High Schools: Merrimack Valley girls’ soccer falls, 2-1, to Goffstown

  • Merrimack Valley’s Brooke Walton and Goffstown’s Steph Flegal chase the ball during the Grizzlies’ 2-1 victory.

  • Merrimack Valley’s Emily Knouse (right) catches up with Goffstown’s Emily Doherty during D-II action in Penacook on Wednesday. NICK STOICO photos / Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley’s Kaliana Palhof chases down the ball on Wednesday. Palhof scored MV’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to Goffstown in Penacook. Nick Stoico / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Thursday, October 12, 2017

PENACOOK – Competition heats up when the schedule hits October as the opportunities for teams to elevate their position in the standings become fewer.

The girls on the Merrimack Valley soccer team had this in mind heading into Thursday’s matchup against Goffstown. But the Pride suffered a 2-1 loss to the Grizzlies, slimming the possibility of the playoffs coming through Penacook when the tournament kicks off Oct. 26.

With two games left in the regular season, the margin of error shrinks for Merrimack Valley (10-4) if its goal is to host a tournament game. But Coach Jeff Richard isn’t worried about his team. He’s confident the Pride can still close out the season on a high note.

“This group is really interesting. Their approach to things, they just let things roll off their back,” he said. “I have no doubt we’ll bounce back and finish strong and then just see where the chips fall for the playoffs.”

The Pride is in position to extend the season into the playoffs. It would be their first playoff appearance in two years. Goffstown’s future isn’t so certain, but the Grizzlies (7-6-1) punched up with this win, and that helps their chances.

“October is a big time,” Goffstown Coach Matt Wiley said. “We need to start stringing together some wins and get yourself in good standing and good form going forward. Merrimack Valley is strong. Jeff does a good job with his program. So it’s good to come up here and get some points.”

Thursday was MV’s senior night, but Goffstown took home-field advantage out of the equation with a quick goal in the seventh minute to pull ahead, 1-0. Lilly Proulx sent a crossing pass in front of the net that Mandi Dovas put away past MV goaltender Madison Merchant (nine saves).

The goal didn’t shake the Pride, who evened the score 22nd minute off the foot of Kaliana Palhof. Centerback Kylie Marquis timed her pass perfectly up the field to lead Palhof toward the net.

MV found several more opportunities to score through later minutes of the first half and most of the second, but the Pride couldn’t beat Goffstown keeper Angie Caldwell (eight saves) again.

“We just didn’t capitalize in our attacking third today,” MV captain Abby Grandmaison said. “We had a lot of good possession but we just really need to work it towards what was open. We kind of forced it to the middle a lot and it just wasn’t open today.”

Rain started to fall as the final minutes of the first half counted down. The field was coated in cold rain by the start of the second half and the precipitation continued through the final horn. The weather didn’t seem to slow down either side as MV created four close chances to score through the first 15 minutes of the half.

“The ground got a little slick. Goffstown did a great job adjusting to that, and we did not. We just couldn’t find a handle on the ball,” Richard said. “I think we had some missed opportunities, left plenty on the table.”

MV missed its close chances, but the Grizzlies made good on one of theirs. This time it was Alexa Skinner finding the net. Skinner received a through ball up the middle and scored on a break, sneaking the ball underneath Merchant as she dove for the save. Goffstown took a 2-1 lead and held on.

Echoing the sentiments of her coach, Grandmaison doesn’t expect this loss will hold her team back.

“It’s going to depend on how we come out in practices and the next few games and we’ll see how it goes,” Grandmaison said. “This loss won’t hold us down. It was a close game.”

MV’s final two regular-season games are on the road, first at Sanborn on Wednesday and then at Kennett on Oct. 20.

Merrimack Valley is bouncing around the middle of the Division II playoff picture. Two wins won’t guarantee they’ll host a playoff game, but it certainly would help their chances. The Pride last made the playoffs in 2015 but was knocked out of the first round by Pembroke.

“We have a history of making the playoffs and not getting out of the first round,” Richard said. “I’d like to change that, and I know the girls would like to change that, too.”


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


Coe-Brown 1, Lebanon 1

Key players: Coe-Brown – Corrine Fernald (goal), Amelia Brackett (excellent defense)

Highlights/key moments: Fernald scored off a rebound from a Kiley St. Francis shot that was too hot for the Lebanon keeper to control. Fernald nearly found the game-winner late in the second half, but her shot hit the post.

