CONWAY — The Kennett High girls’ soccer team owns a four-match winning streak, and the Eagles built that run by persevering through rain, gale-force winds and thunder, and that was just in one of those matches, against rival Kingswood in Wolfeboro on Wednesday night. The girls from Conway scored four second-half goals to leave town with a 4-0 win.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4 years old through high school and college but I don’t think I’ve ever played in weather like we did Wednesday night,” Ronald Krieger, Eagles’ head coach, said. “We had downpours, lightning delays and the 45 mph wind gusts, it was pretty incredible.”
He added: The girls and Dave (Caputo, assistant coach) handled it lifetime was just another day on the pitch.”
The win lifted Kennett to 5-2 on the season and into a seventh-place tie with Pembroke in the Division II standings.
“Coming into this season, I really didn’t know what to expect,” Krieger said. “The team has exceeded my expectations by gelling so quickly. It’s been great to watch them be excited about the game.”
Playing under the lights, on turf against Kingswood, in conditions better suited for a Weather Channel special on extreme weather, the Eagles had the run of play for large periods of this local derby.
“In the first half,” Krieger said, “we played almost as well as we did in the second half, we just didn’t put one in the back of the net. We had the wind against in the first half, and definitely took advantage of it in the second half.”
Krieger adjusted the Eagles formation to account for the conditions “manipulating” their normal 3-5-2 to more of a 4-4-2 with senior defender Lia Anzaldi staying closer to the midfield.
In the second half, freshman Ivy Zipf, a thorn in the Kingswood defense all evening on the right flank, helped put the hometown flock on the scoreboard. She made a sensational run down the right wing and put a perfect cross into the penalty area that sophomore Shannon Abrams rifled home to making it 1-0.
“Ivy had a phenomenal game,” said Krieger. “She had two great post runs that led to beautiful goals.”
Zipf supplied the pass to Marissa Caputo, who found the back of the onion bag to make it 2-0.
Bryn Fayle netted her first varsity goal, while Aida Wheat scored in her fifth consecutive match.
“We played really solid soccer under peculiar conditions, “Krieger said.
Sam Habert-Jaques recorded the shutout in goal for the Eagles.
“If Sam plays over the summer and continues to work with (goalie coach) Josh McAllister, she could be a top-notch state goalie next year,” Krieger said.
On the team’s Facebook page, Krieger called it “a group effort in the midfield,” in collecting to win,” and “the D held strong over 80 minutes of play from Emily Kenny, Katie Brooks, Ashley Garside and Lia Anzaldi.”
JV dealt with the worse of the weather and in a delayed/shortened game remained undefeated with a 0-0 draw.
Kennett and Kingswood were slated to wrap up a home-and-home series in Conway on Friday, but the match was postponed after Kennett announced its first positive case of COVID-19 at the school on Thursday. KHS Athleltic Director Neal Weaver said a makeup date has not yet been scheduled.
Kennett is scheduled to travel to Belmont (7-1 in Division III) on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) to kick off a home-and-home series with the Red Raiders. The Eagles are slated to host Belmont on Thursday (3:30 p.m.).
Belmont is riding a four-match win streak of its own with a 2-1 win at home over Plymouth on Sept. 30; a 5-0 win at Prospect Mountain on Oct. 2; a 3-1 win at Gilford on Oct. 5; and a 4-3 home victory over Gilford on Thursday.