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Ramblers edge Falcon stickers, 2-1
RUMFORD --Mountain Valley proved it has the right moves, however, their best effort fell shy in their rematch with Winthrop.
The rematch turned into a battle and a goal by Rachel Ingram in the second half was the difference as the powerful Ramblers held on for a 2-1 win against the Lady Falcons at Hosmer Complex.
Mountain Valley, who had lost to the Ramblers, last month, certainly was prepared for the fast-paced action in the rain.
Mountain Valley, No. 6 in the West, entered the game knowing a lot was on the line, Winthrop was No. 2 in the East.
“The girls certainly feel good about their performance,” said Mountain Valley coach Melissa Forbes. "There was no let up and they had several long hits that we needed.”
In the first half, the Falcons settled in and generated some increased ball control. Alexa Fryover sent the ball and Nicole Burgess garnered it near midfield, blew by Winthrop defender Micaela Hajduk and dodged goalie Alyssa Arsenault, who had rushed near the top of the circle. Burgess continued to the right and nailed a shot into the left corner, tying the score 1-1 with 5:56 left until halftime.
"Nicole is fast, especially at home and she benefitted from the flat-playing surface," said Forbes.
The momentum followed over to the second half, but Arsenault (eight saves) slid on the ground to fend off a Falcon scramble, that included shots by Burgess, Payton Provencher and Lexy Duguay.
Both coaches utilized their allotted two-time outs in order to make adjustments. Winthrop drove into the circle and was awarded a penalty corner, but Falcon sweeper Ellie Hall stepped up and cleared the ball.
“Our ability to move the ball around set-up the passing game,” said Winthrop coach Sharon Coulton. "That has been a strong point for us all season.”
The Ramblers refused to back down and immediately regained possession. Mary-Claire Blanchard advanced a pass and Ingram flicked a shot by MV goalie Venessa Swett (10 saves), to lead 2-1, with 21:25 left to play.
Winthrop's transition game had led to Blanchard scoring from 10 feet, 2:05 into the game.
“A big thing for us was marking up,” said Coulton. "We have team speed, but Nicole Burgess is (lightening) fast. If we allowed her to get open, she was gone."
Winthrop MF Elizabeth Glover, former Mountain Valley player, flicked a high shot that Sweat battered away with her glove.