Girls’ soccer: Goal with 12 seconds left propels Bow to dramatic win over Pembroke

View Photo Gallery
  • Bow’s Cara Van Dyke (left) and Pembroke’s Jaylin Ladd battle for the ball during the first half of their Division II girls’ soccer match on Tuesday. Bow won in the closing moments, 2-1. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff photographs

  • Pembroke’s Layla Thorne (left) and Bow’s Lexana Farr battle for the ball during the first half of Tuesday’s match in Pembroke. The Falcons won on a late goal, 2-1. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff photographs

  • Bow’s Lexana Farr can’t believe as Pembroke goalie Laila Al Shawafi makes another close save during the second half on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. Al Shawafi made a number of saves in a losing effort. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bow players celebrate the winning goal during the final minutes against Pembroke on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. Bow won, 2-1. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bow players celebrate their goalie, Bridget Hilton, after they won, 2-1, in the last minutes against Pembroke on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Pembroke defender Abby Shaungnessy (left) helps out goalkeeper Laila Al Shawafi with a first-half clearance off the goal line to deny a Bow attack. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bow players celebrate the winning goal in the final moments of Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Pembroke. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 8/30/2023 8:13:56 AM

PEMBROKE – The Pembroke Academy girls’ soccer team’s season probably couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. Just 1:12 into the first half against Bow on Tuesday, junior Bailey Gatchell found freshman Ava Alberico for an early goal and a 1-0 lead.

But that would be the best the Spartans’ offense would look all afternoon. Despite Pembroke carrying that one-goal lead into halftime, the Falcons responded in the 60th minute with a goal from Lexi Insana and continued to put the pressure on.

Then, just seconds before the referees would’ve blown their whistles to send the game to overtime, Sidney Roberge buried a shot into the back of the net to give Bow the 2-1 lead and, ultimately, the win.

In a matchup between two teams that have played their fair share of dramatic games in recent years, Tuesday’s was no different. Here are three takeaways from the Falcons’ season-opening win:

Cleaner passing helps Bow turn things around: Bow’s rhythm was off throughout the first half: Passes were off-target, throw-ins missed their mark and the offense didn’t generate many great chances. The Falcons (1-0-0) did have a couple of corner kicks that put some pressure on the Spartans’ defense and goalie Laila Al Shawafi, but it wasn’t sustained.

Crisper passing after the break led to cleaner offense and better scoring chances, including the two goals.

“The main thing we needed to do was clean up our passes,” Bow head coach Jay Vogt said.

“In the first half, we were trying to play our game, but we weren’t very accurate with them, so we were giving balls away or kicking them out wide. In the second half, we found our rhythm and started finding our feet and started getting possession.”

Even though Vogt would’ve preferred for his team not to have dug itself the early hole, the grit the Falcons showed provides many reasons for optimism looking ahead to the rest of the season.

“I’m just proud of how we came back after being down a minute and a half into the game,” Vogt said. “We didn’t put our heads down. We just kept battling and battling and came back, so I’m proud of them for that.”

Bow’s offense will look a bit different in 2023 without the LaPerle twins: In recent years, the Falcons could rely on Lyndsey and Bella LaPerle’s speed to help separate them from their opponents. With the twins having graduated in June, it’ll be a different type of offense for Bow in 2023, something it provided a glimpse of on Tuesday.

Kicking balls upfield and expecting to have a teammate who’s able to outrun the opposition to control it won’t work as effectively.

“We just get more players involved,” Vogt said of the adjusted approach. “We’ve really been working on players making runs, changing direction, not going straight down the field.”

Pembroke’s Al Shawafi shines again, though team stamina will be a focus: Spartans head coach Jess Kaufman-Desrochers said it felt like a long 78 minutes after Alberico’s early goal, and it probably would’ve felt even longer had Al Shawafi not come up with big save after big save to keep the game close.

Bow wound up outshooting Pembroke, 13-5, but it took until those final 12 seconds for the Falcons to net the ultimate game-winner. Still, Pembroke’s outlook on the season is incredibly bright in large part because of who it has in goal.

“She at times was our sweeper-keeper,” Kaufman-Desrochers said. “They hit some crossbars, but she made some absolutely lights-out saves.”

Added Vogt: “She’s fantastic. She’s really good. Last year, she made some big saves on us as well. She’s a factor, and we beat her with two great shots, low and to the corner. Sometimes that’s what you gotta do. She’s good.”

As the season progresses, Kaufman-Desrochers hopes she won’t have to rely nearly as much on her keeper as she did on Tuesday. Noting the defensive play of Jaylin Ladd and Abby Shaughnessy around her, she feels the ingredients are there for them to limit opponents’ scoring chances in future games.

And while Tuesday’s result was as heartbreaking as a season-opening loss can be, Pembroke (0-1-0) knows there’s still a long season ahead.

“I told the girls coming into this game, this one game isn’t going to make or break our season (or) their season,” she said. “It’s a long march to November, and we’re here starting at this spot, so it can only go up from here.”


ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL is a sports reporter for the Monitor. He graduated from Northwestern University in June 2022 with a degree in journalism and spent his last two years as sports director for the campus radio station, WNUR, leading coverage for nine different sports. A New York native, he's a diehard Yankees and Giants fan much to the displeasure of most of the newsroom.

Stay informed with our free email updates
Concord Monitor Daily Headlines
Concord Monitor Breaking News
Concord Monitor Dining & Entertainment
Concord Monitor Report For America Education
Concord Monitor Report For America Health
Concord Monitor Real Estate
Concord Monitor Sports
Concord Monitor Suncook Valley
Concord Monitor Contests & Promotions
Concord Monitor Weekly Most Popular
Concord Monitor Granite Geek
Concord Monitor Monitor Marquee
Concord Monitor Hopkinton
Concord Monitor Politics
Concord Monitor MY CONCORD
Concord Monitor Franklin

Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301


© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy

Customer Service

Social Media


View All Sections

Part of the Newspapers of New England Family