High schools: Stark boys’ soccer tops Bow as teams try to fill voids left by graduated stars

  • John Stark’s Aaron Robertson and Bow’s Matt Selleck go up for a ball in the midfield. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Bow’s Conner Wachsmuth defends against John Stark’s Jonathan Rizzatano. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Bow’s Ryan Leonard (right) tries to block a shot from John Stark’s Jared Peterson during the Generals’ 2-0 win on Friday afternoon. Rich Miyara photos / NH Sports Photography

  • Bow’s Conner Wachsmuth clears the ball away from an attacking Cameron Doyle. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Bow coach George Pinkham addresses the team during halftime. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Bow coach George Pinkham leads the team back to the field after halftime. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

Monitor staff
Published: 9/8/2018 12:14:43 AM

BOW – How do you replace a star center midfielder?

That question is being asked this fall by some of the top soccer programs in the area, including the boys’ teams at Bow and John Stark. When those two met last year in the Division II quarterfinals, they both had talented, skilled and physical distributors acting as fulcrums in that central midfield role – Bow’s Chris Gallier and John Stark’s Jake Reynolds.

But those two, both 2017 First Team D-II picks, graduated and are now playing college soccer – Gallier at St. Michael’s and Reynolds at Saint Anselm. So this fall the Falcons and the Generals have been figuring out how to fill the large cleats left by their former leaders, and on Friday Stark had the answers in its 2-0 win at Bow.

“Replacing the raw talent that Jake had, you can’t do that, you can’t teach that,” Stark coach Eddie Marceau said. “So you try and replace it with total-team effort and consistency, and we’ve been emphasizing that all season.”

Both teams were 2-2 heading into Friday’s game, and some of the inconsistency that led to those .500 records was evident early on in, you guessed it, the midfield. Neither team could gain much traction in the center of the pitch, where there were as many turnovers as completed passes.

The Generals finally strung together some touches in the 26th minute as Cameron Doyle worked a nice give-and-go with Emmet Rinehimer, and then played a through ball to Riley Brooks, who beat one defender and finished inside the far post to make it 1-0. All three of those Stark players came off the bench.

“The guys coming off the bench, they keep the pace or help generate a goal, and you can’t ask for any better than that,” Marceau said.

After halftime, the Generals found their groove. As you also may have guessed, it revolved around their offensive center midfielders, seniors Jared Peterson and Aaron Robertson.

“They’re what makes the machine work, and that was our halftime talk,” Marceau said. “That’s what I asked of them, win your tackles and distribute the ball, and that’s what they did.”

They weren’t, however, directly involved in the second goal. That credit goes to a pair of speedy forwards – Tony Leary, who fired a hard cross in from the left wing, and Jon Rizzitano, who touched it home in the 44th minute for a 2-0 lead.

“Tony worked really hard down the wing, so I just wanted to give him that cushion in the middle,” Rizzitano said. “He got it to me and I was lucky enough to get my foot on it and score.”

Rizzitano benefited from plenty of Reynolds’s passes last year, so he understands just how important it is to have players with vision and skill in the middle of the park.

“(Reynolds) was an incredible player and it’s not easy to fill his shoes, but Jared Peterson and Aaron Robertson and Will Connor (Stark’s holding midfielder) do a really good job,” Rizzitano said. “They work really well together and I think that showed today because we mostly controlled the midfield this game. So it’s really hard to replace him, but you’ve just got to move on and learn from it.”

It makes sense that Stark found that control on Friday. The Generals had an obvious line of succession when it came to restocking their midfield. Peterson played next to Reynolds last year, so he simply stayed put and gave Stark an experienced and talented building block. And Robertson was the holding midfielder last year, so it was a simple transition for him to move up from that defensive role into an the attacking midfield spot.

Bow also had a midfield succession plan, but the player who was projected to replace Gallier, junior Matt Ferland, is battling a back injury and hasn’t seen the field this fall.

“That’s really tough on us right now because it affects where I’m putting other guys and, like I told them after the last game, I’m not all that comfortable with our shape,” Bow coach George Pinkham said. “The two guys I do have in there (Matt Selleck and Dan Leuchtenberger) are good players, but they’re just sophomores, so physically it’s very demanding on them.”

This experience will surely help Selleck and Leuchtenberger in the future, which might come as soon as this season. But right now they are on a learning curve due to lack of experience – Selleck played mostly on the wing last year while Leuchtenberger was used as a defender, and both were substitutes. Compare that to the starting experience of seniors Peterson and Roberston and it’s easy to understand why Stark had the upper hand on Friday.

