TURNER — Ann Tolan made her coach look like a soothsayer with her game-winning goal in Morse’s 2-1 double-overtime victory over Leavitt.

“After the first overtime, Jackie (Aines, Morse assistant coach) said we’re getting a goal in the first minute and we’re done with the game,” Tolan said.

But no one was more surprised than Tolan when what she intended to be high cross over the defense cleared the leaping Leavitt goalie and sailed into the top left corner of the net 22 seconds into the second overtime.

Leavitt controlled the ball to start the session, but Sophie Sreden got a foot on a backwards pass and tapped it ahead to Tolan, who took a couple dribbles down the right sideline, then sent her “pass” skyward.

“I thought I was crossing it in, not even trying to shoot,” Tolan said. “I saw how high it was and I thought it was going over. Then I saw it go in and I freaked out. I ran to Sophie and ripped off my shirt almost, I was so excited.”

Tolan and the Shipbuilders were just as relieved to get one past Leavitt goalie Angela Daigle (18 saves), who made several spectacular stops in net, and needed every one to keep the Hornets alive in a contest where they were outshot, 20-8.

“She faced a lot of pressure, and I’ll be the first one to admit that I ask a lot out of her as a goalie,” Leavitt coach Chris Cifelli said of Daigle, a sophomore who converted from wing this year. “Not being a goalie by trade, she’s good at learning on the job, so I’m very proud of what she does.”

“We’ve never had great luck coming to Leavitt. It’s always been a challenge,”  Morse coach Steve Boyce said. “To be on the right side of something like that feels pretty nice.”

More than half of Leavitt’s regulars are either freshmen or sophomores, so the Hornets knew going up against the Shipbuilders’ junior- and senior-laden lineup would be a challenge, especially with several players, including senior midfielder Tatiana Sierra, nursing injuries.

“We were banged-up and I was thrilled with how they stuck with the game plan today,” Cifelli said. “We gave ourselves a chance. They’re a lot more experienced and have a lot more offensive firepower. To be able to stick in that game like that and have a chance was great.”

The Hornets, who tied Maranacook, 1-1, in Friday’s season-opener, came out with the early pressure. They took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute when Shannon O’Malley caught the Shipbuilders’ defense back on its heels on a quick transition and slid a shot to the right of Morse goalie Alesha Aucoin (seven saves) for a 1-0 lead.

“One of the things that they do really well is they send people up. We knew that if we could just counter with Shannon really quickly, she might be able to wiggle free,” Cifelli said. “The biggest thing was her composure on the shot. It wasn’t like it was just her and the goalie. There was still some pressure there, so it was nice that she was able to time it.”

Morse controlled the play for the rest of the game.

The Shipbuilders (2-0), who beat Winslow in their Friday opener, 1-0, tied it in the second minute of the second half when Sreden was awarded a direct kick from the top of the semi-circle. She didn’t get as much on the kick as she would have liked, but the low line drive still avoided Daigle to her left.

“Morgan Cram was behind me yelling ‘Get 10 yards,'” Sreden said. “I just looked at her and then when I turned and kicked it, it felt a little weird coming off my foot. It just went up and then it dove straight down. I’m not complaining. It went in.”

“Once we started making 50-50 balls ours as opposed to waiting for them to play, and once we became active as opposed to reactive, that’s when things started happening,” Boyce said. “When we do that, our passes work. Everybody’s moving and things seem to progress forward.”

Daigle did all she could to impede Morse’s progress, with some help from a back line that included Oliva Gilbert and Miranda Coombs. The Hornets’ Victoria DeCoster did well marking-up on Morse’s most dangerous player, forward Miracle Trimble. When the junior did find an opening, like when she beat the defense to a free ball on the endline and dribbled in from 20 feet out to take a shot from point-blank range, Daigle was able to turn her aside.

Daigle also denied Ruth Nadeau twice in the final 10 minutes, deflecting one high shot over the crossbar, then making a diving stop on a bid from the top of the box.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: