The Claremont/Newport rivalry saw its first action of the new season Wednseday night as the Stevens girls soccer team played host to the Tigers under the lights at Monadnock Park…
Stevens headed into the game with a 1-and-1 record after a 3-0 victory over Conant on Monday, while Newport came in winless at 0and-1. And while the Tigers did have their share of scoring opportunities, early in the contest, it was the Cardinals that left celebrating a 3-1 victory and a second straight win.
Stevens struck first with the game’s first goal near the midway point of the first half when Jazmyn Griffin found Kelsey Belisle wide open in the center of the box, setting up a beautiful chip shot just over the keeper’s head.
The Cardinals added their second goal less than seven minutes later when a shot from Julia Belaire ricocheted off a Newport defender and into the back of the net to put the home team up 2-0. Newport had several chances later in the first half to get on the board, but the Cardinals defense hung tough to keep their opponent off the board. Stevens added one more score late in the first half when Griffin broke free on a fast break before sending a skipping shot in the back of the net.
Newport eventually got on the board with a goal of its own late in the second half when a corner kick from Hannah Stark resulted in a Cardinals own goal. Stark had several chances in the second half alone, but Stevens keeper Amber Duford was there to save the day, finishing with six saves in the contest. Mike Pezone spoke with Belisle after the game, who said the effort was a big improvement on her team’s first two outings of the season.
Stevens head coach Tom Belaire echoed those thoughts, saying his team played a complete 80 minute game.
The Cardinals will try and earn a 3rd straight win Tuesday when it travels to face Wilton-Lyndeborough.