These two teams aren’t the only ones adapting to life without their playmakers. Concord, the defending D-I champ, is 2-0 despite graduating Taylor Silverstein, the central midfielder who set the school scoring record last year, was the state’s Gatorade Player of the year and is now a teammate of Reynolds at Saint Anselm. Pembroke Academy, the defending D-II champ, is 3-0 despite losing midfielder Damon Smith, a D-II First Team pick along with Gallier and Peterson.

Hopkinton, the 2017 D-III runner-up, has gotten off to a bumpy 3-2 start after graduating their talented playmaker, Max Rossignol, a First Team D-III pick last year. And Pittsfield, a 2017 D-IV semifinalist, is also 3-2 after losing midfield workhorse Matt St. George, a Second Team D-IV selection.

“It can take a while to fill that role,” Pinkham said. “We’re still searching for the right combination.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reched at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

Boys’ Soccer

Kearsarge 5, Stevens 1

Key players: Kearsarge – Travis Kane (5 saves), Ben Corbyn (G), Brady Esmaili (G), Pat Geary (G), Gavin Fedas (G), Aidan McCullough (G), Peter Russell (A)

Highlights: Corbyn scored 15 minutes into the match and helped Kearsarge take a 3-1 halftime lead. McCullough and Fedas scored in the second half.

Coach’s quote: “The team has found a great chemistry over the past three games and have put in the hard work to earn a couple wins. They deserved the win tonight.” – Kearsarge’s Matt Burch

Records: Kearsarge 2-2; Stevens 1-4

Bishop Brady 4, Winnisquam 0

Key players: Bishop Brady – Tom Daly (G, A), Angelo Besho (G, A), Nick Lamm (G), Mike Fitzgibbons (G), Paul Cunningham (defense), Adam Senko (defense), Jack Bowes (first varsity shutout)

Highlights: After a scoreless first half the Giants made some halftime adjustments and it paid off with a win.

Coach’s quote: “I was proud of the second-half effort of the entire team. Although we scored four goals, our midfielders, defensive backs and goalkeeper Jack Bowes denied a few strong threats.” – Bishop Brady’s Mike Ling

Records: Bishop Brady 2-1; Winnisquam 1-2

Hopkinton 4, Prospect Mountain 1

Key players: Hopkinton – Paul Molnar (2G, A), Corey Breault (G), Andrew Beckwith (G), Bryce Charron (A), Shea Dickson (A), Sam Crawford (4 saves)

Highlights: The Hawks scored three goals in a seven-minute span, the first goals Prospect Mountain allowed all season, to take a 3-0 halftime lead. The Timberwolves got one back in the 66th minute, but Beckwith’s first varsity goal in the 74th sealed the victory. defensive midfielder Benny Madden played solid defense and then assertively worked forward on offense. Steven Newton-Delgado was solid at outside back.

Coach’s quote: “Looking to pick ourselves up after a tough loss last game, we came out tonight playing a lot more inspired soccer. We didn’t get beat to many balls, we tracked back defensively when we did turn it over and we supported the offensive push with a lot of work off the ball. ” – Hopkinton’s Scott Zipke

Records: Hopkinton 3-2-0; Prospect Mountain 2-1-1

Belmont 6, Berlin 0

Key players: Belmont – Nate Sottak (2G, 2A), Lucas Mathieu (G, A), Colby Brown (G), Evan Cochran (G), Nolan Gagnon (G), Jake Deware (3 saves)

Highlights: The Raiders led 3-0 at halftime and Deware stopped a penalty kick in the second half to preserve the shutout.

Coach’s quote: “Excellent work on both ends of the field.” – Belmont’s Mike Foley

Records: Belmont 4-0; Berlin 1-3

Pittsfield 3, Gorham 0

Key players: Pittsfield – Chandler Norris (2G), Colby Wolfe (G), Jesse MacGlashing (A), Kyle Stockman (A), Corey Gilleney (shutout)

Highlights: The Panthers opened the scoring in the 45th minute when Norris headed a MacGlashing corner kick past the Gorham goalkeeper. Wolfe and Norris added tallies in 54th and 66th minutes. Jah Gordon, Jacob Marcotte and Ben Marcotte played strong defense in front of Gilleney to preserve the shutout.

