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November 10, 2011 - 9


Hudson~Litchfield Sports Hudson~Litchfield Sports


State Title Slips Away from Cougars Lady Cougar Olivia Planty (far left in red) reacts to beating drawn-out Falcon keep Janna Corsetti (in pink), giving Campbell a short-lived one goal lead over Bow in the state finals


by Marc Ayotte In theory, the Campbell girls’ soccer team had no business even thinking about defending last year’s state championship crown. On paper, the line-up supported that notion. In reality, if you thought that way, you just aren’t aware of the heart, drive, and determination that is symbolic of Lady Cougars Soccer. With 8:38 remaining in the D-3 championship game between Campbell and Bow on Southern New Hampshire University’s Larkin Field, Cougar scoring sensation Olivia Planty rose to the occasion when she broke a scoreless tie, beating opposing keep Janna Corsetti. Planty’s goal ignited a roar from the CHS faithful that echoed throughout the stadium, shattering the quiet and nervous anticipation that had filled the stadium air during the first 70-plus minutes of action. However, the Cougar’s sideline exuberance was suddenly silenced, just two minutes and 16 seconds after they seemed destined to repeat as champs. Campbell’s intensity diminished, allowing Bow to show why they finished on top of their division during the regular season. Falcon’s Naomi Kramer slipped behind the Cougar defense and beat Campbell goalie Shannon Lavigne to knot the score at one, forcing the game into overtime. In what was a classic, heavyweight battle between the division’s


Senior Liz Pettis delivers her patented corner kick in Campbell’s 2-0 semi-final victory over Raymond at Bill Ball Stadium in Exeter


(players) haven’t forgotten from last year.” In referencing his team’s confidence level coming into the finals, Vogt commented on the Falcon’s 2-0 regular season win over Campbell; “it was big for us to know we could beat them.” The first 40 minutes of play was characterized by a lot of neutral field ‘activity’ with each team showing only brief spurts of offensive intent. The second half started and continued in much the same way, creating a feel that whoever scored the first goal, was going to score the only goal. That scenario worked out fine, briefly for Cougar faithful, when ‘Lady Cougar #9’ scored her 35th goal of the season, only teasing the boisterous Campbell fan base with the premature, sweet savoring flavors of victory. How the Cougars Got There After losing 10 seniors of their own to graduation, the consensus was that the 2011 campaign was basically going to be a ‘rebuilding’ season for the red and white. However, Campbell (by posting three shutouts in their first five games of the season, which also included handing Bow their only loss of the year) started building a confidence in Cougar fans that for certain, already existed in the Cougar players themselves. Having been to the championship game in each of their sophomore and junior years, Ashley Gannon, Liz Pettis and Olivia Planty led the senior charge to get back to the state finals during their last year at CHS. During their championship run of a year ago, the Cougars were invincible, going undefeated in the regular season as well as sweeping the


top two powerhouses, the Cougar’s dream season came crashing to a heart-breaking end, just five minutes and 29 seconds into the extra session. Bow senior Kyle Duval capitalized on a Campbell defensive lapse and delivered a paralyzing blow by scoring her first ever varsity goal, giving the Falcons a thrilling, come from behind 2-1 title game victory over the Cougars. Since Campbell’s identical 2-1 overtime victory over these same


Bow Falcons a year ago, both teams have been auditioning for feature roles in Final Destination 2. According to Bow head coach Jay Vogt the Falcons had lost 10 seniors from last year’s squad. That did not, however, remove the memory still etched in the minds of his returning players. “They (CHS) bring the best out in us,” noted Vogt, adding, “we had one goal - of being here in the finals. They


playoffs. This year, they were well on their way to repeating their unblemished record until they incurred a little dose of reality. While cruising along with a 10-0 mark, Campbell suffered their first defeat in over a year and a half; hand delivered (or in this case, foot delivered) by you guessed it – Bow! That loss was followed up with another loss seven days later to Raymond, before the Cougars righted the ship, finishing the season with a three game win streak. Semi-Finals: Campbell 2, Raymond 0


A first round bye, compliments of finishing in second place in the division, set up a quarterfinals matchup against


Somersworth who Campbell sent packing after treating themselves to a Halloween weekend-snowstorm encountering 5-2 home field win. Four days later, at Bill Ball Stadium, on the grounds of Exeter High School, the Cougars were not only seeking to advance in the playoffs, they were also trying to avenge one of their two losses on the season, as they took on the Rams of nearby Raymond. The semi- final game, which was the third meeting of the season between the


continued to page 14 - Cougars


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Staff photos by Marc Ayotte


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