CONWAY — The Kennett High girls’ soccer team opened the 2019 season on a winning note on Friday. The Eagles rolled to a 7-0 victory over visiting Berlin in a match played on the junior varsity field.
The hometown flock was in control from the outset against the girls from the top of Pinkham Notch. While it was the opener for the Eagles (1-0 in Division II), the Mountaineers (0-3 in Division III) were already playing their third match. Kennett carried the play throughout this contest, coming close on a pair of scoring chances in the opening five minutes.
“We played good possession football for the first 10-15 minutes,” Jamie Killeen, Eagles’ head coach, said. “I thought we moved the ball around well and created some nice chances.”
The Eagles took the lead for good in the 18th minute. Sophie Killeen lofted a corner kick into the penalty area where a scramble ensued with senior Liz Cote tucking the ball home for what proved to be the match-winner.
Kennett upped its margin minutes later when Helen Badger and Killeen combined on a nice one-two that led to Badger being brought down in the penalty area. Killeen opened her scoring account for the fall with a well-struck penalty that gave the Berlin net-minder no chance to save.
Cote netted her second of the day just before halftime when she banged home a cross to the back post from Grace Murphy to put the hosts in front 3-0.
Kennett goalie Sylvie Brustin had her save of the match when she made a stop on a Berlin forward at close range to preserve the shutout.
Kennett continued to dominate possession in the second stanza and built on its lead in the 51st minute. Killeen scored her second of the contest when her low, rocket of a corner found the back of the net, making it 4-0.
Badger made it 5-0 when she scored on a shot from 19 yards out at the hour mark.
The Eagles added two more goals with a pair of freshmen opening their high school accounts. Carli Krebs chipped the keeper from 20 yards out for 6-0, and Marissa Caputo slotted a cross in from close range, making it 7-0.
“They all played well,” Coach Killeen said. “Although it was 7-0, we missed a lot of chances. We need to be a little more clinical in front of goal.”
The JV team also got its season off on a winning note with a 5-0 triumph. Sophomore Samantha Habert-Jaques marked her return from a knee injury with a two-goal performance, while team captain Skylar Terry, Emily Kenny and Bryn Fayle also scored.
Kennett is scheduled to face a much stiffer test on Tuesday (4:30 p.m.) when perennial Division II power Hanover (1-0) comes to town.
“My whole goal (for practice on Monday) is to get the girls focussed on what we need to do defensively in preparation for Hanover,” Killeen said.
The Marauders opened their season with a 5-0 win at home against Merrimack Valley (0-2) on Friday.
Kennett is slated to close out the week by hosting Pembroke (3-0) on Thursday (4 p.m.)
The Spartans are off to a strong start to their season after beating Plymouth (0-3), 3-2 at home on Aug. 30, and topping Oyster River (0-2), 3-0 at home on Sept. 4, and blanking Pelham (1-2), 4-0 on the road on Thursday.