Dover’s OT goal cools down O’Brien, Titans

Staff photo by TOM KING Nashua North goalie Kiley O'Brien makes one of her 18 saves, this one on Dover's Jessica Couture, as teammate Theresa Ellison looks on. Dover won Wednesday in OT, 1-0.

NASHUA – She was the hottest player on the steamy Motta Field turf at Stellos Stadium on Wednesday evening, both literally and figuratively.

But took a shot nearly five minutes into sudden death overtime by Dover sophomore Jeannine Turgeon to cool off Nashua High School North field hockey goalie Kiley O’Brien and hand the Titans a heartbreaking 1-0 season-opening loss.

“First time she’s ever dove, talking on defense, incredible saves, double digit saves,” North coach Chloe Audesse said. “But if it’s 95 percent down here, the defense can only do so much.”

Indeed, the law of averages caught up to the Titans, who were outshot by a whopping 19-1. That gives you an idea of just how good O’Brien was.

How the heck with all that padding, helmet, etc. did she do it in 90 degrees?

“I don’t know, a lot of water, I guess,” she said. “You talk on defense and you have to work together,it wasn’t all me, it was my team too. … It’s all right, it’s the start of the season.”

“This is only her first technical starting varsity game,” Audesse said. “She started last year on JV as a freshman. She’s learning so many different things. We started with the basics. … She’s very composed. She doesn’t panic when she’s outnumbered.”

Unfortunately, that was often the case in the brief 4:35 of 7-on-7 overtime. When Turgeon fired a shot on basically a free hit with O’Brien far out of the net, the inevitable occurred.

“We knew if we kept putting pressure on them, something eventually would pop in,” Dover coach Sarah Michaud said. “We had the momentum in our favor. But Nashua’s goalie was amazing. We just couldn’t find the net.”

Players like North’s Theresa Ellison, Emma Tomasetti, and Campbell Haller gave O’Brien a lot of support. But a top offensive player such as Julia Gagnon simpley didn’t touch the ball enough.

“Defense killed it too,” Audesse said. “I wouldn’t call it a defense issue, it was a transition issue. They (North defenders) were getting it out countless times.

“I don’t know if it was the heat and things we already have to work on.”

While the steamy temps won’t last forever, the Titans hope their sophomore goalie stays as hot as she was on Wednesday, until the offense catches up.