.By Cameron Miller For The Essex Reporter
The Essex High School third seeded girls’ soccer team set up to face the sixth seeded Colchester Lakers Friday afternoon at home.
With a regular season win, 1-0, over CHS under their belt, the Hornets came out with intensity in the early stages of the first half. They took a quick eight shots on goal, but soon found themselves turning the ball over and giving the Lakers several chances to score. The Lakers capitalized with 9:37 remaining in the first half; Brenna McMannon made a great individual effort and put the ball past Hornet goaltender Hannah Bovee into the bottom right corner of the net.
All the Hornet turnovers upset head coach Bill O’neil.
“It was one of those games where it just wasn’t our day,” O’neil said. “Our backs were tentative and were turning over the ball. We couldn’t seem to get anything going.”
Despite getting outplayed for most of the first half the Hornets managed to even the score just a minute after the Lakers got on the board. Senior forward Destin Barber showed great speed on a run as she beat a Laker defender, went around the goaltender and tapped the ball into the gapping Laker net. Barber tied the score 1-1.
A terrifying turnover almost gave the Lakers the late 2-1 lead as sophomore Gabrielle Johnson found herself in the perfect position. Johnson rung the ball off the left post. The score remained, 1-1.
The Hornets came out harder in the second half as they put six shots on goal. However, it was the Lakers who got on the board in the second half. Jenna Baillargeon took a pass from Sam Brunelle and made no mistake as she put her team up 2-1 in the second half.
The Hornets had their best chance of the half from Samantha Serrantonio, but she was stripped of a goal due to an offside call.
Despite battling hard and getting good goaltending from Hannah Bovee, the Hornets could not muster enough to tie the score. The Lakers clung to the 2-1 lead and upset the Hornets on the road.
“(Hannah) did a great job,” O’neil said. “It just seemed like every time they touched the ball it went to them, and every time we touched the ball it went to them. It just wasn’t the best day for us. We have been better. I would love to play one more game with them and see if we could (win) two out of three.”