Concord opens season with 3-2 win over Winnacunnet

  • Concord’s Chea Chebo (11) makes a kick during the boys’ soccer season opener at Memorial Field in Concord on Friday. Concord won, 3-2. ELIZABETH FRANTZ photos / Monitor staff

  • Concord's Joshua Adams (9) drives through the Winnacunnet defense during the boys' soccer season opener at Memorial Field in Concord on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Concord defeated Winnacunnet, 3-2. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Concord's Sebastian Pardo (10) defends against Winnacunnet's Toby Helton (10) during the boys' soccer season opener at Memorial Field in Concord on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Concord defeated Winnacunnet, 3-2. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Concord goalie Liam Devanny makes a save during the boys' soccer season opener at Memorial Field in Concord on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Concord defeated Winnacunnet, 3-2. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Concord’s Jonathan Weinberg (17) follows through on a header during the boys’ soccer season opener at Memorial Field in Concord on Friday. Weinberg scored a goal and Concord defeated Winnacunnet, 3-2. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Concord’s Joshua Adams (9) defends against Winnacunnet’s Matt Gigliotti (3) during the boys’ soccer season opener at Memorial Field in Concord on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Concord defeated Winnacunnet, 3-2. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Concord’s Jonathan Weinberg (17) connects on a header during the boys’ soccer season opener at Memorial Field in Concord on Friday. Weinberg scored a goal to help Concord defeat Winnacunnet, 3-2. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 8/26/2017 12:53:21 AM

He scored the opening goal and assisted on the game-winner. He pulled the strings for an offense that generated 21 shots. Still, Concord High senior captain Taylor Silverstein wanted more after the Crimson Tide’s 3-2 season-opening home win against Winnacunnet on Friday.

“I’m not happy with myself, but I’m happy with the game,” Silverstein said. “My finishing needs to be better. I could have had four.”

Four total goals may be a stretch, but Silverstein did miss at least one open net. Still, he orchestrated a potent attack, contributed to the scoring and drew praise from his coach.

“Taylor played well,” said Scott Dunlop, now in his 22nd season as Concord’s head coach. “He’s the key to how we attack.”

Silverstein’s high expectations speak to his talent level and, indirectly, the potential for this Concord team. The Tide has nine starters back from last year’s semifinal squad, a nice infusion of young players and a trio of very talented captains that serve as the team’s backbone – Silverstein, junior defender Liam Bennett and junior keeper Liam Devanny. All three were Second Team Division I picks last year and Silverstein and Bennett started on the Tide’s 2015 title team.

There’s almost an entire season left to play and plenty can happen before tournament time, but Friday’s performance was a good first step for Concord.

“I was very pleased with the way we played,” Dunlop said. “Extremely pleased with way we possessed the ball, played composed and stretched the field.”

“We created a lot of chances, especially for an opening game,” said Concord senior Jonathan Weinberg, who scored a dynamite second-half goal. “We also have a lot of new players, but we played cohesively, so it was nice.”

The chances and cohesion started early. The Tide dominated the opening 10 minutes and nearly got a goal out of it when sophomore Sebastian Pardo connected on a side-winding volley that rocked the far post.

Winnacunnet worked its way back into the match after that, but Silverstein gave his team a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. Forward Chea Chebo had just earned the Tide a free kick from 30 yards out and it looked like Concord would take its time organizing a set piece, but Silverstein took the kick quickly and caused havoc in the Warriors’ box. It took some extra effort, but eventually he used the side of his foot on a sliding kick to slip one past a diving Dominic Stiles (six saves).

“It was just a scramble,” Silverstein said. “I knew the kid couldn’t clear it, so I just jumped on it and put it in the corner.”

The score remained 1-0 through halftime, but four minutes into the second half Winnacunnet caught a break. The Warriors got a borderline call in the box that led to a penalty kick, which Patrick Cotter drilled into the upper right corner to tie things.

The call and goal rattled the home team for a moment and Concord nearly coughed up a second goal less than a minute later. But the Tide soon settled down, and three minutes after Cotter tied the score, Weinberg untied it.

The senior, who missed all of last season with a back injury, started the play by chipping a pass to Chebo in the box. Chebo headed it back to Weinberg, who chested it down and then, before it hit the turf, he connected with a shot that snaked inside the right post.

“That was probably the best goal I’ve ever scored,” a smiling Weinberg said.

Concord kept up the pressure after that and found another goal in the 61st minute. Silverstein beat a pair of defenders with some slick footwork and then dumped a smart pass to Chebo, whose shot slammed off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.

On the other end, the Concord back line of Bennett, Cole Gorham, Grant Rienstra and Aiden Desjardins were swallowing up all of Winnacunnet’s advances. When a ball did find its way into the box, the athletic and fearless Devanny was usually the first one there to clean it up.

