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Bow girls’ soccer completes perfect season with 1-0 OT win over Hopkinton

  • (From left) Bow's Lauren Scarpetti, Sarah Carlson and Caitlyn Keenan hug after Carlson scored on a penalty kick in overtime of the Division III championship game against Hopkinton on Saturday morning, November 9, 2013 at Southern New Hampshire University. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    (From left) Bow's Lauren Scarpetti, Sarah Carlson and Caitlyn Keenan hug after Carlson scored on a penalty kick in overtime of the Division III championship game against Hopkinton on Saturday morning, November 9, 2013 at Southern New Hampshire University.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Bow's Caitlyn Keenan and Hopkinton's Meg Hemmerlein charge towards the ball in the Division III championship game between the schools on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at Southern New Hampshire Univeristy. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Caitlyn Keenan and Hopkinton's Meg Hemmerlein charge towards the ball in the Division III championship game between the schools on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at Southern New Hampshire Univeristy.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Hopkinton High School athletic director Dan Meserve hugs player Courtney Benson after the game against Bow High School on November 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Hopkinton High School athletic director Dan Meserve hugs player Courtney Benson after the game against Bow High School on November 9, 2013.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • (From left) Bow's Lauren Scarpetti, Sarah Carlson and Caitlyn Keenan hug after Carlson scored on a penalty kick in overtime of the Division III championship game against Hopkinton on Saturday morning, November 9, 2013 at Southern New Hampshire University. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Caitlyn Keenan and Hopkinton's Meg Hemmerlein charge towards the ball in the Division III championship game between the schools on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at Southern New Hampshire Univeristy. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Hopkinton High School athletic director Dan Meserve hugs player Courtney Benson after the game against Bow High School on November 9, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

MANCHESTER – It might have been overtime, against her rivals, in the state championship game, with a perfect record and redemption on the line, but Bow’s Sarah Carlson wasn’t nervous.

“All four years of my high school career we’ve gone into overtime in the final,” Carlson said. “I’m getting used to it.”

With 4:24 gone in the first overtime yesterday, Carlson used that calm to convert a penalty kick and give No. 1 Bow a 1-0 victory over No. 3 Hopkinton at Southern New Hampshire University’s Larkin Field. The win delivered the Falcons their second Division III girls’ soccer title in three years, capped a 20-0 season, and extracted a measure of revenge for last year’s 1-0 overtime loss against the Hawks in the final.

After a somewhat lethargic second half, Bow came out flying to start the 10-minute overtime. The Falcons set up camp in the Hopkinton end, generating four shots and two corner kicks, and they had the Hawks (15-3-2) scrambling.

“We just got fired up because we all worked so hard this entire season and we knew this was ours to win,” Bow sophomore Caitlyn Keenan said. “And we wanted revenge from last year, so we came out and did it.”

Keenan, who was named Player of the Game by the officials, drew the game-deciding penalty when she was tripped up just inside the 18-yard box as she was cutting inside with the ball. It was a close call, and a tough one to make in overtime of a final, but it was probably correct.

“You don’t expect a penalty kick in a championship game, you don’t want to give that away,” Bow Coach Jay Vogt said, “but it was the right call.”

Carlson said she just “took a deep breath and tried not to screw it up” when she lined up the kick. The strategy worked. Her low shot went to the right corner, Hawk keeper Kasey Smith (eight saves) went left, and the Falcons mobbed the field.

“I wasn’t surprised (at the call), but I felt like it cheated them a little bit, to get a PK. I didn’t want to win that way,” Carlson said. “But I’m glad it’s over with and we can celebrate.”

It may not have been a clean ending, but the Falcons deserved the win. They had sizable advantages in total shots (18-7), shots on goal (8-1) and corner kicks (7-1), and they looked most dangerous when it mattered most – overtime.

“Bow came out firing (in overtime). In that moment I figured they were going to score, reasonably, at some point, but I didn’t think it would be like that,” Hopkinton Coach Lauri Izzi said.

The Falcons were also firing in the first half, with midfielders Lauren Scarpetti, Keenan and Carlson controlling play and possession, while Maddie Cheney and Taylor Morrison were threatening up top. Bow had an 8-3 lead in total shots in that first half (3-0 in shots on goal), but Smith was steady with the balls that found their way to her, and the Hopkinton defense, led by Sabrey Montore and Meg Hemmerlein, kept the other chances at a distance.

“My entire defense did really well,” Izzi said. “I agree that Meg and Sabrey were clutch at certain times of the game, coming out when the outside backs got beat or something like that, but that’s how we coach them, they constantly have each other’s back.”

The Hawks, however, probably had the best chance of the first half when Bow keeper Janna Corsetti (one save) dropped a high, spinning ball and gave Hopkinton freshman Aaliyah Curley an open shot, but her bid went wide just before the half ended.

The second half was a different story. The Hawks strung together more passes, creating more possession time and better opportunities, although Bow still had a 6-4 edge in total shots (4-1 in shots on goal) and none of the Hopkinton advances truly threatened the Falcons. Led by the back line of Julia Currier, Madison Duffy, Christy Vinnenberg and Lilly Naimie, the Bow defense gave up just six goals all year and posted 15 shutouts.

Still, it felt like Hopkinton had a chance to pull off a repeat of the 2012 final, a game where Bow had the run of play but the Hawks pinched the win in overtime.

“I was getting a little nervous about that as we were headed to overtime,” Keenan said. “We wanted to finish it in the normal time.”

The Hawks also beat Bow by 1-0 scores on the three other occasions these two met in the championship game – 1998, 1999 and 2003. But the Falcons weren’t dwelling on the past as they prepared for overtime yesterday. Instead, they gave themselves a simple direction, and then they followed it.

“It was our turn,” Carlson said. “We needed to take it back.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

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