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Harwood girls lose state championship 4-3 in PK

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11/12/2009

By John Williams

The Harwood girls' soccer team lost the Division II championship to defending state champs Milton on Saturday, November 7, at Randolph. A large crowd of Harwood fans came out on a chilly Saturday morning to watch and cheer the Highlander girls on.

It took Harwood some time to get in their game as the first 30 minutes of play was dominated by the Yellow Jackets of Milton with a goal in the first 14 minutes by Milton player Kaitlin Cleary. The Highlanders took control of the game playing their style of ball control leaving Milton very few opportunities to score.  

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KEPT FIGHTING AND FIGHTING

The Highlander girls came back in the second half to even up the score 1-1 with a goal by senior Caroline Dillon with the assist from freshman Laura Moore.  

"They fought to come back from 1-0 in the second and kept fighting and fighting. I could not have asked any more from them," said Coach Jon Hammond. Harwood's goalkeeper, Taylor Burdett, had 11 saves fending off attempts by Milton to score.

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The game went into two overtimes without a score, so after a long season which included an upset victory over #1 ranked Montpelier last Wednesday, it came down to penalty kicks. The tension was incredible as the crowd that had been rowdy for the past 100 minutes of soccer play became dead silent during the penalty kick-off. The Highlanders lost 4-3 in penalty kicks. 

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HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH
 
"I told the girls every chance I got to take it all in. It's a great experience; not very many people get the opportunity to make it to the state championship," Hammond said in a post game interview. 

"These seniors have given so much more to Harwood than a state title; they have put a face on Harwood girls' soccer and a role model for the younger girls that is so much more important than a title," Hammond added.

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