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NHIAA Girls' Soccer: Overtime goal gives Pinkerton a huge lift

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 22. 2018 10:54PM

LONDONDERRY - Rarely will you find a year where the Pinkerton Academy girls' soccer team flies under the radar. However, the Astros entered Saturday's Mack Plaque rivalry match against Londonderry without much buzz regarding their status as contenders for a Division I crown this fall.

Talk is bound to ramp up now after Macy Graves and the Astros topped the previously undefeated Lancers 2-1 in a double-overtime thriller at Lancer Park. Graves netted the game-winning goal with three minutes to play in the second extra period, pushing Pinkerton to 5-2 on the season.

"This is our first big win right here," Pinkerton coach Danielle Rappa said. The Astros have had all but one of their games decided by one goal this season, including each game during their current three-game winning streak. "This shows we might not be a team that scores a lot, but there is talent here. I think we can beat any team we meet out here when we're playing at our hardest."

The match was headed for a draw before Graves got herself an unexpected golden opportunity. Katie Ziniti started a two-on-two breakaway and slid a lead pass through the two Londonderry defenders to Graves, who accelerated ahead and finished on a one-on-one Londonderry keeper Jasmine Richards.

"I had trust in Katie to get the ball to me," Graves said. "I knew I had to make that run with the time we had left. I needed to finish that for my team."

The goal likely wouldn't have happened had Rappa not tinkered with the Astros' formation in the second half. Graves started the game at fullback and helped keep Pinkerton's deficit at 1-0 until Rappa opted to move Graves into the midfield midway through the second half and then again in both overtimes.

"I didn't want to wait and give us just 10 minutes to make it happen with her there," Rappa said. "We moved her back for the end of regulation to make sure we could end that still tied. We wanted to go for the win though. We didn't want a tie after tying a ton of games last year. So we moved her back up and she created for us."

Graves was also in on the game-tying goal from Enya Vanasse-Lagioux with eight minutes left in regulation. Graves helped kick start a rush into Londonderry's side of the field that ended with Mattie Sullivan feeding Vanasse-Lagioux, who corralled atop the 18-yard box and fired a far-side shot to make it 1-1.

Londonderry's lone goal came three minutes into the game from Alyssa Anderson. The Lancers (6-1) were dangerous on the attack in the minutes before and after halftime, but were otherwise stunted by Pinkerton's ability to match up stride for stride defensively. Pinkerton goalie Reagan Kolinski (seven saves) didn't help Londonderry's chances either as she offered a couple key poke saves during regulation.

Olivia Stowell and Darby Dupuis developed good looks for the Lancers in the overtimes, but both failed to cash in.

After talking earlier in the week about how his Lancers had done well finishing games compared to last season, Dane admitted the club regressed Saturday.

"This was the nonsense we went through last year," Dane said. "You look at the clock when we give up that equalizer and there is less than 10 minutes to go. . I have a bunch of cranky young ladies, but hopefully they take the time over these next two days to process and talk about it Monday before we go after Bedford."

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