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High schools: Donnelly nets lone goal, Gilford boys’ soccer defeats Belmont 1-0

  • Belmont’s Lucas Mathieu (3) and Gilford’s Connor Leggett (19) go up for a header during a boys’ soccer game at Gilford High School on Saturday. Gilford defeated Belmont, 1-0. Elizabeth Frantz / Montior staff

  • Gilford's Patrick O'Connor (3) protects the ball from Belmont's Griffen Embree (8) during a boys' soccer game at Gilford High School on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Gilford defeated Belmont, 1-0. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Belmont’s River Mathieu (5) lines up a kick during a boys’ soccer game at Gilford High School on Saturday. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor staff

  • Gilford's Tyler Hanf (14) settles the ball during a boys' soccer game at Gilford High School on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Gilford defeated Belmont, 1-0. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Belmont's Hunter Dupuis (25) pushes back on Gilford's Connor Leggett (19) during a boys' soccer game at Gilford High School on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Gilford defeated Belmont, 1-0. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 9/17/2017 1:07:53 AM

GILFORD – The scoreboard showed just one goal, but the Gilford and Belmont boys’ soccer teams could have produced more.

That was the message both coaches relayed to their teams after Gilford defeated Belmont, 1-0, on a warm Saturday morning.

“When you’re given great opportunities to score goals, you have to put the ball in the net,” Gilford Coach Dave Pinkham. “It’s been our problem like it was last year.”

Pinkham is talking about the easy ones, the doorstep goals with an open look at the net. The Golden Eagles (6-1) had more than a few that they missed and Belmont (4-2-1) had a few of their own, including one late in the second half that could have tied the game.

“We missed a couple of bunnies that you wish you could get back,” Belmont Coach Mike Foley said.

Adam Donnelly lit the scoreboard with the lone tally for Gilford 15 minutes into the game. The play began with a long punt by Gilford keeper Ethan Warren. Tyler Hanf used his head to redirect the ball to Donnelly streaking down the right side. Donnelly collected it in stride and fired a shot past the left post and into the net.

“After that goal we just kept pushing and tried to get another one,” Donnelly said. “But we ended up having to rely on our defense because Belmont is a solid team.”

Warren made two key saves on shots from a short distance to secure the shutout. He made five saves in all.

“He really came out for us today,” Donnelly said.

The Golden Eagles were happy to be back in the win column after taking their first loss of the fall on Thursday to undefeated Hopkinton. Gilford was hot out of the gate dominating most of the first half, highlighted by Donnelly’s goal, and continued to control possession through the first 25 minutes.

Belmont goalkeeper Jake Deware was busy in that stretch as he turned away five shots. He finished the game with nine saves.

“We talked before the game about understanding that a storm is coming, and you need to weather the storm for that first 15 minutes, and Gilford carried the play for those first 15 or so minutes,” Foley said. “I thought we carried the last 15 of the half and the second half was about as even as you can get in a game.”

The Raiders’ best chance at evening the score came with about six minutes left. Warren made the initial save on a shot from about 20 yards out, but couldn’t hold on to it. Hunter Dupuis got the rebound on his feet and a clear look at the net, but his shot missed wide right.

It didn’t take more than four minutes before Belmont had another close look as the seconds slipped off the official’s watch. This time it was Nate Sottak dribbling through Gilford’s defense and shooting quickly as he stepped through the box. But Sottak’s shot missed to the right as well.

Foley said those missed shots may have been due to the players aiming for a tight window to place it in.

“We keep telling them to place their shots, but then they’d miss wide,” Foley said.

Belmont is aiming for a return to the playoffs after reaching the semifinals last fall. Most of the key players from that team graduated in the spring, but Foley’s team got off to the good start it was looking for this season. The Raiders won their first three games and have outscored opponents, 15-8, through seven contests.

“We haven’t quite figured out what kind of team we’re going to be,” Foley said. “We progress with each game and our identity is starting to form.”

After their hot start, Belmont has gone 1-2-1 in its last four games. The next opportunity is Tuesday at home against Laconia. Gilford hosts Sanborn on Tuesday.

Belmont and Gilford will meet again when the Raiders host the Eagles on Oct. 7 for their annual homecoming game.

(Nick Stoico can be reached at 369-3339, or on Twitter @NickStoico.)


John Stark 4, Kennett 0

Key players: John Stark – Evan Caswell (3 goals), Jake Reynolds (assist), Aiden Moser (assist, defense), Jonathan Rizzitano (assist), Patrick Kalob (goal), Chase Patterson (keeper), Jaimason Lacasse (keeper)

Highlights/key moments: The Generals struck early with a goal three minutes into the game. The half ended with a 2-0 lead for John Stark.

