High Schools: Hopkinton comes alive to beat Somersworth, 6-0
It wasn’t the script that the Hopkinton boys’ soccer team had envisioned. Held scoreless at halftime as the rain came down in their second-round game with No. 17 Somersworth (8-9-1), the top-ranked Hawks (16-0-1) had a tougher battle than they had bargained for.
In the end, it took only about 24 minutes for Hopkinton to show why it hasn’t lost a game this year, as the duo of Riley McNicholas and Zach Rouleau turned on the jets and scored four goals between them to put the top seed up big and go on to win, 6-0.
“The story of today’s game was how well Somersworth played in the first half,” Hopkinton Coach Scott Zipke said. “They played hard and skillfully, creating numerous scoring chances. Their goalkeeper also made a number of high-quality saves.”
Hawks goalkeeper Rob Ferguson had a key performance of his own, battling through the tricky wet conditions and making nine saves to help keep the game scoreless throughout the difficult first half.
It was the Rouleau-McNicholas show as soon as the second half got going, and Somersworth didn’t have an answer for the two players, who combined for four goals and three assists over just 20 minutes of play from the 43rd through the 63rd minutes.
The opening score came from a great run by McNicholas into the box before the midfielder laid it across to an open Rouleau. McNicholas assisted Rouleau again in the 47th, then made the score 3-0 with a scorching free kick from 30 yards out. The team’s fourth goal came off of some excellent possession play by Rouleau to hold onto the ball in the box while being surrounded by four defenders before finding McNicholas open across the box for the score.
Brian Hauschild added an unassisted goal with just over 10 minutes to go, and the final score came in the closing stages of the game from Tim Jones, who finished with a strong side-net shot on an assist by Nick Fleury.
Hopkinton moves on to host No. 8 Laconia (12-5) in the quarterfinals Sunday at 2 p.m.
D-I BOYS’ SOCCER
No. 4 Concord 1, No. 13 Keene 0
The Blackbirds (5-12) posed a greater threat to the Tide (13-2-2) this time around, improving on its 9-0 regular season loss, but Concord still controlled the game to advance to the quarterfinals. The Tide dominated possession of the ball, but a combination of poor Concord finishing and stellar goalkeeping from Keene’s netminder kept the game a low-scoring affair.
“He kept them in the entire game,” said Tide Coach Scott Dunlop. “He gave an all-state performance.”
Emmanuel Smith was the only player to find the back of the net, heading in a corner kick from Danny Nkhalamba in the 31st minute.
While Concord forwards put over a dozen shots on the Blackbirds’ net, Tide goalkeeper Andrew Grondin only need to make two saves to preserve the shutout, thanks to a strong defensive effort from the backline of Augustine Fornor, Gaston Arocena, Dan Vigatni and Smith.
Concord hosts No. 5 Exeter (11-4-2) on Sunday.
D-II BOYS’ SOCCER
No. 6 Portsmouth 4,
No. 11 Coe-Brown 2
An improved defense helped the Bears (5-9-3) reach the playoffs, but it was no match for a prolific Clipper offense, which scored four times in the second half to eliminate Coe-Brown. Portsmouth (12-2-3) also beat the Bears by two goals during the regular season.
Liam Clinch scored in the 36th minute off an assist from Spencer Nowland to put Coe-Brown up 1-0 at halftime. Portsmouth managed to break down the defense in the 50th and 58th minutes to go up 2-1 before Jake Dunkerley evened the score off another Nowland assist. But an own goal and a nice finish from the Clippers in the 70th and 72nd minutes, respectively, took the wind out of the Bears’ sails.
“It’s frustrating to work hard and then give it up,” said Coach Christian Gompert on the game-winning own goal. “I feel as though they had some good forwards to exploit some space and take advantage of mistakes.”
Freshman goalkeeper Corbin LeBlanc played in net in the first half, while Jake Mele played well in net in the second. Trey Berry played well in the midfield.
D-II BOYS’ SOCCER
No. 3 Pembroke 6,
No. 14 Plymouth 1
The Spartans (14-2-1) got their work done early in their first-round game with Plymouth (4-12-1), taking a five-goal lead in the first half. Aaron Locke was at the center of the team’s offense and managed to finish off a first-half hat trick in just the 12th minute. Parker Heath scored a goal in each half, and Jeremy Caruso had three assists.
Locke’s first goal was assisted by Caruso in the eighth minute, Spencer Nowe passed to Locke to make it 2-0 in the 10th minute, and the hat trick was wrapped up in the 12th minute with another assist from Caruso. Parker Heath’s first score came in the 20th minute from Austin Sartwell, Justus Turk scored from Chandler Boyce in the 32nd, and Heath got his second to finish off the Spartans scoring just two minutes into the second half, again assisted by Caruso.
Plymouth tacked on its lone goal two minutes from the final whistle.
Pembroke will take on No. 6 Portsmouth (12-2-3) in the quarterfinals.
No. 5 Lebanon 1,
No. 12 John Stark 0, OT
The Generals (6-10-1) battled valiantly and frustrated Lebanon’s offense for 80 minutes, but the Raiders (13-3-1) finally prevailed with a goal 45 seconds into overtime to advance past the first round.
The winning goal was scored off a throw-in that resulted in a goalmouth scramble that Lebanon was able to push over the line.
Stark had some big chances to break the 0-0 deadlock during regulation, with a header off the post late in the first half and a missed shot on a breakaway with six minutes to play being the more notable opportunities.
