Londonderry Lancers Girls Lacrosse '11

Mon, Jun 06, 2011 07:00 PM @ Concord
Team 1 2 Final
Londonderry 7 3 10
Concord 2 7 9

Londonderry wins third straight championship

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Monday, June, 06 By Christopher Smith
Staff writer

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Londonderry coach Bob Slater certainly had faith in his sophomore goalie, Sarah Ford, despite how she was only the varsity team backup until about five days ago. 

Ford got the nod to start in net for the Lancers in the Division 1 lacrosse tournament, including starting the state title game against Concord yesterday here at Southern New Hampshire University.  

She replaced senior Crystalle Parent who recently was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons.

"I have all the confidence in the world (in Ford)," Slater said after Londonderry's semifinal victory over Exeter on Saturday. “She’s all set.”

Ford came up huge in the title game, stopping 12 shots. No save was bigger than the last one, coming with under 30 seconds left when she made a terrific stop on a free position shot taken by Concord’s Jenna Tewksbury.

The shot came toward the top left of the net and Ford made the save.

Ford and the No. 1-seeded Lancers won 10-9 over No. 2 Concord. 

The win marked Londonderry’s third straight state championship. The Lancers also have won 53 consecutive games against New Hampshire teams.

Ford said a lot was going through her mind before making the final save.

“I was just like, ‘I’ve got to save this for my team, my coach and for Amy,” Ford said. 

Ford was referring to senior defender Amy Johnson who left the game with a sprained ankle during the second half. 

“I had to do it for all the seniors graduating,” Ford said. “I had to save it. I had to do it for all the seniors graduating and coach."

Slater actually might be leaving the program after this season. 

When asked about the possibility of not coaching the Londonderry girls lacrosse team next year, Slater replied: “We’re going to put some thought into it. I’m going to take a few days and think about it.”

Slater talked with Londonderry AD Howard Sobolov at the beginning of the year and told the AD that he was considering resigning at the end of this spring season. 

“I’m not going to make my final decision until a few weeks from now,” Slater said. 

Slater, meanwhile, certainly was pleased by Ford’s performance.

“She came in early today and we did some practicing in our goal before we came here and then we warmed her up here,” Slater said. “She did everything extra she could since we replaced our other goalie. She took control. She was a big part of this game.” 

Ford added: “I’m ecstatic. This is a good start to the next two years that I have here. Him (Slater) and the whole team, they throughout the past couple of days have been backing me up all the way. Coach has been working with me and helping me 100 percent. He tweaked my positioning and where to hold my stick and he’s just given me so much more confidence in myself.” 

Londonderry jumped out to a 7-2 lead at halftime. Concord though came charging back in the second half, outscoring the Lancers 7-3. 

“Concord picked up the pace and got the ball a little bit more than we did in the second,” Slater said. “And you lose a player (Johnson) with 5 1/2 minutes to go — one of your top defenders — sometimes that can deflate a bubble in an instant and these girls didn’t let it. (Concord) got within a goal. They are a quality program. We figured the final score would be what it was.”

Londonderry’s Jenny Thompson scored five goals and added an assist to lead all scorers.

“Oh, my God,” Thompson said. “I can’t even explain it right now. ... Winning three straight championships is indescribable. It’s amazing. I don’t even know what to say. It was so exhausting and so worth it.” 

Thompson said her team had it all the way. 

Londonderry led 10-7 with 2:09 left but Concord scored a goal with 1:32 left and another with 59 seconds left to make it a one-goal game.

“I was nervous (at 10-9) but I knew there was no way we could let them come and beat us,” Thompson said. “There was no way and they didn’t.”  

Game Statistics:

Goals: L — Leah Walter, Jenny Thompson 5, Alexa Bedell 2, Caitlin Murphy, Emily Austin; C — Jane Symmes 5, Caroline Connolly 2, Meghan Golde 2 

Assists: L — Thompson, Amy Johnson,  

Saves: L — Sarah Ford 12; C — Haley Schermerhorn 7 

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