NHIAA Girls' Soccer: Bedford girls tip Alvirne on MacEachern's goalBy MICHAEL ABELSON
Special to the Union Leader
October 19. 2017 11:31PM
HUDSON — It felt like a playoff game, and was certainly played like one, and in the end it was Bedford that did just enough to eke out a 1-0 win over Alvirne in the Division I girls’ soccer regular-season finale for both teams.
Both teams are bound for the tournament.
The win extended Bedford’s winning streak to six games. The Bulldogs (13-1-2) have outscored their opponents 17-0 during the streak.
“(We are) starting to think playoffs, I think,” Bedford coach Michelle Winning said. “This game meant a lot to both teams, last game of the season. We possessed the ball nicely and had our composure out there. Never panicked.”
The Bulldogs got the better of play in the first half, outshooting Alvirne 5-0 in the opening 40 minutes. Business picked up after halftime as the Broncos found their stride and both clubs began counterattacking regularly.
Bedford outshot the Broncos 7-5 in the second half and it wasn’t until the last shot that the Bulldogs were finally able to put it together. Mia Roy let a shot fly from distance that crashed off the crossbar right onto the foot of a streaking MacKenzie MacEachern, who buried it.
The sophomore’s goal came with just under 10 minutes left in the match.
“She’s kind of always around the ball,” Winning said of MacEachern. “She’s always in the box causing problems. She crashed the net and did the right things to be in that spot.”
The goal was a culmination of waves of attacking play by the Bulldogs. Bedford did almost everything right in the offensive but couldn’t score until MacEachern made her own luck late.
“It was frustrating because every time I would try to take a touch it would go up,” MacEachern said. “When I took a shot it would go right to the goalie.”
A large reason the Bulldogs were held off the board was Alvirne goalie Brittany Whiting. Whiting made seven saves for the Broncos (8-5-3) and showed no fear in mixing it up with attackers to get a 50/50 ball in the box.
“She’s been outstanding from where she was at the beginning of the year,” Alvirne coach Ryan Hanlon said of Whiting. “I had a question mark of who I’d put there at the beginning of the year, and she’s stepped up more than anybody has expected. She’s been great.”