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Hammond Answers Morristown Upset Bid

BY DAVE SHEA

First place Hammond (10-0-0 NAC West, 13-1 ) and seventh place Morristown (2-8-1 NAC, 3-9-2) stand 15 points apart in the Northern Conference West Division standings.

But just 10 miles apart on Route 37.

That natural rivalry manifested itself on Monday morning as Hammond, which has already clinched the division title, needed two goals in a just over two minutes in the second half and a stellar performance by goaltender Alyvia Crosby to turn back a determined upset bid by the host Rockets.

Crosby, a first-year starter in goal who has flown a little under the radar during Hammond's string of dominant division wins, rose to center stage in the holiday game, She made 13 saves in the shutout while Emma Showers played very well for Morristown posting 11 stops.

Both goalies played with poise facing close range threats decisively.

Kelsey Bennett broke the scoreless tie seven minutes into the second half (33;36) off an assist from Kiersen LaFlair and Bennett set up Avery Kenyon at 31:11 for the all important insurance goal.

"A strong home effort from Morristown today. Even though we were down couple girls to injuries Morristown Girls showed great determination and resolve today. Alyvia Crosby saved this game for us today for sure. Our core did not play up to potential," said Hammond Coach Shawn Dack. 

Morristown Coach Chris Showers praised his team for rising to the occasion against the state-ranked Red Devils who stand 7th in the latest Class D Poll.

"I thought we played well. Hammond is a good team. All three of those Cunningham girls play so well wherever they are. We talked a lot the last few days in practice about not giving up and playing hard no matter what," said Coach Showers.

" And today we had a lot of kids elevate there play and do just that. When Anna Stout and Emma Showers play as aggressive as they did today it makes us a lot better. Our midfield moved the ball well for the most part. Carly Piercey and Laurell Vinch continue to get better everyday up front. They create a lot of scoring opportunities that we have to start cashing in on. Today was another step in the right direction. Hopefully we come to play like that on Thursday against Harrisville and next week against St Regis".





Hammond goalie Alyvia Crosby makes a leaping save against Morristown on Monday. (Photo by Lisa Freeman)

Hammond goalie Alyvia Crosby challenges a point blank shot by Morristown's Laurell Vinch in Monday's game. (Photo by Lisa Freeman)

Morristown goalie Emma Showers slides in front of a shot by Hammond's Kelsey Bennett in Monday's game. (Photo by Lisa Freeman)

Hammond's Lilly Towne is marked by Morristown's Kylie O'Donnell on Monday.

Hammond's Zoey Cunningham clears the ball against Hammond Monday.

Morristown goalie Emma Showers faces two of the NAC's two top scorers in Avery Kenyon and Kelsey Bennett (5) in Monday's game. (Photo by Katherine Showers)

Morristown's Rylie Showers (leff) and Hammond's Kelsey Bennett run side by side in Monday's game. (Photo By Katherine Showers)

Morristown's Anna Stout turns the ball away from the MCS goal with Hammond's Kelsey Bennett in pursuit in Monday's game. (Photo By Katherine Showers).

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