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In Knight victory, a display of sportsmanship wins the day

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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

KINGSWOOD'S Ana Ekstrom and ILMA's Ellie Hornkohl battle in action last week in Wolfeboro. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
April 28, 2021
WOLFEBORO — Sometimes in sports, there are more important things than the final score.

The Thursday, April 22, girls' lacrosse game between Kingswood and Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough had one of those moments.

The scoreboard at the end said that the Knights got a 16-9 win over the Lakers, and that is true.

But what the scoreboard doesn't reveal was a moment of sportsmanship that may have even gone unnoticed by some spectators.

Less than five minutes into the second half, ILMA goalie Jessica Sullivan was hurt when she took a shot off an unprotected area. The Lakers were already shorthanded, playing without a single sub. To continue the game, ILMA coach Beth Doda would've had to pull someone off the field to play goal or Sullivan would've had to go back in and play injured.

However, Kingswood coach Meghan Anderson had a different solution. She inserted her backup goalie for the day, Alexis Eldridge, and offered starting keeper Hailey Kelly to the Lakers.

Kelly came in and played the rest of the game stopping shots by her own teammates and the game was able to play through to the end.

"At the beginning of the year, I told the kids we're not enemies (with the other teams), we're all a community of girls," Doda said. "We saw that today.

"That's what lacrosse is all about," she added.

"They had no subs and we wanted to be able to play," Anderson said. "We had told Alexis that she was going in, so we put her in, and Hailey still got to play too."

The Lakers actually had the first trip into the offensive zone but could not get a shot on goal and the Knights got the first tally, as Erin Meyer fired home a shot on a feed from Abby Kelly for the 1-0 lead with 23:19 to go in the first half. Just less than three minutes later, Meyer made a nice feed to Catie Shannon, who buried the second goal and then 16 seconds later, Fallon Peacock fed Shannon for another goal and a 3-0 lead.

Katie Velie came back with a chance for the Lakers but Kelly was able to make the save. Abby Kelly had a shot go wide and Velie came back with another shot off the post. Peacock had a shot go wide and Julia Marra sent a shot wide of the net.

The Lakers got their first goal of the game with 16:01 to go in the first half, as Elliana Marchand-Correia was able to get in close and put the all in the net to cut the lead to 3-1. Marra had a bid as well but couldn't connect. Peacock had a chance at the other end, while Marra and Maddie Colby had chances for the Lakers. Ana Ekstrom also had a bid for the Knights, but the shot went wide of the net and on another bid, Ekstrom's centering pass was intercepted by Marchand-Correia in front of the net.

Abby Kelly gave Kingswood a 4-1 lead with 10:39 to go in the first half on a feed from Meyer and Colby and Marra came back with chances for the Lakers that were denied. Abby Kelly got in close again but Sullivan made the save.

With 6:57 to go, Ekstrom scored on a free shot to make it 5-1 and then Ekstrom scored again on a feed from Abby Kelly just 25 seconds later. Colby had a bid stopped by Hailey Kelly.

The Lakers scored their second goal with 4:28 to go when Colby made a nice feed to Velie in front, who buried the shot to make it 6-2.

With 3:46 to go, Sarah Paraskos made a good run down the field and buried the ball for the 7-2 lead, but ILMA came right back and scored at the other end, with Velie making a nice move on the defense to cut the lead to 7-3.

Kingswood got the final goal of the half with 3:16 to go, with Abby Kelly racing in off the faceoff and Kingswood took the 8-3 lead to the half.

The Knights scored three goals in the first minute of the second half, with Abby Kelly scoring the first two just 13 seconds apart and then Catie Clegg scoring off a feed from Peacock to make it 11-3. ILMA scored just 18 seconds later on another tally from Velie, making it 11-4.

Peacock was awarded a free shot with 22:31 to go and buried it for the 12-4 lead and while trainer Alex Dria attended to Sullivan, the goalie switch was made and Hailey Kelly stepped in for the Lakers and Eldridge took over for the Knights.

Peacock scored her second goal of the game with 20:33 to go but Velie came back with another good move through the defense to bury a shot for the Lakers with 18:41 to go.

Ekstrom netted her third goal of the game on a feed from Shannon for a 14-5 lead with 18:31 to go and just less than two minutes later, Shannon scored again for the 15-5 lead. Hailey Kelly made a save on a bid by Rachael Paraskos and Cassidy Simpson had a free shot go wide of the net.

With 11:18 to go in the game, Velie scored again for the Lakers and then just more than a minute later, Marra scored to cut the lead to 15-7. Rachael Paraskos had a couple of chances for the Knights that Hailey Kelly stopped.

With 5:40 to go, Colby scored another goal for the Lakers and with 4:13 to go, Marchand-Correia scored the final goal of the game for the Lakers. Marra and Marchand-Correia had chances that Hailey Kelly stopped and the Knights scored the final goal of the game with less than 20 seconds to go, with Rachael Paraskos firing it home for the 16-9 final score.

"Any game we can play is a good game," said Anderson. "It was good to get everyone in and playing."

"We tell the kids it's about respecting your opponent and what they bring to the game," Doda said. "We're happy to be on the field."

Kingswood is scheduled to take on Kennett at home on Tuesday, May 4, at 6 p.m. and on the road in North Conway on Thursday, May 6, at 4 p.m.

The Lakers are scheduled to take on Laconia at home on Tuesday, May 4, at 5 p.m. and will be at Laconia on Thursday, May 6, at 4 p.m.

Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or josh@salmonpress.news.

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