Olivia Stowell scores twice in Londonderry win over Alvirne.
HUDSON — Another day brought another win for the Londonderry High girls’ soccer team Tuesday. A 4-1 triumph over Alvirne makes it three straight wins to start the season for the Lancers, who began last season on a similar hot streak that led to a 14-1-1 regular season and a Division I title game appearance.
Olivia Stowell struck twice for the Lancers (3-0) while Alyssa Anderson and Mia Stowell, Olivia’s younger sister, added a goal apiece.
As the Lancers look for a better end result this season, Londonderry head coach Derek Dane hasn’t changed much about his team. However, it certainly is a different kind of team given the interchangeable parts it showcased Tuesday with Dane moving players back and forward positionally to mix up the looks.
“I think we’re at the point now where we can mix and match players on the field against a given opponent and still compete,” Dane said. “We had some JV players up today too so we could integrate them into what we are doing in the event we need them later in the season.”
Londonderry began its offense from the back line to start the game and the scheme generated three goals in the first 26 minutes.
Olivia Stowell began things in two minutes into the game with a second-chance conversion before Anderson forced a turnover in the Alvirne box and capitalized with another goal in the 18th minute. Olivia Stowell capped the first-half scoring with a nifty score off the crossbar from where the endline and the 18-yard box meet.
“The challenge we put to her last year was if she could up her game while getting others involved,” said Dane of Olivia Stowell. “She’s playing freely now. There’s no restrictions and she can just go play. It’s fun to watch.”
Alvirne (2-1) looked primed to climb back into the game out of halftime and was arguably the better team in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Marissa Juliano scored the Broncos’ lone goal during their strong stretch, but Alvirne couldn’t sustain the momentum.
Broncos coach Jerry Ruigrok was impressed with his team’s resolve out of the break, but ultimately would’ve liked to see them start the game with such a good stretch.
“We’ve been having trouble starting and having our defense in proper coverage,” Ruigrok said. “It comes back to our energy level, and playing a team like (Londonderry) made it a little longer before we could really get going. We’ve got to figure out a way to get going earlier.”
What didn’t help Alvirne’s cause was an impenetrable Londonderry defense for the better part of the first half. Any forward momentum the Broncos got in the attacking zone was halted before the 18-yard box by the likes of Londonderry defenders Lea Baum, Gwen Barnes and others. And once Alvirne got going in the second half, Londonderry keeper Jasmine Richards was up to the task, making five of her seven saves in the final 40 minutes.
“The group in the back talked before the game about how we were going to play the ball out of there,” Dane said. “And then during the game, I called over the center backs and had them tell me what we need to do. There’s still work to do, but the group is coming together.”