High schools: Concord boys’ soccer tops MV, looks ahead to D-I opponents

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  • Merrimack Valley goalie Jack Wormald goes high for a save during the first half against Concord on Friday afternoon. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord midfielder Jacque Tunguru (left) battles Merrimack Valley's Rylan Merrill during the first half at Memorial Field on Friday afternoon, September 25, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord’s Nicholas DiBuono goes up for a header against Merrimack Valley's Griffin Wheeler on Friday evening. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord goalie Abbas Abdulrahman makes a save as Merrimack Valley's Jesse Dietz (7) and Concord's Brandon Comine (4) during the first half at Memorial Field on Friday evening, September 25, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley goalie Jack Wormald just misses a block on a penalty shot during the first half against Concord on Friday afternoon. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 9/26/2020 1:36:22 PM

Both teams wanted it – the extra emotions and physical play at Memorial Field made that clear. But both Concord and Merrimack Valley were also looking at Friday’s boys’ soccer match as preparation for things to come.

For Division I Concord, Friday’s 4-0 win against D-II MV and last week’s 7-0 win against D-II Pembroke was a good way to prepare for the final eight games of its schedule, which are all against D-I teams. The teams played across division lines because schedules have been localized as a coronavirus safety measure.

“I know it’s harder for them to go up a division and play a bigger school, but I thought it was pretty cool to play some local teams and see how good they are,” said Concord senior forward Alasdair Ferrier, who scored three of the Crimson Tide’s four goals on Friday. “I think the schedule worked out really well for us, we kind of get to use these first games as a warm up for the D-I games starting next week.”

Concord has a home-and-home series next week with Manchester Memorial – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday under the lights in Manchester and 4 p.m. on Thursday in Concord.

“I feel like we’re ready for that,” Concord senior midfielder Frank Myco said. “We’re moving the ball consistently and we’re playing good defense, better than last year. We have a few things that we need to work on, but it won’t be that hard.”

For MV, facing Concord was a good measuring stick after splitting a pair of 1-0 games against D-II Coe-Brown earlier in the week.

“I love to have competition like this so we can see where our areas of weakness are so when we do play teams in our division and teams in playoffs we’ll be ready to step up,” Pride coach Ken Fuller said. “Obviously we have things that we need to work on and continue to work on, but with the playoffs the way they are going to be (open to any team regardless of record), this right now is basically preseason and the guys are figuring how to make things work and how to gel as a team.”

The Tide (2-0-0) took a quick lead when Ferrier scored from just outside the 18-yard box in the fifth minute. Concord also held a significant 20-5 advantage in shots on goal and played like the better team for the majority of the game, but the Pride (1-2-0) held its own and didn’t look out of place on the same field as a top-end D-I team.

“I was happy with the way the boys played,” Fuller said. “(Keeper) Mason (Boudreau) made some unbelievable saves in the first half to keep us in it, and even though we were behind in the second half we continued to play with them.”

Concord’s Carlos De Sousa was taken down inside the box in the 19th minute and Ferrier converted the PK to make it 2-0, a lead the Tide took into halftime. It was still 2-0 when MV’s Maverick Thivierge was taken down just on the edge of the box and the Pride was awarded a PK of its own with 16:41 left on the clock, but Concord keeper Abbas Abdulrahman (five saves) dove to his right to stop the shot and keep the clean sheet.

“Abbas has been great,” Tide coach Scott Dunlop said of his senior keeper who is also a state champion wrestler. “He’s been improving, he’s confident and he’s been steady for us so far.”

Ferrier made it 3-0 and finished his hat trick with 10:12 left after he outmuscled the defender and hammered a shot inside the near post. Concord sophomore Jacque Tunguru was sniffing around for a goal in the final five minutes and finally found one to complete the scoring.

“I think we really improved in the second half,” Ferrier said. “The first half we were a little sloppy and made a lot of passes that we shouldn’t have made, but in the second half we definitely picked it up and started to play our game better.”

Despite the four goals, Fuller was pleased with the play of his back line – Connor Baldwin, Drew Baldwin, Jackson Mercer and Chase Schnipke. The coach was also happy to have Gavin Wheeler back in midfield pulling the strings (he missed Thursday’s game against Coe-Brown) and praised the play of Griffin Wheeler and Jack Davis.

Girls’ Soccer

Concord 2, Merrimack Valley 0

Key players: Concord – Kelsey Mayer (goal), Avery Fitcher (goal), Caley Nault (defense)

Highlights: The Tide finally broke through a scoreless tie roughly 10 minutes into the second half with a shot by Mayer from 35 yards out. Fitcher added another just ten minutes later with another shot from distance.