Defenders Brandon Dugay, Jackson Easter and Ryan Nelson put in hard-fought performances in front of goalie Mike Prindiville (11 saves), who did well to keep Lebanon from scoring before OT. Cam Williams also played well in central midfield.
“It could have gone our way,” Stark Coach Jeff Vogt said. “I’m proud of our effort.”
D-III BOYS’ SOCCER
No. 2 Bow 3, No. 18 Campbell 0
Chris Ketchum scored two goals and Tim Bradley recorded another shutout to lead the Falcons (15-1-1) over the Cougars (9-10). Ketchum scored his first in the 14th minute, one-timing a cross from Josh DeYoung. Seven minutes later, Nathan Riera sent Corey Plumb on a run in the box and Plumb buried a shot in the upper corner to give the Falcons a 2-0 halftime lead.
However Campbell “played with heart and hustle” and “was better than the 18th seed,” according to Bow Coach George Pinkham. Goalkeeper Andrew Picard made several stellar saves to keep the Cougars in the game, but a touch pass down the middle from Phil Rizzi to Ketchum in the 78th minute sealed the Falcons’ spot in the next round.
Bow hosts No. 7 White Mountains (13-4) on Sunday.
No. 8 Laconia 4,
No. 9 Kearsarge 3
Kearsarge (10-6-1) had its offense going but couldn’t keep up with Laconia (12-5) in their second-round matchup, as the Sachems started the scoring and got two crucial consecutive goals in the second half to put the Cougars away. Kearsarge did make a late run with two goals in the last 11 minutes of the game, but didn’t have enough time to complete a comeback after pulling it back to 4-3 with only a minute left to play.
Senior Bobby Lauster scored two goals in his best game of the season, and Andrew Van Hooydonk had a goal and an assist to lead the Kearsarge offense.
Laconia started the scoring in the 22nd minute before Kearsarge tied it through Lauster in the 33rd. The Sachems then went on to score the next three goals, going up 2-1 in the 36th minute before getting two big goals around the midway point of the second half (in the 57th and 63rd minutes).
Van Hooydonk got the comeback attempt going for Kearsarge, scoring on an assist by Nick Bailey before Lauster got his second with just a minute left.
The following Kearsarge seniors played well in their final games as Cougars: defenders Reed Bell and Karver Bosela, midfielders Lauster and Roudy Rehor, and forwards Bailey and Van Hooydonk.
No. 5 Raymond 3,
No. 12 Bishop Brady 2, 2OT
The Green Giants (8-8-1) stayed with Raymond (14-3) until the closing seconds of the double overtime period before the Rams scored from a corner kick to get into the quarterfinals. The winning goal came with just four seconds left on the referee’s watch.
After Raymond got on the board in the eighth minute, Bishop Brady equalized through JP Nemcovich in the 30th minute. Nemcovich struck again at the 60-minute mark to put Brady ahead, but Raymond responded with a tying goal eight minutes later.
The Giants had a couple of scoring chances in the later stages of the game but started to tire in overtime.
Goalie Dylan Thomson (six saves) was outstanding to keep his team alive until the very end, and the entire defensive line was solid for Brady.
D-IV BOYS’ SOCCER
No. 4 Colebrook 4,
No. 13 Pittsfield 0
The Panthers (6-9-2) played well in the second half, but couldn’t overcome a slow start and 3-0 halftime deficit in their season-ending loss to Colebrook (12-4-1). The Mohawks scored goals in the fourth, 13th and 32nd minutes.
“Colebrook came out with more intensity, winning most of the 50-50 balls,” Pittsfield Coach Derek Hamilton said.
Pittsfield turned up its intensity in the second half, but attempts from Chris Farr and Cam Darrah hit the crossbar and the Panthers couldn’t swing the momentum in their favor. Seniors Farr and Max Tuttle played well in the midfield to lead Pittsfield.
No. 1 Woodsville 6,
No. 16 Concord christian 0
The Kingsmen finished the season with a 1-13-3 record after falling to top-ranked Woodsville (15-1-1) in the first round. No details were reported.
D-I GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL
No. 5 Bedford 3,
No. 12 Concord 1
The Tide (9-10) took one set from Bedford (14-5) but couldn’t quite pull off the first-round upset. No details were reported.
No. 3 Winnisquam 3,
No. 14 Prospect Mountain 0
The Bears (15-2) controlled the first two games and held off the Timberwolves (6-11) comeback to win the match 25-16, 25-19, 25-23. Prospect Mountain “is not your typical No. 14 team,” according to Winnisquam Coach Mike Livernois, and the Timberwolves took leads of 5-1 and 17-14 in third game to make the Bears earn their passage to the quarterfinals.
“We just dug in and kept making plays and keeping the ball alive until we could pull it out,” said Livernois, who credited the opposition for its play.
Hannah Chapin (11 kills, seven digs), Bailey Long (nine kills, four aces), Mo Raymond (eight kills, eight digs), Carissa Archibald (12 digs), Erica Doubleday (26 assists, two aces) and Clarissa MacDonald (five digs) led Winnisquam, who face a quality opponent in No. 11 Newfound (9-8) in its next match on Saturday.
No. 7 Belmont 3,
No. 10 Farmington 0
The Red Raiders (12-5) came out playing as a team and the result was their best volleyball in weeks, defeating Farmington (10-7), 25-23, 25-19, 25-18.
Megan Bailey (27 assists, five digs), Alyssa Woods (seven kills), Louisa Bergeron (10 kills), Shannon Conway (five kills, four digs) and Jessie Bergeron (28 digs) led Belmont, which plays No. 2 Sunapee (16-1) on Saturday.