WINDHAM — This one was for Retta.
After Londonderry High School junior girls soccer player Retta Hatin left the game via ambulance with a right arm injury, her teammates channeled their emotions into a 3-0 NHIAA Division I victory at Windham on Tuesday.
The Lancers (6-7) lost their previous four games. Windham (7-7-1) had won three of its past four games entering Tuesday.
While challenging for the ball, Hatin fell on her right arm in the eighth minute and, after about a 20-minute delay, was carted off the Londonderry sideline to the ambulance.
Her best friend, junior Brynn Foster, refused to leave the game when Lancers coach Derek Dane asked if she wanted to come off the field. After taking some time on the sideline, Hatin’s younger sister, Reese, a sophomore, filled in at the same position Retta started the game playing.
“It definitely motivated us to fight for even more of a purpose than just to win — to win for one of our most loved players,” Londonderry senior captain and goalkeeper Liana Sawyer said. “And for her to be sent out through an ambulance, it did put us down for just that moment in time but then, as we started playing, we definitely got more comfortable with the idea (of) playing for her.”
Londonderry leading scorer and senior captain Ashley Manor opened the game’s scoring in the 26th minute and scored again three minutes into the second half to build a 2-0 Lancers advantage.
Manor, who will play for Stony Brook University next year, notched her first goal on a contested shot at the top of the penalty box via an assist from Foster. The tally came during a first half in which the Lancers had the possession advantage but often struggled to progress past midfield.
Manor’s second tally also came on a shot from the top of the box, this time after a feed from fellow captain Mia Stowell.
“I think it was much needed to get that second one right at the start of the half,” Manor said. “It set the tone, really, because we usually have a tough first 10 minutes so it was nice to start off like that — start off strong.”
Dane said Manor, a four-year varsity player, has excelled this fall as the team’s offensive leader.
“We’re asking her to do a lot of different things this year,” Dane said. “The teams we’ve had in the past, we’ve had a lot more attacking firepower and she’s just kind of blended in. This year, we’ve asked her to lead.”
Londonderry junior back/midfielder Drea Dwyer tucked her shot from in the box inside the near post in the 67th minute to record her first high school goal and cap the game’s scoring.
Sawyer earned an 11-save clean sheet and commanded a back line that contained Windham scoring threats Reagan Murray and Emily Manning.
The Jaguars drew seven corner kicks to Londonderry’s one. Murray’s penalty-kick shot on the game’s final play sailed wide left of goal. She also had a shot hit the post and two others blocked by Foster and Londonderry junior Ashlyn Doucette in the second half.
Jaguars junior forward Chloe Weeks had a second-half run into the Londonderry box but Sawyer corralled her shot.
“Our style is to try to get the ball wide and then get it crossed in,” Windham coach Matt Bryant said. “We did get some good chances and we just couldn’t get anybody on the end of the ball.”
Windham senior goalkeepers Amanda Call and Maria Malaterra combined for two saves.
Dane said the Lancers played fantastic and he was proud of how his players responded after Hatin’s injury.
“They came together very well — that’s difficult,” Dane said. “I felt like we did a good job internalizing it, absorbing it and using it as motivation.”