Pembroke (18-1) scored eleven minutes into the second half (Cierra Hill) to give the Spartans a, 1-0, lead.
The play throughout the game was back-and-forth, and grueling. There were hardly any substitutions. There was plenty for both fan sections to cheer about………and be concerned about.
The Bow goalie (Cailyn Benson) and the Pembroke goalie (Brooke Davison) were tested and tried on numerous occasions and drew ooh’s and aah’s from the crowd.
That one Pembroke goal got larger and larger as the time ran down.
At the five-minute mark, the scoreboard clock in the stadium stopped ticking down. Thereafter, only the referee knew the exact time left.
“There was time added because one of their players was injured,” said Lyndsey LaPerle afterwards. “That’s why the time left was so confusing.”
“Is there time to score?” and “How much longer will the defense have to hold?” were the questions that ran through my head as the five minutes left started to feel like twenty minutes.
“We never gave up,” said Bow coach Jay Vogt afterwards. “We talked before the game about needing to believe all the time.”
In the closing minute of regulation, Bella LaPerle got the ball on the right. The BHS junior turned and shot through two Pembroke players and into the left side of the Spartans’ goal to tie the score.
There was a five-minute break before sudden-death overtime. That rest may have benefitted the speedy Falcons.
At 2:20 of OT, Lyndsey LaPerle received a pass in front from Elena Jay and buried a shot just inside the near post to win the game.
“I was probably at the eighteen,” explained Lyndsey post-game. “Elena Jay passed it to me. I turned on my defender, saw an opening, and shot it.”
“Crazy,” was Coach Vogt’s initial description of the Lyndsey game-winner.
Then he added, “She turned and put her left foot on it. She didn’t try to kill it. She just tried to place it into the corner. She’s been scoring all year for us.”
The loss was extremely tough for Pembroke to take. Why? They came within seconds of winning their first girls soccer title.
Bow (18-1) has now won girls’ soccer titles six times. The most recent being in 2017.
I was quite certain going in that today’s matchup would be a good one. Bow’s only loss was to undefeated Pembroke.
In that October 15th game, Pembroke’s Britney Hill scored in the last three seconds to give the Spartans a 3-2 victory.
“This will make up for our loss to them,” said Coach Vogt, “because we won a state championship.
The Pembroke goal in the second half was on a well-executed corner kick. Senior Adrienne Dorr’s CK went beyond the front of the Bow goal directly to senior Cierra Hill. Cierra headed the ball back perfectly into the top shelf on the right.
Coach Kaufman-Desrochers: “It’s tough when just a couple of seconds decides it for you. We tried to maintain possession. The last eighty-three days have been really special. It’s hard to end it like this.”
Coach Vogt: “Pembroke is a tremendous team. We knew they’d put pressure on us. We had to believe that we could figure it out.”
LaPerle twins: “It’s an incredible feeling to win this. We’re exhausted…..but it was fun.”
Beautiful weather this afternoon. Temperatures in the 50’s with non-stop sunshine.
Nice setup at Bill Ball Stadium at Exeter High School. Great turf field and plenty of seating.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)