Coach’s quote: “Today was our third game in four days. We worked through some fatigue and picked up our level of play in the second half to earn a tough road win.” – Pittsfield’s Derek Hamilton

Records: Pittsfield 3-2; Gorham 2-2

Girls’ Soccer

Concord 1, Exeter 0

Key players: Concord – Autumn Nudd (shutout), Grace Devanny (G), Ashley Plante (A)

Highlights: Devanny’s game-winning strike three minutes into overtime, the first goal that the Blue Hawks have allowed all season, kept Concord undefeated. Plante received the ball on the corner of the 18-yard box and her cross found Devanny at the near post.

Coach’s quote: “It was a great team effort today. The girls worked hard and showed a lot of character. Exeter is a special team that is very difficult to beat. I’m proud of these girls. They found a way to win today. ” – Concord’s Phil Tuttle

Records: Concord 3-0; Exeter 2-1

Kearsarge 1, Bow 0

Key players: Kearsarge – Taryn Hubley (G), Jordan Busch (A), Payten Hebert (shutout), Ellie Camp (defense); Bow – Kristina Pizzi, Anna Lafreniere, Kayleigh Marshall, Lauren Goyette, Lindsey Burnham, Madison Roberge, Megan Remick

Highlights: Hubley scored an early goal and Hebert stopped a Bow penalty kick with five minutes late in the second half to hand the Falcons their first loss of the season.

Coaches’ quotes: “Our entire team came ready to play tonight. It was thrilling to watch them leave everything out on the pitch.” – Kearsarge’s Emily Wagaman

“We did everything we were supposed to do today. We possessed the ball, moved the ball, defended well and created and took more shots by a large margin but didn’t find the back of the net. It was one of those games, but hats off to Kearsarge on its effort and win.” – Bow’s Jay Vogt

Records: Kearsarge 2-1; Bow 4-1

Pembroke 4, Kennett 0

Key players: Pembroke – Katelyn Young (5 saves), Maddie Bailey (G), Maddy Laflamme (G), Jade Pescisnki (G), Kayla Paquin (G), Adrienne Dorr (A)

Highlights: Hannah Brown anchored a midfield that produced a goal 48 seconds into the match and the Spartans held on for their second shutout of the season.

Coach’s quote: “All players contributed to today’s win. It was a feel-good game for us, but we are aware that there is much more of the season to come. We continue to focus on being accountable and sharp in every game situation so we can get better individually and as a team.” – Pembroke’s Jess Kaufman

Records: Pembroke 4-0; Kennett 1-3

Campbell 4, Bishop Brady 2

Key players: Bishop Brady – Sheridan Brummett (2G), Abby Santis (defense)

Highlights: The Giants fell behind 3-0 in the first half and couldn’t overcome the deficit to lose their first match of the season, despite playing with more intensity and confidence in the second half.

Coach’s quote: “Campbell is a very good team and will have a successful season. I think the girls will learn from this one and get better from this. Our girls fought hard in the second half and will make them a better team moving forward.” – Bishop Brady’s Andrew Mattarazzo

Records: Campbell 4-0; Bishop Brady 3-1

John Stark 7, Sanborn 0

Key players: John Stark – Chelsea Woodsum (2G, 2A), Lexi Knapton (G), Aria Ulmer (G, A), Sam Innerfield (G), Alex Pike (G), Sara Nikias (G)

Highlights: The Generals sent a barrage of shots at the Sanborn, who kept the Indians in the game in the first half, but eventually John Stark wore her down. The Generals adapted after the first half and changed strategies to take advantage of voids to create different opportunities.

Coach’s quote: “The girls have so many options in how they play both forwards and backwards so today was nice to see how they implemented that.” – John Stark’s Chris Pike

Records: John Stark 4-0-1; Sanborn 1-3-0

Coe-Brown 1, Lebanon 0

Key players: Coe-Brown – Emily Olofson (G), Sophie Laird (A), Emily van Gerena (8 saves), Jayden Boulanger (midfield)

Highlights: Van Gerena made some big saves in net and fellow captain Olofson capiltalized on a drop pass from Laird in the 61st minute to give the Bears their first win of the season.

