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NHIAA D-II Girls' Soccer Championship: Andrews goes out in in style as Milford dethrones Souhegan

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 03. 2012 9:09PM
The Milford girls celebrate their championship on Saturday. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER - Milford dethroned defending champ and longtime rival Souhegan of Amherst, 2-1, in Saturday's Division II girls' soccer championship, giving senior captain Morgan Andrews a long-coveted distinction.

The University of Notre Dame-bound senior netted both goals in order to place a state championship memento in her trophy case, already stuffed with prominent national awards and distinctions.

"This is going on the top shelf. It's about team. I love this team like my family," said Andrews, the 2011 Gatorade National Soccer Player of the Year, while signing autographs and posing for pictures with the championship medallion dangling from her neck.

Andrews served as simultaneous captain for the fourth-seeded Spartans (16-3-1) and the U17 national team this fall. Her national squad was eliminated from the World Cup competition in Azerbaijan in time to compete in the state tournament, and allowed her to dominate the championship game played on Larkin Field at Southern New Hampshire University.

"Morgan Andrews beat Souhegan today, not Milford," said Souhegan coach Dwayne Andreasen. "We played her as well as anybody, but there's a reason she's a world-class player. She was unstoppable today."

Milford coach John Vlachos dragged a doormat to every game this season. Why?

"It was a reminder to these kids that we are done being a doormat to Souhegan," said Vlachos. "There's nothing better winning a championship and beating Souhegan at the same time."

Andrews took charge early, scoring before the game was two minutes old. She took a pass from Morgan Stephens at midfield, charged downfield with three Sabers clawing at her and blasted a left-footed crossing shot without breaking stride. Keeper Mikaela Sullivan had no chance.

An Andrews score doubled the lead at 56:14, finishing a two-on-two breakaway with a right-footed one-timer on a pass from Kendra Bonczar.

Souhegan retaliated quickly. A pass sprung Kent from pursuers down the right sideline. Keeper Phelps leaped to punch away Kent's crossing shot, but Caroline Shagrin positioned herself to goal the rebound.

"The goal gave us life," said Andreasen. The Sabers are known for posting some thrilling comebacks, like tying last season's semifinal game in the closing seconds. "We never say die. The girls have a lot of character and passion."

On the day of the semifinal game, Morgan Andrews received a text from Vlachos. It read: "Legends are made of championships." Andrews solidified her legendary status in this championship game.

NHIAA Photo Feature