AUBURN — Emma Roy was looking for an open corner of the Rangeley net to slip in her game-winning goal late in the second half of St. Dominic Academy’s girls soccer home game on Saturday.

Lakers goalie Winnie Larochelle, who was a huge obstruction all game, made 18 saves against the dominant Saints. Roy found the left side of the net open and drilled the ball into the corner with 12:48 left in the game to put the Saints over the top with a hard-fought, 1-0 Class D South victory.

Roy was also impressed with Larochelle’s vigil in the net, but when the Rangeley goalie had moved to the right, Roy saw the left side was agape and booted it from about 15 yards out to score the unassisted goal.

“Because she is a taller goalie, I was looking to aim for a corner, a low corner, and she was really on the right,” Roy said. “She was really far over so I just was looking to place it in the corner.

“We had a lot of shots on goal so it was relief to finally get (a goal) in the back (of the net). Their goalie was tall. She did a really good job.”

The first half was a scoreless affair, with the St. Dom’s offense taking control early, but the Lakers’ defense never let up and frustrated the Saints.

The Saints pressed even harder in the second half, but Larochelle held her ground and slapped several hard shots away from the net.

“She is outstanding; she really is,” Rangeley coach Jeff Hawksley said. “She hasn’t had to do a lot of work this year, but when she was called on today, she got it done.

“We are a small class D school. They are borderline C and they actually play a higher level of games than we do. But we had a defensive plan if it came to that, and the girls were really strong.”

Larochelle’s heroics also impressed the opposing coach.

“Their keeper was phenomenal,” St. Dom’s coach Tyler Shennett said. “She had some amazing saves today. It took a lot of effort to beat her today. That keeper should be proud because we were peppering her.”

Nine minutes into the game, a crowd gathered in front of the Rangeley net after a St. Dom’s shot bounced of the post. It became a feeding frenzy for the Saints, who could not get the ball past Larochelle.

“This big thing we are working on lately is trying to get our shots off,” Shennett said. “We’ve gone into a lot of situations where we haven’t been taking our shots. Today we just kind of focused on: ‘Like, hey, anywhere within 20 yards, let’s take a rip.’

“The girls did a really good job possessing the ball and moving it in that final third (in the second half). If it wasn’t for the hard work of these girls, we wouldn’t have found a goal today.” 

St. Dom’s goalie made Anna Theriault made two saves and the Saints had 40 shots sent at the net.

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