SWANZEY — Seventy-two minutes passed before a goal was scored.
That’s when Fall Mountain senior Kyla Eigabroadt had enough, scoring two goals in the final eight minutes of the Wildcats’ 2-0 win over Monadnock in the preliminary round of the NHIAA Division III girls soccer tournament on Thursday in Swanzey.
“It feels really good because I’m a senior, so it’s my last year to play,” Eigabroadt said. “It felt like one of those last memory things. It’s something that I can hold on to.”
Her first goal came as the Wildcats were making a push in the offensive zone late in the second half. After a few saves from Monadnock sophomore goalie Emma Loudermilk, Eigabroadt found the ball on the far side and hit a dart into the back of the net to give Fall Mountain a 1-0 lead.
“In the first half we weren’t very good,” Eigabroadt said. “So I knew in order to (move on in the tournament) that we would have to score so I just took my chances and I set up my shot and I knew it would fall through.”
But there were still eight minutes left on the clock. left.
So Monadnock put together a push of its own, but couldn’t convert. When Fall Mountain got the ball back, they forced a corner kick, and that’s when Eigabroadt put the nail in the coffin, only about five minutes after her first goal.
“She’s got some speed,” said Fall Mountain head coach Bruce Ferland, “When we got the ball to her, it paid off. This past week, all of a sudden, her balls have been going into the back of the net.
“She’s a captain. She wants to be a leader for the rest of the team, so it was a positive thing for her, especially with us going into the tournament,” Ferland said.
Junior Nora Dunnigan held strong in net for the Wildcats, shutting out the Monadnock offense. Dunnigan isn’t used to playing goalie — this was only her third game in net — but Ferland decided to shake up the lineup and it’s been paying off.
“Nora was actually our center back two weeks ago, and I came to the conclusion that we needed a goalie change,” Ferland said. “She went with it. She has a good spirit about it. She’s doing a phenomenal job back thereand it’s helping our defense.”
Dunnigan was challenged throughout the game, particularly in the first half, when Monadnock was putting pressure on the Fall Mountain defense. But she held her own, making the saves when she was called upon.
and preserving the blank slate.
“We’re riding with her because we don’t want to let her down,” Ferland said. “She works hard and she took the job that no one else would want and she’s done a great job with it.”
Ferland said he’s seen tremendous improvement from the team, on both sides of the ball, since he made the switch.
“She’s kind of our new life to get her going here right when we’re going into the tournament. The whole team has a different outlook and I credit a lot of that to her.”
It was a tale of two halves for Fall Mountain, as they struggled to get the ball in the offensive third throughout the first half, but created some tremendous scoring opportunities in the second half. Loudermilk and the rest of the Monadnock defense held strong, stopping some balls that looked as though they had a clear shot at the net. It took nearly 72 minutes, but eventually the pressure became too much.
“They’re starting to learn to not quit,” Ferland said. “Even when things don’t go well or we miss probably half a dozen shots that should’ve gone in, they still kept on trying no matter how tired they are.”
Waiting for Fall Mountain in the quarterfinal round is Campbell. The teams are scheduled to play on Sunday at Fall Mountain. The time of the game has not yet been determined.