Coach’s quote: “This was what we needed. The girls worked really hard this week in practice and their effort paid off. This was a total team effort. Having played top five teams in our first four games, we needed to be able to establish some consistency tonight in our play and the girls delivered.” – Coe-Brown’s Josh Hils

Records: Coe-Brown 1-4-0; Lebanon 1-1-2

Belmont 1, Fall Mountain 0, OT

Key players: Belmont – Rebecca Fleming, Sierra Bourque, Kailey Gerbig, Deanna Bourque

Highlights: Belmont held a 23-0 advantage in shots and a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks, but didn’t score during regulation. Eight minutes into overtime, the Raiders finally broke through on a throw in from Gerbig that Fleming flicked on to the far post. That’s where Sierra Bourque was waiting, and she didn’t miss the game-winner.

Coach’s quote: “This was a game where we should have scored early to take some pressure off, but we just waited until the last minute.” – Belmont’s Mark Dawalga

Records: Belmont 3-0-1; Fall Mtn. 2-2-0

Pittsfield 2, Gorham 0

Key players: Pittsfield — Madison St. George (2G), Tori Lee (A), Rebecca Smith (5 saves), Ryan Wood (defense), Jolene Wood (hustle)

Highlights: The Panthers missed some golden opportunities in the first half and the score was 0-0 at halftime, but St. George scored on a penalty kick at the 12 minute mark of the second half and then struck again on through ball from Lee. Panthers The defense shut down Gorham, only allowing seven shots, helping Pittsfield pick up its first win of the season.

Coach’s quote: “Solid all-around team win tonight. I thought our defense did an excellent job of not giving them any clean looks and really shutting them down.” – Pittsfield’s Jayme Kennedy

Records: Pittsfield 1-2; Gorham 2-2

Hopkinton 3, Prospect Mountain 3

Key players: Hopkinton – Annie Higginbotham (G), Emily Metzger (G), Ellie Morrall (G), Lillie Presti (A)

Highlights: The Hawks trailed 3-0 less than 20 minutes into the match, but broke onto the scoreboard in the 35th minute and tied the game on a free kick from Morrall in the 67th.

Coach’s quote: “We were not ourselves in the first half as we were not able to win 50/50 balls, had errant passing and seemed tired. With a couple of tactical switches the girls were able to start playing better and put in a great team effort.” – Hopkinton’s Mike Zahn

Records: Hopkinton 2-1-1; Prospect Mtn. 1-1-2

Hillsboro-Deering 6, White Mtns. 0

Key players: H-D – Izabella Warren (4G, A), Zoe Kemp (G), Maggie Carter (G), Abbie Johnson (A), Halie Hurd (A), Cassidy Wightman (A), Kimmie Nadeau (A)

Highlights: Warren scored one goal in the first half and wrapped up her scoring with a fourth tally with two minutes left in the match.

Coach’s quote: “The team played really well, as a team, going to the ball, winning 50/50 balls and possessing. The anticipation was outstanding, resulting in offensive possession.” – H-D’s Susan Else

Records: H-D 2-2; White Mtns. 1-3


Bedford 44, Concord 3

Key players: Concord – Nate Vandersea (35 yard FG)

Highlights: Vandersea connected on a 35-yard field goal with 44 seconds left in the game.

Records: Bedford 2-0; Concord 1-1

Bow 45, Kingswood 6

Key players: Bow – Steven Guerrette (2 run TD), Matt Nichols (2 run TD), Jonathan Routhier (40 yard TD catch), Corey Gott (TD pass), Seamus O’Reilly (fumble recovery TD), Thomas Rolla (70 yard kick return TD), Andrew Robbins (3 PAT)

Highlights: The Falcons shutout the Knights in the first half and evened their record back to .500.

Coach’s quote: “A great team victory for our lone home night game. Truly memorable for the seniors and puts us back on solid footing for our next opponent. The entire team contributed to the win, a prime example of the pageantry of Friday Night Football.” – Bow’s Paul Cohen

Records: Bow 1-1; Kingswood 0-2

Laconia 27, Kearsarge 18

Key players: Kearsarge – Jak Jallah (2 TD passes), Gavyn Magistro (rush TD), Brodie Mulligan (TD catch), Andrew Normandin (TD catch), Kyle Hernon (defense), Nolan Haley (defense)

Highlights: Laconia scored on a TD pass with 3:38 left in the game to take a 21-18 lead.

