WINSLOW — Two teams at very different junctures of their seasons, though separated by just one spot in the Class B North standings, shared the points at Kennebec Savings Bank Field.

Nokomis, unbeaten in its last five matches, and Winslow, which hasn’t won at home this year in six tries, played to a 1-1 tie in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B girls soccer game on Friday afternoon. Freshman Meagan Whitten scored for the Warriors (7-3-1) in the first half, while senior back Veronica Rossignol netted the equalizer late in the second half for the Black Raiders (4-4-3). Winslow entered the game at No. 8 in B North, while Nokomis was ninth.

“I think we worked hard to get the draw in this situation. There was pressure the whole game, and in the overtime I thought we created the better chances,” Nokomis first-year head coach Todd Pelton said. “But a draw’s a draw.”

The match was a tale of two halves in the most literal sense of the phrase. Neither team appeared to have much life in a first half that featured only seven total shots, and while the second half didn’t produce much more in the way of threatening scoring opportunities, it did — at the very least — feature noticeable momentum swings.

“We were flat,” said Winslow head coach Steve Bodge, whose team is 0-3-3 at KSB Field. “I’m not going to take anything away from (Nokomis) because they played hard out there, but we just didn’t look like ourselves out there.”

It took Nokomis a full 14 minutes of the match to generate its first shot at the Winslow goal, but its second shot opened the scoring. Some disorganization in the back by the Black Raiders, one of the few instances of disarray, led to two quick passes on the counter attack, the second of which found Whitten alone in front for an easy tally and a 1-0 lead.

From there, Winslow was able to keep Warrior chances to a minimum.

“It was a challenge because they were putting people out on the sidelines, so that left some of the middle gaps open. We had a hard time rotating (early),” Rossignol said. “We still get decent points because we beat them the first time. Yeah, we’re happy with the tie. Obviously, we wanted to win, but the tie is good for us.”

The first time these two teams met this season, in Newport on Sept. 13, Winslow grabbed a 3-1 win. Since that match, though, Nokomis has won six of its last eight outings, going 6-1-1 during that stretch.

“We’ve been possessing the ball better lately,” Pelton said. “This field is super wide, but we were sliding balls through much better on the ground against their high pressure.”

As the second half forged on, Winslow found some pressure.

In the 68th minute, Desiree Veilleux found herself with space at the top of the 18-yard box — much as she’d done late in the first half when she rang a bullet off the crossbar. This time around, she hit the ball just as well and forced Nokomis keeper Aren Herrick (eight saves) to make a leaping save to punch the ball over the bar.

One minute later, Rossignol’s corner kick from the right side was played back out to her on the wing. Her service back into the mixer sailed high, but it caught Herrick out of position and floated into the far side of the net to tie the score at 1-1.

Winslow had the better chances over the final 10 minutes, but Nokomis center back Laura Freudenberger was outstanding, offering strong challenges on ball carriers and clearing the ball out of harm’s way on at least three occasions.

“Communication is a big part of it, making sure that we’re together and listening to one another back there,” Freudenberger said. “They kept coming at us, but if we had to get the ball out that’s what we did.”

“She’s saved us many times over the last seven or eight games. She’s the anchor back there,” Pelton said of Freudenberger. “She’s really controlling things and playing balls wide. She won the ball, she got the balls out and used the width of the field.”

It was a quiet extra session for both sides, with the best opportunity being generated by Nokomis. Kyslend Fraser centered from the left side to an unmarked Whitten in the six-yard box in the 89th minute, but Whitten’s tired legs couldn’t generate much on the shot and it was kept out easily by Winslow goalkeeper Broghan Gagnon (seven saves).

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC


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