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What a Win!!!
Let's cut to the chase: this was a great game! Two evenly matched and deep teams battled for possession, each largely playing its game on Holderness' velvety turf on an afternoon that felt like late summer. Arriving an hour before the start, our girls had ample time to get used to turf following the last four games and nearly two weeks' worth of practices on grass. The team came together, coming out strong with the best passing game they've had all season. Being evenly matched, the team split much of the game rather equally between the two halves, and the goalkeepers' work was quiet, with each recording three saves. Tied 0-0 for an hour of the game, Proctor found Holderness' net rather late in the second half, with Lily Krehbiel '25 parking a beautiful lofting shot on a free kick at minute 60. Seeking then to control possession, the team fought on, but Holderness wasn't having it, awakened as they were by the prospect of losing a game they had knotted for so long. At minute 68:00, two minutes before the end of regulation, Holderness evened the score on a free kick. Regulation 70 minutes ended in a tie.
The host school sets the expectations around time, in consultation with the visiting coaches. Holderness' head coach was eager before the game to settle a tie with a sudden-death overtime, and we agreed. Players on neither team knew of this eventuality. When Proctor came off the field with a tie, the team thought they were done, but a quick meeting and return to the starting eleven to the pitch brought out the last bits of aggressive play from both tired squads. Earning a free kick following Holderness' push of Anna Gibson '23, Lily stepped up outside the eighteen to face Holderness' wall and the keeper. Despite the defenders breaking toward her as she ran toward her free kick, Lily kept her cool and arced a shot to the right above the arms of the keeper, burying the ball in the net and winning the game for her team. I have to remark that Holderness showed remarkably gracious sportsmanship as they exited the field, with many congratulating their opponents.
It was a team effort yet again, but I want to be sure to name some standouts from this game. The entire defense really stepped up -- Cade and Delaney hustled and cleared balls with authority, and Paige anchored the defense in front of a remarkably calm Nora. Nora's improved punts in the second half made a huge difference to our team's ability to get the ball out of our half. Particular kudos to Morgan and Lily, who moved the ball so well up through the midfield. Midfielders were much more attuned to defensive play in this game, which made a difference in ultimately protecting our house. Captain Olivia Ames '23 played such a tough physical game, barreling after balls, challenging two attackers at once, and covering the middle of the field with characteristic energy and industry. While this last statement literally could apply to the whole team, Olivia sustained that effort for 77 minutes without calling for a substitute. The team supported one another wonderfully.
At the halfway point of the season, it's a team that has really come together -- positive, funny, hard-working, and dedicated to one another. We have about ten days to reflect on this hard-earned victory before traveling to Maine to play Berwick Academy on October 27th.
Located in Andover, NH, Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 9–12. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.