Coach’s quote: “This was a solid team effort. Our midfield, backs and front line all did their jobs and to travel to Lebanon and come away with a result is still a good thing for a team as young as we are.” – Coe-Brown’s Josh Hils

Records: Coe-Brown 5-7-2; Lebanon 6-6-2

Bishop Brady 2, Fall Mountain 0

Key players: Brady – Abby Scharpf (game-winning goal), Danni DesRuisseaux (goal, assist), Olivia Crainich (assist)

Highlights/key moments: Brady handed the Wildcats their first home loss of the season and snapped Fall Mountain’s six-game winning streak with this impressive win. Brady keeper Mackenzie Weatherbee made a diving save in the game’s final seconds to preserve the lead.

Coach’s quote: “In a meeting of two top teams in the division, both came out and battled to the end in a playoff-type atmosphere. It was good to see the girls overcome adversity and play a full 80 minutes.” – Brady’s Andrew Mattarazzo

Records: Bishop Brady 10-2-1; Fall Mountain 11-2

Hillsboro-Deering 9, Monadnock 0

Key players: H-D – Izabella Warren (3 goals, assist), Mara Grady (2 goals, assist), Lilly Edsall (goal), Kendra Warren (goal), Lexi McClure (goal), Madeline Parisi (goal), Taveya Ortiz (2 assists), Cassidy Wightman (assist), Halie Hurd (assist), Emily Wightman (2 saves), Zoe Kemp (save)

Highlights/key moments: Warren scored in the sixth minute and again in the 21st minute to give the Hillcats a 2-0 lead on their way to the dominant win at home.

Coach’s quote: “This was a good game of possession and creating opportunities for scoring goals.” – H-D’s Susan Else

Records: H-D 9-4; Monadnock 0-13

Belmont 4, White Mountains 0

Key players: Belmont – Julianna Estremera (3 goals), Rebecca Fleming (goal), Makenzie Donovan (midfield), Katie Gagnon (midfield)

Highlights/key moments: Belmont made the most of its long trip to Whitefield, taking a 2-0 halftime lead on its way to a fourth straight win.

Coach’s quote: “We played the way we needed to play and we possessed the ball well. We’re growing as a team.” – Belmont’s Mark Dawalga

Records: Belmont 7-3-3; White Mtns. 7-7-1


Concord 0, Manchester Memorial 0

Key players: Concord – Jonathan Weinberg (midfield), Daniel Aybar (midfield), Liam Bennett (defense), Liam Devanny (4 saves)

Highlights/key moments: Concord held advantages in both shots (12-9) and corners (11-3), but the Crimson Tide started slow and didn’t play with a sense of urgency until the second half, which was not good enough to pull out a win against Memorial, last year’s Division I runner-up.

Coach’s quote: “Memorial is a strong team and they worked hard, but we were not sharp today.” – Concord’s Scott Dunlop

Records: Concord 9-3-1; Memorial 4-6-2

Concord Christian 4, Moultonborough 3

Highlights/key moments: The Kingsmen won for the third time in their last four games and snapped Moultonborough’s eight-game winning streak.

Records: Concord Christian 4-8-1; Moultonborough 11-3


Newfound 3, Winnisquam 1

Key players: Newfound – Julianne Marchand (goal), Jasmine Peterson (goal), Mackenzie Ryan (assist), Kylee MacDonald (goal), Hayleigh LeTourneau (assist), Montana Bassett (goalie)

Highlights/key moments: Winnisquam applied lots of pressure in the first half, but Bassett stood up to the barrage of corners and Newfound took charge in the second half to remain undefeated.

Coach’s quote: “I am proud of the way the girls handled themselves in the second half. The played with intensity and energy that we were missing in the first 30 minutes.” – Newfound’s Karri Peterson

Records: Newfound 13-0; Winnisquam 8-4-1

Bishop Brady 10, Conant 0

Key players: Brady – Riley Marsh (goal, 5 assists), Maddy Smith (2 goals), Lauren Roy (goal), Kathryn Weed (goal), Halle Laramie (goal), Abby Tremblay (goal), Emily LeClair (goal), Becca Murphy (goal), Quinn Jameson (goal)

Highlights/key moments: The Green Giants led 3-0 at halftime and kept pouring it on in the second half for the win at home.

