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NHIAA D-III Girls' Soccer Championship: No. 7 Hopkinton stuns Bow in OT

MANCHESTER - During a Cinderella run to the NHIAA Division III girls' soccer final, a few Hopkinton High School players talked about winning a state title, but coach Lauri Izzi never mentioned it.

They can gab all they want now.

With a goal by senior forward Elizabeth Hancock thirteen minutes into overtime, the seventh-seeded Hawks upset No. 1 Bow High School, 1-0, to win the Division III crown Saturday at Southern New Hampshire University. The victory capped a season-closing run in which Hopkinton (14-6) won seven of eight games, while Bow's loss was the lone defeat in an 18-1-1 campaign during which the Falcon defense yielded just three goals.

Facing her own net, Hancock picked up a loose ball near the top of the penalty area and unleashed a boot that deflected off Bow goalkeeper Janna Corsetti's hands and into the net.

"It all happened so fast," Hancock said. "I just got the ball, turned around and kicked. It was kind of blind shot."

After a sedate first half in which Bow held Hopkinton without a shot on goal while managing only three shots, the second half and overtime featured several offensive threats on both ends. Spearheaded by forward Courtney Benson, the Hawks' offense took 10 shots after the half, while Bow countered with nine.

Bow forward Lindsey Reynolds put pressure on the Hawks in overtime with two rushes on net, but both her kicks sailed wide right. Meanwhile, Corsetti snuffed long-range bids by Hopkinton's Sabrey Montore and Kelly Scammon in the extra frame.

Izzi credited the Hawk defense for making victory possible.

"I wanted my defense to buy us some time to score, and I think they did that at some points," she said. "There were opportunities for both teams, but the goal was to hold (Bow) off until we can get it in the net."

Bow, the defending Division III champion, defeated Hopkinton twice during its near-flawless regular season but committed too many miscues in the final, coach Jay Vogt said.

"I think that we got a little out of sync from how we normally play," he said. "I thought that most of the chances Hopkinton got were from fouls, so we gave up a little bit too much on that end of it. I thought we created some pretty good chances, but you've got to score to win."

The Falcons' best scoring chance came with 11:48 left in the first half, when Madeleine Cheney took a feed in the penalty box from sophomore Madeline Preston. Her kick was broken up virtually on contact by Hopkinton keeper Smith, and the ensuing collision sent Cheney out of the game with a right-leg injury.

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