Coach’s quote: “The heat really took a toll on the speed of play, but the team battled through it and got a good win on homecoming weekend. It was nice to get a good lead and get everyone into the game. Another good team effort.” – John Stark’s Jeff Vogt

Records: John Stark 5-1; Kennett 0-3-3

Bow 5, Oyster River 2

Key players: Bow – Max Elsasser (3 goals, 2 assists), Chris Gallier (goal, 2 assists), Matt Ferland (goal, assist)

Highlights/key moments: Bow opened scoring 10 minutes into the game Friday, but Oyster River responded with two goals for a 2-1 lead at halftime. The Falcons answered with four goals in the second half to pull away with the win. Elsasser earned his third hat trick in a row.

Coach’s quote: “Oyster River was undefeated going into the game and had not allowed a goal. They usually allow a couple of goals each decade. It was a great win. My problem is not letting the boys get too far ahead of themselves. It isn't even the halfway point in the season.” – Bow’s George Pinkham

Records: Bow 6-1; Oyster River 3-1-1

Hopkinton 5, Bishop Brady 0

Key players: Hopkinton – Gerry Donahue (4 goals), Max Rossignol (2 assists), Derek West (goal), Paul Molnar (assist), Azarius Meister (assist), Sam Crawford (3 saves); Brady – Mitchell Green (9 saves)

Highlights/key moments: Donahue led Hawks to victory with his four goals. His first goal came at pace on a counter attack, his second and third goals were off of through balls, and his fourth goal was some cleanup after a corner kick. West's goal was a powerful shot from 20 yards. Sam Crawford earned his first varsity shutout.

Coach’s quote: “After a short turnaround from our tough game Thursday evening with Gilford, we slept-walk through much of Saturday's early-start (10 a.m.) rescheduled game. Still, it does say something about our team that we managed to get a solid win even when not playing our best.” – Hopkinton’s Scott Zipke

Records: Hopkinton 6-0; Brady 0-4

Sanborn 3, Hillsboro-Deering 2

Key players: H-D – Elijah Winters (goal), Jacinto Caceres (goal), Thomas Ferguson (assist), Ben Ketterer (defense), Kieren Kenny (midfield), Gunner Hagstrom (midfield)

Highlights/key moments: Winters gave the Hillcats a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the game, but Sanborn snapped back with two goals in the 35th and 50th minutes. Caceres tied the game in the 70th minute. Sanborn knocked in the game winner with three minutes left in the game.

Records: Sanborn 3-2-1; H-D 3-3-1

Merrimack Valley 2, Coe-Brown 1

Key players: MV – Teigan Friedrich (goal), Cameron Woodman (goal), and the defensive line; Coe-Brown – Colby Hoffman (goal)

Highlights/key moments: Down 1-0 at halftime, the Pride rallied to tie and scored the game-winner with eight minutes to play.

Coach’s quote: “We controlled the ball and capitalized on our chances. ... Coe-Brown did a great job of continuing to fight. The guys are excited to move above .500.” – MV’s Ken Fuller

Records: MV 4-3; Coe-Brown 3-4-1

Pittsfield 9, Farmington 0

Key players: Pittsfield – Chandler Norris (2 goals), Casey Clark (2 goals), Cam Darrah (2 goals, 4 assists), Caleb Stropyro (first varsity goal)

Highlights/key moments: Pittsfield build a 6-0 cushion by halftime and cruised to the win.

Coach’s quote: “We did an great job of moving the ball around and had six different goal scorers. Everyone made a contribution on the field this afternoon.” – Pittsfield’s Derek Hamilton

Records: Pittsfield 6-1; Farmington 2-3


John Stark 7, Kennett 0

Key players: John Stark – Cara Easter (2 goals, 2 assists), Cadence Loos (goal, 2 assists), Lexi Knapton (goal), Abby Brandt (2 goals), Chelsea Woodsum (2 assists), Megan Gawthorp (goal)

Highlights/key moments: The Generals’ defense locked down the field and allowed their forwards and midfielders to run free and fire multiple shots at the net. Meg Blanchette, Kaitlyn Brown, Olivia Sohl, Meg Cole, Autumn Nelson and Hannah Marquis were strong in the defensive game.

Coach’s quote: “The girls can be devastating when they put their minds to it. They’re a phenomenal team and a great group of players.” – John Stark’s Chris Pike

Records: John Stark 5-0-1; Kennett 1-5

Merrimack Valley 2, Coe-Brown 0

Key players: MV– Kerragan McNeil (midfield play), Kaliana Palhof (2 goals), Abby Grandmaison (2 assists), Maddie Merchant (9 saves); Coe-Brown – Corrine Fernald, Kiley St. Francis, Emily van Gerena

Highlights/key moments: The Pride found the back of the net twice in the final four minutes of the first half and maintained the advantage throughout the rest of the match.

