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Governor's 5, Rivers 2

Carpenter sets mark in title game victory

By Liz Torres
Globe Correspondent / March 7, 2011

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ANDOVER — Senior sensation Alex Carpenter led Governor’s Academy to its fourth consecutive NEPSAC Division 2 championship, 5-2, over Rivers yesterday at Phillips Andover.

“For us as a school and as a team, this is a historic moment,’’ said Governor’s coach Babe Ceglarski.

And historic for more than just the result. Carpenter notched a hat trick and an assist to finish her career with 410 points, breaking the state record of 406 set in 2005 by Sarah Parsons of Noble & Greenough. Carpenter also was named the tournament MVP for the fourth consecutive year.

“You can’t lose sight of the fact that they’re just high school kids and it’s something they’ll remember for a long time,’’ said Ceglarski. “When they gather at their reunion, this is something they’ll always talk about.’’

For Carpenter, it was a season with just one regret.

“I gave it my all, [my only regret] is not getting the ISL championship. But this is even better,’’ said Carpenter, whose team finished behind first-place Nobles in the ISL.

The Boston College-bound Carpenter opened the scoring at 5:03 of the first period off assists from sophomore defenseman Natalie Sullivan and senior forward Kate Leary.

The Leary-Carpenter combo worked again to make it 2-0, and senior forward Alanna McDonough chipped in a goal off assists from Leary and freshman forward Michelle Alonardo to secure a 3-0 lead after one period.

“Our team just had a bit more experience to know how to handle the pressure,’’ said Carpenter of Governor’s fast start.

Carpenter kept up the pressure in the second period, scoring her third goal, unassisted, at 2:18. Rivers got on the board at 7:57 with smooth passing from Janelle Ferrara to sister Nicole Ferrara to make it 4-1.

In the third period, Governor’s kept up its offense, with Leary scoring (and Carpenter assisting) in the first minute to make it 5-1.

“[Leary, Carpenter, and McDonough] never put personal goals over team goals and that sort of grew from the beginning as freshmen,’’ said Ceglarski.

The final numbers for the line are staggering. The trio finished just shy of the 1,000-point mark, with a combined 992 career points.

“In the end, I think it’s just simple chemistry,’’ said Ceglarski. “Each one of them knew what their job was and Alex sort of grew into the go-to person throughout her career.’’

Nicole Ferrara scored her second goal of the game at 5:36 to cut the margin to 5-2, but Rivers couldn’t solve Jill Conway (24 saves) again despite pulling its goalie late in the game.

“No one anticipated us to win,’’ said Ceglarski. “We played Middlesex in overtime [in 2008], last year in overtime [vs. Southfield], and here we took care of business.’’