KENSINGTON – Shannan Hill provided the offensive spark, and KISHORA is headed back to the P.E.I. School Athletic Association Senior A Girls Soccer League championship game.
Hill scored a clutch goal, and set up two others four minutes apart as KISHORA struck for three goals in the first 22 minutes of the second half en route to a 5-2 semifinal win over Montague on Wednesday.
Defending-champion KISHORA, a combined team from Kensington Intermediate-Senior High School (KISH) and Kinkora Regional High School (KRHS), will face Charlottetown Rural in the gold-medal game for the third year in a row at UPEI on Saturday at 9 a.m.
“I am so ready and excited for it,” said KISHORA fullback Madeline Hamill of Searletown. “We have to stick together as a team.
“Last year we stuck together and played a really strong game because we played as a team and everyone did their part.”
Hill, a 17-year-old from Kensington, felt KISHORA “played well” against Montague.
“Our defence did a great job, and we moved the ball well,” added Hill. “In the first half, we didn’t really capitalize on our chances.”
KISHORA took a 2-1 lead into halftime.
Whistle to whistle
“We played a strong game from whistle to whistle,” assessed KISHORA head coach Donald Mulligan. “We moved the ball well, we took the wind in the first half and controlled 85 per cent of the play.
“Their keeper played fantastic, and we didn’t really get any bounces in the first half. We were up 2-1, but we felt we deserved better.”
Mulligan liked how his players “didn’t panic” at halftime.
“They realized that if we continued to move the ball around we will continue to get our chances and the goals will come, and finally they did,” said Mulligan.
Hill’s goal in the 52nd minute made it 3-1.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” acknowledged Hill. “It bounced off a bunch of people, and I just hit it in the net. That was a team effort because it hit everyone.”
Hannah LeClair scored in the 70th and 74th minutes off beautiful rushes and crosses from Hill.
“Shannan had a little quieter first half because she was playing a midfield role,” said Mulligan. “I put her up in an offensive role in the second half, and from the striker position she just took over.”
Callie Champion and Ellen Cole also scored for KISHORA while Bray MacEachern and Chloe Murphy, on a penalty kick in the 88th minute, countered for Montague.
Winning keeper was Lexie Murphy.
“With Lexie keeping, we have Ellen Cole and Madeline Hamill running a strong back line,” explained Mulligan. “We are very good all the way up the middle of the field.
“Abby Christopher dominates the middle of the field for us game in and game out. When you have Abby, Shannan Hill, Hannah LeClair and Callie Champion playing well, we usually can control the ball through the middle of the field and get our chances.
“So far this season that is what happened. We take the ball and keep the ball is the way we like to play.”
Another key, Hamill said, for KISHORA in the second half was strong communication.
“Especially when we were against the wind because that involves a lot of passing instead of kicking and running, so we have to talk,” added Hamill, a Grade 12 student at KRHS.