Avon comes back, defeats Enfield in thriller

ENFIELD — In sports, it’s not how you start it’s how you finish.

Enfield, for the first 44 and a half minutes, controlled the pace of the game and held the lead. But a late Avon push, two goals by Emily Stross and a difficult call led to a Falcons win, 2-1.

With just 44 seconds on the clock, the Raiders had a short corner and looked to tie the score. A shot fired from behind the red circle was deemed not to have been tipped, and a potential equalized was irradiated.

“It was tough, for the kids it was a heart break,” Enfield head coach Cookie Bromage said. “We had a great shot on net. The rule is that the shot has to be contacted inside the circle to be a goal. Where I was standing, and of course I am not an official, it was right there. But the official said it was not contacted in the circle. The kids were upset because they said [Jessie Maier] tipped it there.”

The game was characterized by solid and esteemed play, with Enfield scoring first on a Megan Evans goal, assisted by Jessie Maier and Jenna Clowette.

There wasn’t much offense before the halftime buzzer, but there was plenty after it.

“We got off the bus, we started the game,” Avon head coach Terri Ziemnicki said, referencing the traffic that caused a later than expected arrival in Enfield. “We needed the first half to get warmed up. Second half, we just got going.”

The Falcons came out and immediately were aggressive in the offensive zone. Avon finally broke through on the first of two Stross goals, assisted by Liz Rodier.

“Shes the leading goal scorer,” Ziemnicki said of Evans. “She’s an ice hockey player, she’s my Wayne Gretzky. Shes dangerous around the net, she knows how to find the goal. And we have people who can set her up.”

With the game tied and under 10 minutes remaining, Caroline Scaefer found Stross underneath for the go-ahead goal at the 8:53 mark.

The final two minutes were a dogfight, as the Raiders had back-to-back short corner tries and fell short on each, the first fought off by a Natalie Sawick save.

“I expected Enfield to be a good game,” Ziemnicki said. “I am not surprised, we just looked flat coming in.”

Sawick had three saves for Avon. Her offense mustered 11 shots on net.

For the Raiders, Maddie LaRusso had 10 saves and Enfield tallied four shots.

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