Above: Helena Dunwoody reaches for the ball after the face off. Photos by Chuck Nadeau (chuckn.com)
By Tommy Sprague
On a foggy Monday night, East Greenwich faced a surging Portsmouth Patriots squad who came up to Division I after winning the Division II Championship last season. Based on their success in DII along with a talented roster, they posed a significant threat to the Avengers.
In the first half, EG maintained possession and controlled the pace of play. Senior Captain Helena Dunwoody facilitated the draw control with support from her front midfield line of freshmen Lindsey Ziady and Lindsey Rowe and sophomore Maeve Kiernan. Senior Captain Mila Navarro led the offensive attack with 4 goals, along with 2 from Dunwoody and 1 from freshman Lily Peters to put the Avengers up 7 to 4 at the end of the first half.
The second half was another story. The Patriots pressed on the draw and turned the tide on the Avengers. In addition to their possession advantage, Portsmouth used their speed to initiate many shooting space calls, allowing the team to have unobstructed shots at the 8 meter perimeter. For those unfamiliar, this is a foul that occurs when a defender obstructs the free space to goal within the critical scoring area. These penalties on EG were punishing. The Patriots used this opportunity to erase EG’s 5 point lead. If not for senior Captain Fiona Baxter’s efforts in goal, Portsmouth would have easily gained the lead.
EG’s offense responded to Baxter’s concentration in the net and began a second offensive with goals netted by Dunwoody, Navarro and Peters to gain momentum. However, it was senior Izzy Gelzhiser who executed a critical 8 meter shot with 1.5 minutes left in the game that put the Avengers on top. After Gelzhiser’s goal, EG played very smart ball, managing the clock and running out the final minutes of the game.
No rest in the Avengers future as they face Lincoln School on Thursday at home at 4:30 p.m. and Barrington on Saturday (away). Let’s go LAVS!
Tommy Sprague is a team parent. Our thanks to him for covering Girls LAX. EG News is looking for similarly motivated sports enthusiasts to help us cover other EG sports. If you are interested, contact [email protected]. It’s a lot of fun!