Leland & Gray girls prevail in thriller

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TOWNSHEND — The seventh-seeded Leland & Gray varsity girls soccer team beat No. 10 Randolph, 4-3 in penalty kicks, in the first round of the Division 3 playoffs on Wednesday afternoon.

Everyone in attendance was treated to a marvelous match between the two squads.

The teams went back and forth, trading goals all throughout regulation time.

A hat trick from Ellie Longo filled out the home team's score sheet, while the visitors got goals from Rielle Brassard and Emily Grady.

The real drama of the match came after regulation play.

Both sides geared up for overtime. Each team had scoring opportunities, but neither was able to close the game out after two 15 minute halves. This meant the match was headed into a penalty shootout to decide the winner.

Fans crowded the sidelines as the teams prepared to take their shots from the spot. Screams and cheers filled the ears of the fans and players, setting the stage for a spectacular shootout.

The Rebels and Galloping Ghosts had the crowd on edge. Each squad tucked in their first penalty, preceding an incredible sequence of events.

Longo took over in net for Kelsi Bostrom after the first penalty was scored by the visitors. Longo saved the first shot that came her way, putting the Rebels at an advantage.

Bay Holmes was next to the spot for the Rebels. Holmes' shot missed after hitting the crossbar. Senior Mariah Hazard suffered a similar fate on her strike, this time missing off the post.

Randolph keeper Kiara Nonemacher saved the second Rebel penalty.

Finally, after a second and third penalty save from Longo, Arin Bates slotted her shot into the side netting, giving the Rebels the win.

Townshend fans stormed the field to congratulate the home team.

Coach Lucas Bates spoke on Longo's performance after the match, saying the sophomore had a "phenomenal performance," and "created havoc" in the game.



Leland & Gray moves on to the quarterfinals, where they will play second seeded Thetford.

"We are going to have to play the best soccer we have all year," said Bates about facing Thetford. "I think we can do it. But we have to heal up in the next two days so we can play like we need to."


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