Girls Soccer

WLC knocked out in a heartbreaker

Warriors lose second-half lead, fall to playoff arch-rival Sunapee Lakers 4-2

  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.
  • The WLC girls soccer team lost to Sunapee 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA DIV playoffs on Nov. 2 2013.

It was all playing out perfectly for the Warriors. The WLC girls soccer team was up 2-1 late in the second half of its game against Sunapee Saturday afternoon. The Warriors had faced the Lakers twice in the regular season; the first was an 8-0 blowout in the first game of the season, the second a narrow 1-0 victory that served as a measuring stick for the team’s vast improvement through the course of the season. If they could just come away with a win at their playoff rival’s home field, the Warriors would reap the rewards of that improvement and ride them all the way to the Final Four.

That’s when things started slipping away. With five minutes remaining in the game, Sunapee’s Taylor Usko netted a ball in the far corner past WLC keeper Cori Balam to even the score at 2-2. The Warriors kept fighting, but the Laker attack gained confidence and grew stronger and stronger.

The Lakers hit a shot off the crossbar, then another off the right post. Balam made a tremendous sliding save on yet another shot, extending a cleat as she slid to deflect a sure goal out of the net at the last second.

At the beginning of stoppage time, Sunapee’s Abby Armstrong was taken down just at the edge of the 18-yard box -– there was some dispute from both sides as to whether Armstrong was in the penalty area or not – and she was awarded her third penalty kick of the match. Armstrong struck it true and gave the Lakers the lead.

The Warriors, just moments ago riding the high of a late playoff lead (and perhaps still riding on adrenaline from their double-OT win over Trinity days before), were hurtled back down to earth. They grasped and clawed at life, battling down for a last-gasp scoring chance with the impending whistle hanging over their heads, but an apparent handball by a Laker defender in the Sunapee box went uncalled and the Warriors were buried.

That’s not to say every call (or non-call) went against WLC; for the second straight game, a penalty kick was waived off in the Warriors’ favor. Wednesday against Trinity, it was on a Tesa Simpson penalty kick; she shot the ball high, but the referee awarded her a second shot because her first was taken before he blew his whistle to start play. She netted the second to tie the game. On Saturday, Sunapee’s Armstrong made an apparent game-tying penalty kick that was waved off for offsides.

Simpson, too, found a bit of duality in Saturday’s game; she made a game-tying penalty kick for the second straight game, which was quickly followed by a Kelsey Randlett goal that gave WLC that fleeting lead. Randlett fired a shot from the left side that short-hopped the diving Sunapee keeper and bounced right over her to give WLC their first lead over the Lakers all season.

“I’ve waited like three years to beat these guys,” WLC’s senior leader Kim Edmunds said. “We really wanted to stick it to ‘em, but it might have been so surreal to us that it just started slipping away.”

Coach Bill Draper couldn’t have asked for a better performance from his team, no matter what the outcome.

“They outplayed them, outpossessed the ball, had a few opportunities to put the ball in the net – which we didn’t – and ultimately that’s what this game is all about, putting the ball in the net,” Draper said. We worked hard all season to get here, we tried to improve our game every day, and obviously they did. It’s still disappointing not to move on, but we’ve come a long way and we’re certainly at that point where we could have moved on.”

WLC senior forward and points leader Sophie LeVert was understandably emotional after the game, but kept a positive attitude throughout.

“I think we really got a lot better this year,” LeVert said. “I would have liked to go a lot further as a senior and maybe get to the championship, but, you know. I think we all played really hard and we tried our best.”

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