Coach’s quote: “Freshman Riley Marsh supported several of her teammates this afternoon by getting her stick on the ball at the right time.” – Brady’s Kelly Owen

Records: Brady 5-8-0; Conant 0-12

Newport 1, Kearsarge 0

Key players: Kearsarge – Audrey Kenyon (offense), Megan Norris (offense), Chase Lennon (offense), Rachel Swindell (defense), Lilly Woods (defense)

Coach’s quote: “The team fought hard but missed a few key opportunities to score, and Newport capitalized on a moment in the circle when our attention waned. They were hungry for the home-field win and earned it.” – Kearsarge’s Dianne Chadwick

Records: Kearsarge 3-10; Newport 4-8

Pembroke 2, Mascenic 0

Key players: Pembroke – Maddie Bennett (goal, assist), Ali Corriveau (assist), Haley Brown (goal), Kelly Wagner (assist)

Highlights/key moments: Pembroke’s first goal came after Wagner fed Corriveau, who crossed to Bennett, who slammed it home. Corriveau and Bennet set up the game-winner from Brown in the second half as Pembroke pulled off the upset at home.

Coach’s quote: “The Spartans played well the whole game today. They moved the ball well down the field and played with a sense of urgency sending in shots every moment they could. It was a great game for them.” – Pembroke’s Aimee Monerio

Records: Pembroke 4-9; Mascenic 9-4

Gilford 5, Laconia 0

Key players: Bri Salanitro (2 goals), Kellie Ryan (goal, assist), Sydny Lehr (goal), Cloe Boucher (goal), Jillian LaChapelle (assist), Laurel Gingrich (assist), Emily O’Connor (assist)

Highlights/key moments: Gilford’s passing led to the five goals and a whopping 16 penalty corners.

Coach’s quote: “Need to continue on team movement to the ball as we head toward the tournament next week.” – Gilford’s Dave Rogacki

Records: Gilford 11-2-1; Laconia 2-11

Monadnock 6, John Stark 0

Key players: Melina Jackson (30 saves), Rebecca Wetherbee (2 shots on goal), Elizabeth Aubin (midfield), Olivia Fatcheric (midfield)

Coach’s quote: “The standings may not show it but the Stark field hockey season was a very good one. The program showed tremendous growth this season and has a very bright future. Big thanks to our seniors.” – Stark’s Dennis Pelletier

Records: John Stark 3-11; Monadnock 11-2

Pinkerton 3, Concord 0

Key players: Concord – Mackenzie Muir (controlled defense), Erin Reed (tactical play)

Highlights/key moments: The Crimson Tide hung with first-place Pinkerton on Tuesday, but didn’t have enough to beat the Astros.

Coach’s quote: “Concord fought very hard against a well-organized Pinkerton side, but credit to the visiting side for two spectacular goals” – Concord’s Andy Briers

Records: Concord 3-9-1; Pinkerton 11-1


John Stark 3, Fall Mountain 0

Key players: Stark – Sarah Wagner (10 kills, block), Hannah Chartier (11 aces, 3 kills), Sydney Story (10 kills, block), Sara Medvetz (3 kills, 6 aces), Nicole Yelle (22 assists, 6 aces)

Highlights/key moments: John Stark was down, 7-2, in the first set, but great serving from Chartier and timely kills from both middles helped the Generals win, 25-9. Stark carried that momentum into the next two sets for 25-15, 25-18 wins.

Coach’s quote: “Tonight we had some strong serving and passing. Good win tonight.” – Stark’s Jeff McClellan

Records: John Stark 9-3; Fall Mountain 2-11

Winnisquam 3, Mascoma 0

Key players: Winnisquam – Shannon Goodwin (12 kills, 3 digs), Talia DeBlasie (15 assists, 3 aces), Gabby Isabelle (6 kills), Aubrey St. Onge (6 digs, 3 aces, 3 assists), Hannah Blackburn (8 aces, 2 digs), Rebekah Persson (3 digs), Sarah Seymour (2 kills, 2 aces), Madisyn Skeats (4 digs, kill)

Highlights/key moments: With her 12 kills, Goodwin became just the fourth players in Winnisquam history to break the 500-kill plateau as the Bears rolled to a comfortable 25-9, 25-7, 25-13 win at home.

Records: Winnisquam 14-0; Mascoma 3-10


Winnisquam first, Bow second

Key players:Winnisquam – Kyle Mann (1st overall); Bow – Kirpal Demian (2nd overall), Sam Berube (3rd), Caleb Olson (7th), Gabe Neff (11th), Colin Lessard (13th)

Highlights/key moments: Winnisquam and Bow were followed by Berlin and Bishop Brady in the team results at this meet on Tuesday at NHTI.

Coach’s quote: “The Bow boys are seeing some good results from their training and are setting their sights on the final weeks of the season.” – Bow’s Katie McDonald