Coach’s quote: “Our effort was outstanding tonight. I am proud of how hard we played. Unfortunately our execution didn’t match the effort in the second half. Dropped passes and miscues were devastating in the fourth quarter.” – Kearsarge’s Zach Matthews

Records: Laconia 1-1; Kearsarge 0-2

Field Hockey

Concord 3, Salem 0

Key players: Concord – Carly Torrance (2G), Alice Rosenberg (G), Emily Forward (defense)

Highlights: The Tide took advantage of its penalty corners and held the lead despite strong and gritty counterattacks from the Blue Devils.

Coach’s quote: “Great effort by both teams.” – Concord’s Andy Briers

Records: Concord 2-1-1; Salem 1-3-0

Lebanon 4, Kearsarge 1

Key players: Kearsarge – Kate Cochran (G), Marissa Pickman (14 saves)

Highlights: Freshman midfielder Cochran scored a breakaway goal with four minutes left in the first half to tie the game, but the undefeated Raiders outscored the Cougars in the second half to hand Kearsarge its first loss.

Coach’s quote: “Kate Cochran kept us in the game with her strong play and breakaway goal, but we struggled defensively today and it showed. ... We’ll use this loss as a tool to improve and keep working hard to develop.” – Kearsarge’s Dianne Chadwick

Records: Lebanon 4-0; Kearsarge 3-1

John Stark 2, Oyster River 1

Key players: John Stark – Gracie Bolduc (G), Olivia Desainde (G), Elizabeth Aubin (A), Meg Girardet (A), Becca Wetherbee (A), Sydnee Pelletier (7 saves)

Highlights: The Generals controlled most of the second half after playing the Bobcats even, 1-1, in the first half, but just couldn’t find the back off the net until Bolduc knocked home her second goal of the season and Stark’s defense held on from there.

Coach’s quote: “We played very well today today on both sides of the field. We just need to figure out how to finish off our opportunities now.” – John Stark’s Dennis Pelletier

Records: John Stark 2-2; Oyster River 0-2

Hopkinton 4, Winnisquam 0

Key players: Hopkinton – Maddy McCluskey (5 saves), Julia Baer (2G, A), Chloe Wood (G), Tora Thornley (G), Avery Barrett (G), Kate Meserve (A); Winnisquam – Jasmine Gove (defense), Maddie Genier (defense) and Kaitlyn Carey (defense), Jessica Lee (goalie)

Highlights: Freshman Kate Bouchard played excellent defense to help McCluskey earn her first varsity shutout. Seniors Wood and Amelia Thomas also played well, helping the Hawks take a 4-0 halftime lead.

Coaches’ quotes: “We came out fast, scoring all four goals in the first half. It was nice to bounce back strong.” – Hopkinton’s Patty Connolly

“Today, we did not play to our full potential. ... With each game we overcome the challenges that arise with rebuilding a program.” – Winnisquam’s Erin Cayer

Records: Hopkinton 3-1; Winnisquam 2-2

Berlin 8, Franklin 0

Key players: Franklin – Jasmyn Long (29 saves)

Highlights: The Golden Tornadoes fell to one of the top teams in D-III.

Coach’s quote: “The girls gave 100 percent on the field today ands that’s all I can ask for as a coach.” – Franklin’s Shelby Joyce

Records: Berlin 3-1; Franklin 0-4

Girls’ Volleyball

Winnisquam 3, Fall Mountain 0

Key players: Winnisquam – Shannon Goodwin (9 kills, 2 aces), Gabby Isabelle (6 kills, 2 aces), Olivia Dill (15 assists), Hannah Blackburn (9 aces, 4 digs), Rebekah Persson (5 aces)

Highlights: The Bears had a strong night at the serving line, combining for 23 aces out of 75 points, to make quick work of the Wildcats, 25-6, 25-5, 25-14. Winnisquam is undefeated heading into a rematch of last year's D-III championship at Inter-Lakes on Wednesday.

Coach’s quote: “We maintained a high level of intensity throughout the match.” – Winnisquam’s Mike Livernois

Records: Winnisquam 2-0; Fall Mountain 1-2


Plymouth 74, Kearsarge 29, Belmont 20

Key players: Kearsarge – Molli Mayo (9 points), Jake LaBelle (7), Christian DeCosta (7), Odin Brayshaw (6)

Highlights: A well-rounded effort pushed the Cougars to their first victory of the season.

Coach’s quote: “It’s very exciting to get our first win with a young team. You have to start somewhere, and I’m looking forward to seeing more improvement.” – Kearsarge’s Bubba Williams

Records: Plymouth 7-1; Kearsarge 1-5; Belmont 0-5

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