Pingree Girls' Soccer: 2016 NEPSAC Class B New England Champions
Girls' Varsity Soccer took home the NEPSAC Class B New England Championship title this fall, their third title win in four years. After back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014, the Highlanders moved up a division in 2015, but came up short, falling 2-0 to Rivers in the semi-final.
This fall, led by captains Abby Dirks '17, Meg Foye '17, and Olivia Pena '17, the team came back ready for another shot. The squad won the Eastern Independent League and went on to play Middlesex in the first round of the NEPSAC Tournament, beating Middlesex 6-2 at home. The Highlanders then faced a strong Pomfret team in the semi-final round, with a game decided by penalty kicks. Goalkeeper Holly Stam’18 came up strong and the team advanced to the final.
Pingree faced St. Marks in the championship game on Sunday, November 20. Their opponents got on the board first in the 22nd minute, before senior Lexie McNinch was able to knock in a pass from Taylor Casale ’17 to even the score. Just seconds before the end of the first half, St. Marks scored again to make it 2-1. But McNinch and Casale had other plans. The duo set up another goal in the 58th minute, making it a tie game.
With the game still tied at the end of regulation and two extra periods, the teams faced off in a penalty shootout. Six Pingree seniors took the shots for Pingree, with Stam in goal against the St. Mark’s kickers. Pingree came up triumphant in the sixth round, with a goal from McNinch.
“I saw a lot of heart,” said coach Doc Simpson. “A group of seniors who refused to lose.”
This is Pingree’s first ever Class B New England title.