Girls’ soccer: WLC routs Newport in playoff opener, faces Sunapee next

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' soccer team hosted Newport in the NHIAA Division IV tournament on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/28/2020 8:58:52 AM

It didn’t take long for the Warriors to put Newport to bed Tuesday night. The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls got six goals from junior star Elisabeth Jacob on their way to a 9-1 rout in the first round of the NHIAA Division IV soccer playoffs.

Jacob’s deft right foot has unparalleled touch, and she used it to bury the Tigers, chipping in a perfectly placed ball over the keeper’s head and into the top right corner before a full minute had ticked off the clock. It wasn’t five minutes later that she’d earn a direct kick from outside the box and launch a shot that arced high over the helpless goalie’s head and dropped into the net. 

“Her ball placement is fantastic,” said WLC junior captain Brooke Lane. “She works so hard on and off the field…she has a passion.”

Jacob scored on yet another direct kick, then on a breakaway, and then from an assist to put the Warriors up 5-1 at the half. It never got any closer; keeper Tiffany Cuddihy surrendered just the one goal and Hiba Koudsi kept Newport scoreless, with hard-nosed defenders Bri Fish and Avery Krug walling up the Wilton end.  Jacob, Lane, senior Sophia Sistachs and freshman Adri Bausha all scored once in the second half. After her six-goal evening, Jacob is up to 34 goals on the year.

Lane, WLC’s dynamic midfielder, is the cog that turns the Warriors’ offense and defense. The junior is already a five-year varsity veteran, and head coach Daniel Ayotte said her expanded role and maturity have been key this season with her running the show in the middle. 

“That’s made a huge difference,” Ayotte said, “because she controls the ball, moves the ball really well.”

That controlled approach has rubbed off on the rest of the Warriors, and it was on display Tuesday night. 

“Today we did really well with our midfield passing and actually controlling the ball,” Lane said. “We’ve been working on that a lot during practice...That’s something we've improved a lot this year and it’s showing during these important games.”

There’s no more important game than the next one, as the Warriors travel to bitter rival and defending champion Sunapee Thursday at 3 p.m. to face Abby Pollari and the undefeated Lakers in the prelim round. 

“We know they’re strong and they have a stronger offense than we’ve been able to defeat in the past,” Lane said. “We’re expecting them to play pretty hard against us but we just have to hold our wits and fight through it.”

The senior Pollari is Sunapee’s all-time leading scorer, with 143 career points. Sunapee outscored opponents 43-2 this season. 

In previous years, a Sunapee/WLC playoff matchup would be the culmination of a chippy season series, but with this year’s regional schedule, the two haven’t played each other since Oct. 1, 2019.

“We haven’t seen Sunapee this year, they haven’t seen us, we have players in different positions,” Ayotte said, “so just go in with your head held high and give it all you’ve got, because you never know.”

Ayotte said his girls are looking forward to rising to the challenge, and they also know that every minute since they stepped on the field in September has been a blessing.

“You’ve got to be happy we’re here, because we didn’t think we’d even be having a season,” Ayotte said, “so the fact that we had this playoff game and are going on to the next one? There were doubts whether we were even going to be doing this.”


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