Coach’s quote:

“MV proved why they are one of the best offenses in D-II. ... They are well coached and you can’t make mistakes like we did. We need to play a complete 80 minutes of soccer and we will be fine.” – Coe-Brown’s Josh Hils

“This was an emotional day for the Valley and I really wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest. The girls kept their composure, they brought energy and heart. They kept moving forward. Soccer aside, I’d really like to thank the Coe-Brown family for all their support and for being truly gracious hosts. It really meant a lot to my girls and me.” – MV’s Jeff Richard

Records: MV 5-2; Coe-Brown 3-4

Gilford 1, Belmont 0

Key players: Gilford – Julianna Coulstring (goal), Shelby Cole (assist), Hannah Perkins (shutout in net), Olivia Tindade (defense), Olivia Harris (defense), Aria Stephan (defense), Sarah Currier (defense); Belmont – Madison Lima

Highlights/key moments: It only took two shots for the Golden Eagles to get on the board. Coulstring was responsible for the goal midway through the first half off of a pass from Cole.

Coach’s quote: “In a game where the heat probably played a factor, we were able to take the lead in the first half and hold on to it for the rest of the game. Belmont pressed and had some good chances, especially in the second half, but our defense held strong to preserve both the shutout and win.” – Gilford’s Tom Raymond

Records: Gilford 3-4; Belmont 3-1-2

Pittsfield 8, Farmington 0

Key players: Pittsfield – Emily Thompson (3 goals, 2 assists), Katie Rollins (3 goals, assist), Kira Wood (2 goals), Gwen Clough (assist), Madison St. George

Highlights/key moments: Rollins scored 30 seconds into the game and Emily Thompson scored twice in a span of five minutes leading Pittsfield to a 5-0 lead at halftime.

Coach’s quote: “The girls worked hard today, and it was homecoming. We were able to work on a few things to help us get ready for next week while everyone got some playing time.” – Pittsfield’s Jayme Kennedy

Records: Pittsfield 5-1; Farmington 0-4


Bow 43, Gilford-Belmont 0

Key players: Bow – Tanner Cammett (30-yard TD run, defense), Steven Guerrette (5 PAT, 2 TDs), Mark Borak (2 TDs), Jack Wixon (65-yard carry), Ben Kimball (rushing TD), Matt Harkins (TD pass), Tyler Bennett (rushing TD)

Highlights/key moments: Harkins connected with Borak for a 65-yard touchdown to give Bow a commanding 37-0 lead at halftime. The Falcons named Guerrette the player of the game. It was Bow’s third shutout in as many games. The Falcons have outscored their opponents 125-0.

Records: Bow 3-0; Gilford-Belmont 0-3

Kennett 23, Merrimack Valley 6

Key players: MV – Braeden Miller (17-yard TD run, one of the leading tacklers); defense and special teams standouts were Harley Huddleton, Nick Bartlett, Brody Allen, Matt Burke, Cam Tillman, Ricky Hazeltine, Dylan Lessard and Doug Daniels.

Highlights/key moments: Miller’s improvisation on his 17-yard TD run was the offensive highlight, while the defense stood tall despite four turnovers in MV territory.

Coach’s quote: “This was definitely the best effort we’ve had as a team since camp in early August. ... It should bode well for the rest of the season for us.” – MV’s Jim Coll

Records: MV 0-3; Kennett 1-1

Bishop Brady 34, Raymond 12

Key players: Brady – Colby Morris (TD run, TD catch), Pat Brust (2 TD passes, TD run), Kevin Anderson (TD catch), Ismael Rivera (TD run, defense), Chase Buckman (defense)

Highlights/key moments: The Green Giants trailed 12-8 at halftime but managed to shut out Raymond in the second half and secure their second win of the season. Morris made a catch in the end zone in the third quarter to pull ahead. The offensive and defensive lines were strong for the Giants.

Records: Brady 2-1; Raymond 0-3


Gilford 8, Franklin 0

Key players: Gilford – Nicole Berube (goal, 5 assists), Laurel Gingrich (2 goals), Kellie Ryan (2 goals), Jillian Lachapelle (goal), Bri Salanitro (goal), Ella Harris (goal); Franklin – Lauren Marsh, Ryley Haskins, Felicity Defosses

Highlights/key moments: Harris scored her first varsity goal in the convincing win for the Golden Eagles.

Coach’s quote: “We are continuing to move in a positive direction with the little things needed to play team field hockey.” – Gilford’s David Rogacki; “The entire team showed great intensity and cohesiveness throughout the game. They moved theb all well, talked and played great defense against an offensively tough team.” – Franklin’s Emily Porter

Records: Gilford 6-1; Franklin 1-5


Coe-Brown 3, Kennett 0

Key players: Coe-Brown – Anneliese Wade (8 kills, 3 aces), Maggie Sylvester (6 kills), Emma Dubois (5 kills), Jadlyn Newport (17 assists)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears took down Kennet in straight sets, 25-13, 25-12, 25-18.

