Pembroke girls’ soccer rediscovers early season form, beats Coe-Brown in D-II tournament

  • Pembroke’s Hannah Picott (right) attempts to poke the ball and get around Coe-Brown defender Amelia Bracket during the second half of Friday’s Division II tournament game in Pembroke. The Spartans won, 3-1, and will play Milford in the quarterfinals. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Pembroke senior Jade Pescinski heads the ball over Coe-Brown’s Rebecca Scruton (14) and back toward the Bears’ defensive end during Friday’s Division II tournament game in Pembroke. The Spartans won, 3-1. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Pembroke junior midfielder Samantha Musie and Coe-Brown defender Amelia Bracket fight for possession of the ball near the corner during Friday’s Division II tournament game in Pembroke. The Spartans won, 3-1, and will play Milford in the quarterfinals. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Pembroke’s Jade Pescinski (4) slides for the ball as Coe-Brown goalie Mackenzie Quick comes up on the play during Friday’s Division II tournament game in Pembroke. Pescinski scored a goal as the Spartans claimed a 3-1 win and a spot in Sunday’s quarterfinals. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Pembroke senior Kaitlyn White (7) carries the ball into open space during Friday’s Division II tournament game in Pembroke. The Spartans won, 3-1, and will visit No. 4 Milford in the quarterfinals. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Pembroke’s Hanna Brown throws the ball in from the side during Friday’s Division II tournament game against Coe-Brown in Pembroke. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Pembroke senior Jade Pescinski dribbles the ball during Friday’s Division II tournament game against Coe-Brown in Pembroke. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady’s Lauren Beitler (11) keeps her eye on the ball during Friday’s Division III girls’ soccer quarterfinal match against No. 9 Inter-Lakes. The top-ranked Giants won, 2-1, to advance to Monday’s semifinals in Laconia. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

  • Bishop Brady’s Sheridan Brummett (22) and her sister Adrienne Brummett (10) celebrate after Sheridan scored to tie Friday’s Division III girls’ soccer quarterfinal match against No. 9 Inter-Lakes. Sheridan scored both goals, on two assists from Adrienne, as the top-ranked Giants won, 2-1, to advance to Monday’s semifinals in Laconia. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

Monitor staff
Published: 11/1/2019 10:38:49 PM
Modified: 11/1/2019 10:38:33 PM

PEMBROKE – There was never a doubt about what the Pembroke Academy girls’ soccer team was aiming for at the end of the regular season.

“I was wanting the bye. I was wanting that top three seed,” Pembroke coach Jess Kaufman said.

The Spartans were well positioned for it, too. They entered the final stretch with a 12-1 record, but lost their last three regular-season games, including a tight 2-1 loss to Bow in the finale, and were forced to settle for the No. 5 seed, no bye and a first-round matchup against rival Coe-Brown.

As it turns out, it may have been the best result for the Spartans to get their groove back.

Led by goals from senior Jade Pescinksi and sophomore Cierra Hill, Pembroke rediscovered its early season form on Friday, pulling away from No. 12 Coe-Brown in the second half and keeping its title hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over the Bears in the opening round of the Division II tournament in Pembroke.

The win for Pembroke (13-4) sets up a quarterfinal clash at No. 4 Milford on Sunday.

“Coming off of three losses at the end of the season, I think it was a game for us to find our confidence again and play our game,” Pescinski said, “And I think we accomplished that.”

Matched up against a Bears team it had little trouble with earlier this season, Pembroke fell behind by a goal in the first half when Sam Troy put one into the back of the net in the 22nd minute.

But the Spartans didn’t flinch. They had a strong belief in their abilities and knew coming in that Coe-Brown wasn’t going to roll over simply because it was the lower seed.

“We’re local rivals and we played them earlier in the season and did beat them, 5-1. But we really had to temper our expectations coming into the playoffs because anything can happen,” Kaufman said. “For one team, their season is going to end today and so we were just trying to be honest with ourselves and work hard.”

That hard work was generating scoring chances and corners for the Spartans in the first half.

