LANGDON — Tim St. Pierre took over a successful Cardinals program and seems to have things headed in the same direction after a convincing 4-1 win over Fall Mountain on Wednesday afternoon.
“Adjusting to a new system wouldn’t be that big of a deal but this season is anything but normal, the kids have embraced things that I’ve asked of them and they are starting to believe and their confidence is growing with each game,” St. Pierre said.
After a 0-0 first half, things began to heat up in the final 40 minutes as St. Pierre decided to go with a two-person back line using only Zahna Rice and Brynn Murphy as defenders. That switch in tactics paid off quickly when Stella Lavertur found the back of the net from a nifty little assist by Riley Murphy for a 1-0 lead. That didn’t last long however as Avery Stewart buried a penalty kick to square the match 1-1 only five minutes into the half as she got tripped up in the goal box.
Hannah Miller, Jenna Bonneau and Angela LaClair controlled play for huge chunks of the game from their midfield positions as the Cardinal aggressive attacking play kept Fall Mountain off their game all day. The domination in the middle third of the field pushed play deep into Fall Mountain territory and it was only a matter of time before it would catch up with Fall Mountain. LaClair gave Stevens a lead they would not let go of the rest of the game on a hard shot from deep in the corner that banged around before going into the net.
The Wildcats were hoping to keep things rolling after impressive outings against Mascoma but the Cardinals just didn’t let up. Sideline wing play from Kiley Bundy and Molly Derosier spread the field for Stevens and when Fall Mountain dropped into coverage in the center of the field, Derosier smashed a wicked curling shot from outside the 18 that caught the far right corner to give Stevens a 3-1 lead. Fall Mountain began to push players forward as Stewart and Makenna Grillone were the biggest threats but Stevens strength is their defense with Rice and B. Murphy patrolling the area.
“When we step on the field, we will play as hard as we can for 80 minutes, It has taken us a few games but we are starting to get it and our chemistry is really coming together, Miller was a beast today for us,” said Rice after the game.
Stevens had to put the JV season on hold because of injuries and the younger players have really started to play a big role in the teams improvement as sophomore Haley Belaire’s foot provided Stevens with their final goal and a 4-1 win. With playoffs fast approaching, these same teams will meet in Claremont on Saturday morning.
“We needed to keep that momentum from the Mascoma games but today we needed more energy and aggressiveness, we are better than today’s performance, Stevens is solid and we need to match their intensity on Saturday,” Ferland said.