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Hornets earn first conference win

Hornets earn first conference win

LYNDON CENTER, Vt. – Lyndon earned its first North Atlantic Conference win of the season Saturday by defeating Green Mountain 1-0 in a tightly contested match at the Lyndon Athletic Field.

With the win, The Hornets improve to 5-9 on the season overall and 1-4 in the NAC while the Eagles fall to 2-9 with a mark of 1-4 in conference play.

After an up-and-down first half of play, which saw Lyndon hold a 10-6 advantage in shots on goal, the match remained scoreless at halftime despite a last-second scoring chance by freshman striker Kiya DeWitt (Pittsburg, N.H.). She beat a Green Mountain defender to loose ball just inside the penalty as broke in on Eagle goaltender Kim Simonetti.

DeWitt managed to elude a challenge for the ball by Simonetti and tapped a shot toward the open goals from a sharp angle. The sot rolled across the goal mouth and struck the right goalpost before deflecting in the left corner as the horn at the end of the opening 45 minutes of play went off.

"We had a number of good chances to score today and that was attributed to the fact we have been focusing on defense earlier in the season," said Hornet Head Coach Sean Bliss. "When you play good defense the goals will come. We didn't capitalize on many of the chances we had but at least they were there."

Early in the second half, the end-to-end play continued until fatigue began to take a toll on the Eagles, which dressed on 11 players to due to injury. The Hornets took advantage of the situation, launching 21 of their 31 shots in the contest on Simonetti.

The game-winning goal came at the 64:51 mark as Katy Ebner (East Hampstead, N.H.) took a crossing pass from Shelby Sheridan (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) and punched it into the lower right side of the net. Makayla Lyndes (Lyndonville, Vt.) was also credited with an assist on the play.

The win pulls Lyndon to within one game of the sixth and final playoff spot with four matches remaining. Bliss feels his troops are up to the task and is looking forward to the final two weeks of the NAC season.

"We may not get this many chances against some of the better teams we'll face in the next two weeks, so we'll need to capitalize on them when we get them," he said. "We'll also need to minimize the number of mental mistakes we've been making offensively and defensively."

Hornet goalkeeper Julianna Anderson (Manchester, N.H.) stopped four shots to record her third shutout of the season. Simonetti had 15 saves in the loss. Lyndes had nine shots to lead Lyndon while DeWitt and Sheridan had six and five, respectively.

"Kiya and Aitanna Greenwood (Salt Lake City, Utah) played very well for us today," said Bliss. "They sparked the offense and created many of the scoring opportunities we had today."

Lyndon will play host to UMaine-Farmington Wednesday at 1 p.m.

- By Bill Johnson, Assistant AD/SID