The Warriors found a way through the Concord defense with less than two minutes left, but it took an absolute rocket of a shot from Kevin Gagnon to make it happen. Winnacunnet played well, but the shot totals (21-7 Concord) told the game story more than the final score.

“The defense played great, and (Devanny) was great. The goals they had were just nasty,” Silverstein said. “This was a good game for us. We played together for a decent amount of time. We’ve been doing well in the preseason, but we definitely jelled better today, way better.”

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

BOYS’ SOCCER

Pembroke 4, Plymouth 3

Key players: Pembroke – Josh Dion (goal, assist), Kobie Valdes (goal), Damon Smith (assist), Matt Ferguson (goal), Cameron Rivard (goal), Tyler Serafin (assist)

Highlights/key moments: Plymouth scored first, but the Spartans took a 3-1 lead into halftime. The Bobcats, however, battled back to tie things at 3-3 before Dion, on an assist from Serafin, found the game-winning goal in the 65th minute.

Records: Pembroke 1-0; Plymouth 0-1

John Stark 3, ConVal 2

Key players: John Stark – Tyler Restuccia (defense), Kayden Easter (defense), Evan Caswell (goal, assist), Jake Reynolds (goal), Aaron Robertson (goal)

Highlights/key moments: ConVal took a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, but a pretty goal from Robertson cut the lead in half in the 25th minute. Caswell delivered the offense in the second half, setting up Reynolds in the 60th minute for the equalizer and scoring the game-winner six minutes later with an outstanding individual effort.

Coach’s quote: “That was a great way to kick off the season against a very good Conval team.” – John Stark’s Jeff Vogt

Records: John Stark 1-0; ConVal 0-1

Bow 3, Lebanon 1

Key players: Bow – Max Elsasser (2 goals), Chris Besho (goal), Chris Gallier (dominant in the midfield), Ben Guertin (defense), Joseph Rychwalski (key save to keep it a one goal game)

Highlights/key moments: Lebanon, the 2016 Division II runner-up, took a 1-0 lead into halftime, but it was all Bow in the second half. The Falcons scored three times in a five-minute span (68th-73rd minute) to claim an impressive season-opening win.

Coach’s quote: “This is not fake news, we went on the road to face a Lebanon team that lost a tough D-II final last year on PKs, and defeated them in a well played game. Great way to start the season.” – Bow’s George Pinkham

Records: Bow 1-0; Lebanon 0-1

Coe-Brown 4, Kingswood 0

Key players: Coe-Brown – Tyler Troy (2 goals), Ben Watson (goal), Ryan Whitcher (goal, assist), Hayden Knight (assist), Hogan Cain (assist), Tanner Bane (assist), Cayden Donoghue (assist), Victor Barreira (assist)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears took a 3-0 halftime lead en route to a season-opening victory.

Coach’s quote: “We were able to control the ball pretty well. It’s very promising for what’s to come.” – Coe-Brown’s Christian Gompert

Records: Coe-Brown 1-0; Kingswood 0-1

Merrimack Valley 2, Kearsarge 1

Key players: MV – Dillon Arrant (2 goals), Zac Laroche (assist), Joe Derby (assist), Adam Bodien (goalie), Cameron Woodman (midfield), Noah Gove (defense); Kearsarge – Brad Underhill (goal), Brady Esmaili (defense)

Highlights/key moments: Arrant netted the first goal of the match off Derby’s cross in the first half, but Kearsarge tied it up in the second half on a great, 30-yard strike from Underhill to force overtime. Laroche fed Arrant for the game-winning goal two minutes into extra time.

Coaches’ quotes: “We played a decent game in the first half and moved the ball around well at times. We did not carry this into the second half and we allowed Kearsarge to control the second half. Moving forward we need to continue to fight for every ball.” – MV’s Ken Fuller

“MV played hard and had a few players that were difficult at times to defend. I think that we maintained the ball well, had some good chances on goal and played hard throughout the game. We will strive to learn from our mistakes and the things that we did well and look to prepare for our next opponent.” – Kearsarge’s Matt Burch

Records: MV 1-0; Kearsarge 0-1

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Concord 1, Winnacunnet 0, 2OT

Key players: Concord – Abby Crawford (goal), Autumn Nudd (12 saves)

Highlights/key moments: Crawford’s strike from a free kick 30 yards out with less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime period earned the Tide a season-opening victory. Nudd earned the shutout in Coach Phil Tuttle’s first game behind the Concord bench.

Coach’s quote: “We are still trying to find our legs, but the girls showed they have the heart to push through difficult games and find a win. From front to back we played well. Overall I’m very happy with that win.” – Concord’s Phil Tuttle

Records: Concord 1-0; Winnacunnet 0-1

John Stark 3, ConVal 0

Key players: John Stark – Abby Brandt (2 goals), Lexi Knapton (goal), Chelsea Woodsum (assist), Elizabeth Downing (assist)

Highlights/key moments: The Cougars played well, but the Generals’ deep bench allowed John Stark to play skilled and fresh legs late in the match. ConVal held the Generals at bay despite being outpossessed for much of the game, but John Stark’s continuous pressure eventually led to goals.