Coach’s quote: “We played well and kept to our system with good serves and it paid off.” – Coe-Brown’s Rick Veno

Records: Coe-Brown 4-2; Kennett 0-4

Gilford 3, Laconia 1

Key players: Gilford – Lexi Boisvert (39 digs), Maggie McNeil (19 digs, 9 kills), Kasey Moore (19 digs), Brooke Beaudet (17 kills), Karly Sanborn (29 assists), Abby O’Connor (7 kills, 4 blocks); Laconia – Hannah Dow (2 aces, 20 kills), Caitlin Beattie (3 kills, 32 assists)

Highlights/key moments: Gilford won the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-21. Laconia won the third, 25-18, to force a fourth set. Gilford sealed the match by winning the fourth, 25-12. Boisvert set a school record with 20 digs in the first set. The previous mark was 15 in one set in 2013. Laconia put up a strong fight forcing Gilford to commit 138 digs. Gilford Coach Joan Forge named O’Connor, a sophomore, the player of the match.

Coach’s quote: “After Plymouth destroyed us Friday night, we re-tooled our lineup and were able to remain competitive against a very strong team. Gilford’s middle is impossible to get around and they return everything. We were very happy with our performance.” – Laconia’s Jeff Twombly

Records: Gilford 3-1; Laconia 2-2


Concord first

Key players: Concord – Forest MacKenzie (2nd), Eli Boesch Dining (4th), Nate Nichols (5th), Oliver Spencer (7th), David Cook (10th)

Highlights/key moments: The Tide placed seven runners in the top 14 places with an average course time of 16:32, almost half a minute better than the runner-up Nashua North (17.00) at the Nashua North/South Invitational. North’s David Vorbach was the individual champion.

Coach’s quote: “It’s still early. We’re focused on long-term goals that will come later in the fall, but it’s good.” – Concord’s Tristan Black-Ingersoll

Merrimack Valley sixth

Key players: MV – David Reynolds (first), Matt Reynolds (10th)

Highlights/key moments: Daivd Reynolds was the individual champion at the Oyster River Invitational. He set the course record in the process at 16:28.4.

Coach’s quote: “The whole boys team ran fantastic, led by David Reynolds who won his third straight meet and avenged his only loss of the season. David ran a very well-paced race, running away from the field over the last mile” – MV’s Dave Irving

Coe-Brown first, Bow second

Key players: Bow – Sam Berube (7th), Kirpal Demian (11th), Caleb Olson (15th), Gave Neff (18th), Calvin Carey (21st)

Highlights/key moments: Berube paced the Falcons with a course time of 18:31 at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy.

Coach’s quote: “On a hot and humid day, the team showed its depth and improvement through the season. Of the 24 Bow runners, five ran for personal records.” – Bow’s Katie McDonald

Hillsboro-Deering first

Key players: H-D – Zach Camp (1st), Kyle Merrill (2nd), Adriaen Thibeault (4th), Bryce Bush (8th), Skyler Smith (10th)

Highlights/key moments: The H-D boys won the Hillcat Homecoming Invitational on their home course by placing five runners in the top 10.

Coach’s quote: “The homecoming meet means a lot to the team and they showed it by running by far their best race of the season. Most runners took over a minute off their season best time.” – H-D’s Steve Cousens


Concord fourth

Key players: Concord – Molly Bragg (17th, 20:39); Morgane Orcutt (18th, 20:43); Hannah Willette (19th, 20:44); Sarah Zarakotas (36th, 21:45); Heather Deacon (41st, 22:10)

Highlights/key moments: Manchester West’s Julia Robitallie took first place by over a minute (18:18), while Pinkerton’s Megan Cross (19:19.3) and Keene’s Mikayla Randall (19:19.6) rounded out the top three. Champlain Valley won the seven-team meet.

Merrimack Valley 12th

Highlights/key moments: Emma York was the top MV runner with a course time of 22:24.6 for 32nd place at the Oyster River Invitational.

Coach’s quote: “The girls ran their best race of the season. They've been hit hard by illness and injury, but they showed grit and will only continue to improve.” – MV’s David Irving

Hillsboro-Deering second

Key players: Elizabeth Labier (7th), Alannah Johnson (10th), Ruthie Robinson (13th), Beatrice Monta (14th), Emma Curley (15th)

Highlights/key moments: At the Hillcat Homecoming Invitational all five Hillsboro-Deering runners ran season-best times as Fall Mountain took first place. Labier and Johnson continue to lead the way but Robinson, Monta, and Curley are improving rapidly.

Coach’s quote: “It was exciting to see our girls team be so competitive.” – H-D’s Steve Cousens

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