Above: EG Girls Soccer team members rejoice as the clock runs out and they’ve won the state title. Photos by Chuck Nadeau. Find all his photos at chuckn.com.
The win caps a HUGE weekend for EG, with Field Hockey, Boys Soccer titles too.
The EG Girls Soccer team earned its first-ever state championship Sunday evening, after defeating Mt. Hope High School 3-2 in overtime for the DII title. The win capped a stellar weekend for the Avengers, which saw Field Hockey and Boys Soccer state championships Saturday. All three games were decided in overtime.
The Girls Soccer team had to work for it. Mt. Hope scored first just three minutes before the end of the first half, on a goal from Jordyn Brogan.
EG caught up early in the second half on a goal by Sofia Barnes, off a pass from Gracie Kauffman. Then, with 31 minutes left to play, Brogan scored again for the Huskies. With 20 minutes left, EG’s Maeve Phinney scored, and the score stayed 2-2 through regular play and the first 5-minute overtime. But just seconds into the second 5-minute overtime, Kauffman scored, with an assist from Isabel Gelzhiser, and that was the game.
“I’m so excited!” said senior co-captain Phinney. “The game was a lot close than I thought it would be. It was really close. Like a championship game, that’s how it should be.”
“That final goal … that was a beautiful goal,” said Coach Karen Lockhart. “It was set up well by Izzy and Maeve … and a great finish by Gracie. Gracie’s come in clutch for us at a lot of points.
Maeve’s goal to tie it in the second half was beautiful. And on the first goal, a cross from Gracie and Sophia tapped it in on the first goal. So, three beautiful goals.”
Lockhart acknowledged they let a couple Mt. Hope goals through.
“Our defense, we made a couple of mistakes tonight but when it mattered, they were tough. Tori Duke played great. Maya Barnes, center back, played great. Ava Simpson came in clutch … other people sprinkled in. It was just a total team effort,” she said.
For Lockhart, a member of the EGHS Class of 2012, the win was particularly sweet because she’d played on teams that made it to the final but didn’t win. The program started in 1987 as part of the then “suburban” league. By the time Lockhart was playing, the team was in Division I, where it stayed until this year.
“When I was playing here 10 years ago, we came very, very close multiple times and to come back and finish it off now as a coach, it’s an absolute dream of mine,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I wouldn’t trade any one of my players for anybody.”
Acknowledging the hardships that have come because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lockhart said, “This was a year that no one thought we would get to this point. These kids, especially the seniors, have lost a lot…. For them to be able to win this tonight, I’m just really happy for them.”