Coach’s quote: “I’m still working on different combinations and player development and the game against ConVal gave another opportunity to see how different players worked together and get a everyone on the field the opportunity for some touches on the ball.” – John Stark’s Chris Pike

Records: John Stark 1-0; ConVal 0-1

Coe-Brown 8, Kingswood 0

Key players: Coe-Brown – Sophie Laird (3 goals), Jaden Boulanger (2 goals), Carly Ramsey (goal), Meghan Wimsatt (goal), Savilla Flores (goal)

Highlights/key moments: Coe-Brown took a 2-0 lead into halftime and then doubled it in the first two minutes of the second half on their way to the road win.

Coach’s quote: “Now we deal with a strong Portsmouth team on the road and we need to prepare for one of the top teams in D-II.” – Coe-Brown’s Josh Hils

Records: Coe-Brown 1-0; Kingswood 0-1

Merrimack Valley 3, Kearsarge 1

Key players: MV – Emily Knouse (goal, assist), Kaliana Palhof (goal), Kaylee Magoon (goal), Abby Grandmaison, Asia Grace Hanson

Highlights/key moments: The Pride broke a 1-1 halftime tie with goals in the 68th and 77th minutes to secure the season-opening win.

Coach’s quote: “The girls looked good tonight, it was a solid team effort. It’s early, but promising to see them work together and really gut out the win in the second half.” – MV’s Jeff Richard

Records: MV 1-0; Kearsarge 0-1

Pembroke 4, Plymouth 0

Key players: Pembroke – Vicky Mudgett (shutout), Kayla Paquin (goal), Maddy Bailey (goal), Delanie St. Laurent (goal), Katie Muise (first varsity goal)

Highlights/key moments: The Spartans turned a 1-0 lead at halftime into a 4-0 shutout thanks to a balanced scoring effort and Mudgett’s relentless protection of the net.

Coach’s quote: “It was so great to see so many players contribute to today’s effort both offensively and defensively. Courtney Jacques and her back line held in front of Vicky, and the midfield and forwards had great combinations today. This is great stuff to build on.” – Pembroke’s Jess Croft

Records: Pembroke 1-0; Plymouth 0-1

Hopkinton 1, Belmont 1

Key players: Hopkinton – Grace Clark (goal), Taylor Signor (assist), Amelia Bassett (7 saves); Belmont – Julianna Estremera (goal), Elizabeth Fleming (assist), Emma Cochran (10 saves)

Highlights/key moments: Belmont took a 1-0 lead on Estremera’s goal 21 minutes into the game. Hopkinton answered with just four seconds left in regulation to tie the game when Signor set up Clark for a header into the goal. Two halves of overtime could not produce a winner as the teams played to a draw in the season-opener. Hopkinton Coach Lauri Izzi gave nods for good play to Belle Sullivan, Lyndon Flanagan and Caitlin Ball.

Coach’s quote: “Playing well for the Hawks were Belle Sullivan, Lyndon Flanagan and Caitlin Ball.” – Hopkinton’s Lauri Izzi

“It was a great experience for our team. Hopkinton is well-coached, so to be able to compete with them is a great start for us.” – Belmont’s Mark Dawalga

Records: Hopkinton 0-0-1; Belmont 0-0-1

Gilford 4, Berlin 0

Key players: Gilford – Sarah Fillion (goal), Samantha Knowles (goal), Maddi Rector (goal, assist), Taryn Breton (goal), Micaela Niskala (assist), Hannah Perkins (10 saves, shutout)

Highlights/key moments: Gilford was perfectly balanced in its season opener, scoring two goals in each half with all four tallies coming from a different player.

Coach’s quote: “It was a good way to open-up the season against a tough Berlin team. We’ll continue to work hard to build upon this effort and improve.” – Gilford’s Tom Raymond

Records: Gilford 1-0; Berlin 0-1

Fall Mountain 5,
Hillsboro-Deering 0

Key players: H-D – Gracie Atkins (8 saves), Emily Wightman (midfield), Mara Grady (midfield)

Highlights/key moments: The Hillcats created opportunities and played the Wildcats even in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 5-0 halftime deficit.

Coach’s quote: “The girls did a great job rallying in the second half against a very fast, strong team.” – H-D’s Susan Else

Records: Fall Mtn. 1-0; H-D 0-1

Laconia 0, Inter-Lakes 0

Highlights/key moments: The Sachems and Lakers battled in a scoreless draw in their opening match in Meredith.

Records: Laconia 0-0-1; Inter-Lakes 0-0-1




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