Coaches’ quotes: “We really played well today. Happy with the effort overall and ball movement. Excited to see how we play as we transition into our D-I schedule.” – Concord’s Phil Tuttle
“I thought we were organized and played great defensively against a strong Concord team. Concord did a nice job moving the ball and limiting our attack. Their back line is tough to get behind. Two games in two days put a strain on our legs, but I was proud with how hard the girls played today.” – MV’s Nick D’Agostino

Records: Concord 2-0; MV 2-1


Trinity 22, Concord 7

Key players: Concord – Zack Doward (TD pass), Kody Rasheed (TD catch)

Highlights: The defending D-III champion Pioneers scored two rushing touchdowns and tacked on two-point conversions to take a 16-0 halftime lead and scored a pick-6 in the third to make it 22-0. Doward his Rasheed with a 9-yard pass in the fourth to put Concord on the board in Friday night’s season opener.

Records: Trinity 1-0; Concord 0-1

Field Hockey

John Stark 5, Pembroke 0

Key players: John Stark – Delaney Forrestall (goal, 3 assists), Meg Girardet (goal, assist), Bella Pelletier (goal), Gracie Bolduc (goal), Kacie Weston (goal), Aubrey Fischer (assist), Reagan Fischer (defense), Sydnee Pelletier (6th career shutout); Pembroke – Leah LaCross (leadership in the midfield), Leila Thomas-Guerzon (pressured Stark into mistakes)

Highlights: The Spartans held John Stark scoreless in the first quarter, but Weston knocked home her first career goal to ignite the Generals’ offense and John Stark prevented Pembroke from recording a shot on goal for the second consecutive game.

Coaches’ quotes: “We were a little sluggish to start the game today with the late arrival, but we came on strong in the second quarter. I was extremely happy with how the girls took what we discussed at halftime and really brought the passing game and flow to the next level in the third. Our defense was once again outstanding.” – John Stark’s Dennis Pelletier

“The score was the same as our previous meeting with John Stark, but our level of play was dramatically different. We competed for the first time this season. They had to work hard for their goals. The girls and I were very happy with our performance.” – Pembroke’s Steve Langevin

Records: John Stark 2-0; Pembroke 0-3

Hopkinton 3, Bow 1

Key players: Hopkinton – Meggie Haley (2 goals), Rose Finlayson (goal), Julia Baer (assist), Kate Bouchard (assist), Carolien Barrett (defense), Brooklyn Tanuvasa (defense); Bow – Alex Larrabee (goal), Anna Tsouros (24 saves), Elena Roy (defense), Amelia Coe (defense), Sarah Guerrette (midfield), Jocelyn Webber (midfield), Barrie Guertin (forward)

Coaches’ quotes: “The girls played together and they were making some great connections with each other. Defense did very well stepping up to the ball and carrying it tonight. We look to keep improving our play as we move into next week.” – Hopkinton’s Kate Hohenberger

“Overall the team is doing very well. We had to open against a tough team this week. With a new style of coaching and a new level of play the players are working hard to improve their skills. They are coming together as a team and will only continue to get stronger.” – Bow’s Cherie Snow

Records: Hopkinton 2-0; Bow 0-2

Boys’ Cross Country

Coe-Brown 20, Concord 40

Key players: Coe-Brown – Aidan Cox (1st 16:03), Luke Tkaczyk (3rd, 16:11), Carter Sylvester (4th, 16:49), Lars Hogne (5th, 16:55), Logan Mihelich (7th, 16:59); Concord – Eben Bragg (2nd, 16:06), Brayden Kearns (6th, 16:56), Sam Hilts (9th, 17:17), Ryan Ciesluk (11th, 17:51), John Murphy (12th, 17:59)

Highlights: The top two boys’ teams in the state battled it out in the first of three head-to-head races and the Bears had the upper hand on their home course.

Girls’ Cross Country

Coe-Brown 20, Concord 38

Key players: Coe-Brown – Addison Cox (1st, 19:57), Mallory Taylor (2nd, 20:53), Sheldyn Fisher (4th, 21:13), Tessa Millette (6th, 21:44), Bella Lemay (7th, 21:48); Concord – Katherine Kennedy (3rd, 21:02), Sophie Hopkins (5th, 21:33), Katie Watt (9th, 22:05), Alexis Christie (10th, 22:13), Abby Goulas (11th, 22:20)

Highlights: The No. 2 Bears upset the top-ranked Tide in a race at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy on Friday. The two squads will meet again in two more dual meets.

Girls’ Volleyball

Concord 3, John Stark 1

Key players: John Stark – Lillian Stogner (18 kills, 8 digs), Brooke Patnode (28 assists, 3 aces, 4 kills), Izabella Nelson (21 digs), Paige Hamel and Destiny Vickers (solid passing and hitting)

Highlights: The D-II Generals put up a strong fight against the D-I Tide. Concord won the first set, 25-19, but John Stark came back to win the second (25-17) and narrowly lost the third (25-23) before the Tide wrapped up the four-set victory with a 25-14 win.

Coach’s quote: “I couldn’t be more proud of how the team played tonight. They never backed down and played a with great heart. If we play like that every time, we’re going to have a fun and successful season.” – John Stark’s Jeff McClellan

Records: Concord 3-1; John Stark 0-2

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