Previews of local schools’ NHIAA playoff matchups
High school tournaments today
Division III first round
No. 13 Somersworth (6-8-0) at No. 4 Hopkinton (12-2-0), 3 p.m.
Head to head: Hopkinton beat Somersworth, 6-1, in its season opener.
Notes: Hopkinton enters the postseason on a roll, having posted shutouts in five of its last six games for a total of eight blankings this season behind the strong play of senior goalie Maddy Bergethon. On the offensive end, the Hawks average 4.2 goals per game, with Brittany Marshall and Courtney Crouch providing the hottest sticks late in the season. The only blemishes on Hopkinton’s record are a 4-0 loss to top-ranked and undefeated Derryfield and a one-goal setback to No. 5 Newfound, a likely quarterfinal opponent if both teams win today. Somersworth didn’t put up much fight when the teams met early this season, and only one of the Toppers’ wins came against a team with a winning record (Sanborn).
No. 10 Laconia (9-5-0) at No. 7 Winnisquam (9-3-2), 3 p.m.
Head to head: Winnisquam won at Laconia, 4-0, on Sept. 18.
Notes: It’s been a tale of two halves for the Bears, who started the season with a modest 3-2-2 record before rattling off a 6-1 mark in the second half, with five of those wins via shutout. Winnisquam, behind goalie Kendra Lonergan, has posted eight shutouts this season. Mackenzie Byers, Lauren Bolstridge and Erin McNamara have provided a big offensive spark during the second-half turnaround. Laconia comes in with a similar record to Winnisquam, but the Sachems didn’t beat any teams with a winning record. They did, however, play second-ranked and undefeated Gilford to within a goal (2-1 loss) late in the season, which is enough to alert the Bears to not take them lightly.