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Rookie Wolves eke out championship

4A-11

Newsome's Danielle Joyce connected on a first-half goal as the first-year Wolves defeated Freedom 1-0 in soggy conditions Friday night to capture the Class 4A District 11 title.

"It was tough to play out there tonight, but we had to keep fighting through the weather and try to get one (goal) in," Newsome coach Kathy Dodd said.

Joyce scored in the 37th minute on a scramble in front of the goal. Newsome took the corner kick, and Freedom goalkeeper Emily Simpson went up among three players. Simpson deflected the ball and Joyce flicked it past.

"That goal was so big," Dodd said. "In these kind of conditions getting that first goal is so important."

Newsome was able to lag back in the second half and defend its lead in the less-than-favorable conditions. Freedom pressed the attack, and its best chance came in the 47th minute when a free kick fired from the corner of the 18-yard box appeared headed in, but midfielder Angela Murphy headed the ball to safety at the goal line.

Newsome, which has no seniors and starts seven freshmen, had not beaten Freedom during the regular season. The Patriots defeated the Wolves 1-0 and the teams tied at 0. Dodd said the improved play of sweeper Casey Plastek was the difference between Friday's victory and the earlier meetings.

"We needed better play from the sweeper and Casey Plastek came up big tonight," Dodd said.

Newsome's Danielle Joyce, right, and Danielle Rivera celebrate after Joyce put one in during a scramble in front of the net in the 37th minute. The Wolves held on for the 1-0 win and the district title in the program's first season.

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