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October 29, 2012

Jaguars fall in state finals

BEDFORD, N.H. — Windham can be disappointed in the outcome, but the road to its 3-1 state finals loss to Laconia was nothing but positive.

In only three years, the Jaguars made it to the Division 2 finals, and the returning players are treating yesterday’s result as a springboard to even better things to come.

“It’s a tradition that we’re going to follow next year,” said junior goalie Kelsey Federico. “We’re going to do even better, use this to our advantage.”

It’s hard to imagine that Federico could play any better than she did against a speedy, aggressive Raiders team that constantly kept offensive pressure on.

Federico stood on her head to keep Lebanon off the scoreboard, turning aside 23 shots. Particularly impressive was a second-half sequence where she dove Tim Thomas-style to pick Jennifer Laramie’s shot off the right post, then stopped a pair of point-blank rebound attempts.

When asked if Lebanon had the best offense she faced this season, Federico said, “I think I’ve seen better over the course of the year. I thought our defense played extremely hard, and I played the hardest I could and I have no regrets with how things went.”

Nor should she, as Federico definitely kept Windham in the hunt, but Lebanon held the ultimate edge on goals from Emily Perryman and Shauna Rankin-Byrne within 1 1/2 minutes of each other.

Sophomore Justine Levesque got the Jaguars on the board with 2:13 left in the first half, only 55 seconds after Rankin-Byrne’s score.

“We had a quick breakaway downfield and I got a crossover pass (from junior Nicole Croteau),” Levesque said. “I didn’t really think of the shot. I just hit it and it went in.

“I was so happy. It definitely got us pumped up for the rest of the game.”

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