2017-10-05 / Around Town

GAMES OF THE WEEK

Wheeler School Girls Hammer Rogers Squad, 5-1
By James Merolla


Alexandra Cranson (40), prepares to shoot on goal against Wheeler’s goalkeeper Kate Keenan. Cranson scored the only goal of the game for Rogers on this play . Alexandra Cranson (40), prepares to shoot on goal against Wheeler’s goalkeeper Kate Keenan. Cranson scored the only goal of the game for Rogers on this play . They were out-manned, out-gunned, out-shot, and out-lasted, but no one – not even the Wheeler Warriors who beat them 5-1 Tuesday afternoon – out-hustled the Rogers High School girls’ soccer team for a minute.

Fielding only three seniors, coach Jim Kelly saw his valiant, if inexperienced, squad tie a superior Wheeler team 1-1 at halftime. It seemed a miraculous achievement, given that Vikings goalie Shea Milburn was busier than a termite in a sawmill, making 10 hard saves in the first 40 minutes then watching four more Warrior shots skip over the net, while her teammates only managed two shots the entire game.

Rogers’ second shot, and its last, was set up by a brilliant 40-yard pass by Jane Leys to a streaking Alexandra Cranson, who drilled it past Wheeler’s goalie Kate Kennan. The Vikings never got near the Wheeler net again.


Vikings’ goalkeeper Shea Milburn (green jersey), dives and stops another Warrior shot for one of her 10 saves in the opening period. Vikings’ goalkeeper Shea Milburn (green jersey), dives and stops another Warrior shot for one of her 10 saves in the opening period. Sporting an unlikely 1-0 lead, the Vikings were demoralized by a questionable handball called against its defense 25 yards in front of Milburn with only a minute remaining in the half. Ryan Green blasted the penalty shot past the Rogers keeper to tie it up, taking the wind out of the Vikings.

Wheeler continued its dominance in the second half. The Rogers defense finally cracked when Wheeler’s Jacqueline Faulise – who barely missed the net twice in the first half – drilled a shot off Milburn into the back of the net. Minutes later, Naomi Shimberg, off a beautiful assist by Anna Metcalf, made it 3-1.

On their heels in their own zone, Rogers attempted to ward off the onslaught, with Milburn making two clutch saves and getting rocked in collisions. Three Wheeler midfielders got in her face and Molly Mungoven put one past the sprawling Milburn.


The Vikings' Jane Leys (22) beats the Warriors' Sofia Castano to the ball in the second half. The Vikings' Jane Leys (22) beats the Warriors' Sofia Castano to the ball in the second half. The Warriors added another for the 5-1 final, through simple attrition, wearing down a weary Rogers team.

“It’s been a tough two years for the program,” Kelly said after the game. “But they keep trying. They try hard. They have to stay on it.”

The match brought Wheeler to a 5-2-1 record in Division II play, while Rogers fell to a 0-9-1 record in D-2.

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