Pembroke had four corners in the opening 40 minutes and cashed in for goals on two of them – the first coming off the foot of Hill with 14 minutes to go and the second bouncing off the foot of a Coe-Brown player for an own goal that put the Spartans on top, 2-1, at the break.

The Bears could have opted for a more conservative approach after notching the first score, but that’s not in their DNA.

Against a team with as much speed as Pembroke, the Bears knew one goal likely wouldn’t be enough.

“There’s two schools of thought: You can go up 1-0 and you can park the bus or you can go out there and let the girls play. We wanted to let the girls play,” Coe-Brown coach Josh Hils said. “We wanted to let them keep doing what they do best, which is possess the ball and put passes together, and they did a heck of a job. Credit to Pembroke, they took advantage of a couple mistakes we made to get two of them.”

The own goal was the first mistake for the Bears. The second was a critical turnover in their own end to start the second half.

With pressure from the Pembroke duo of Kaitlyn White and Hannah Picot, the Spartans managed to poke the ball free and Pescinski did the rest. The senior collected the loose ball, used her speed to beat the only defender around her and fired an unstoppable shot into the upper-right corner of the net in the 44th minute.

“Applying really great pressure to their defense, that makes a difference,” Kaufman said. “If we can win it in their third, that’s less field to travel to get to their net. Those types of plays today were huge.”

And just like Coe-Brown, Pembroke had no plans to sit on its lead.

“We wanted more and we just wanted to keep the offensive threat on,” Kaufman said. “Just continue to play our style of soccer and generate opportunities. We had some good looking opportunities that were near-misses, too, from people coming in on the far side.”

Coe-Brown wrapped up its season at 6-11 and will be forced to say goodbye to a handful of impact seniors, including Troy, Katherine Messenger, Sophie Laird, Jaden Boulanger, Kendall Nester, Mary Thoms, Megan Edgecomb and Lauren Curtin.

“(Pembroke) was a better team speed-wise, but we just had to play smart and I thought we did,” Hils said. “They took advantage of a couple of mistakes and that’s really all it is. I felt confident in our game plan and felt confident in how we played.”

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

D-III Girls’ Soccer

No. 1 Bishop Brady 2
No. 9 Inter-Lakes 1

Key players: Bishop Brady – Sheridan Brummett (2G), Adrienne Brummett (2A)

Highlights: The Lakers led 1-0 at halftime, but the Giants scored two goals in a 10-minute span in the second half to avoid being upset in the quarterfinals. The Giants will take on No. 5 St. Thomas in Monday’s semifinal at Bank of New Hampshire Stadium at Laconia High School.

Coach’s quote: “It was good to see our girls battle back and fight for the victory today. Kudos to Inter-Lakes for the way they came and battled from start to finish. Our girls have worked hard all year and now it is time to show what they have worked for. Monday night at Laconia will be fun to play on the turf under the lights.” – Bishop Brady’s Andrew Mattarazzo

Records: Bishop Brady15-2-0; Inter-Lakes 8-9-1

No. 6 Hopkinton 2
No. 14 Somersworth 0

Key players: Hopkinton – Madison Carmichael (G), Loren Charron (G), Jessie Carney (A), Kally Murdough (A), Annie Higginbotham (defense), Maddy Follansbee (midfield), Emily Fleegle (shutout)

Highlights: The Hawks scored two first-half goals to punch their ticket to Monday’s semifinal match against the winner of Saturday’s Raymond-Stevens quarterfinal.

Coach’s quote: “Obviously happy we are going to the semifinals on Monday. I will give it to Somersworth, definitely a much better team than their 14th seeding. The Hawks knew what they needed to do today to advance and we’re happy with the overall performance.” – Hopkinton’s Mike Zahn

Records: Hopkinton 14-4-0; Somersworth 7-10-1

No. 5 St. Thomas 1
No. 4 Belmont 0, PK

Highlights: It took two overtime periods and eight rounds of penalty kicks, but the Saints finally claimed a victory over the Raiders, ending Belmont’s season in the quarterfinals. Both teams had chances to win in regulation, but the Raiders had one of the better chances, rattling a shot off the post with eight minutes to play. St. Thomas will play top-seeded Bishop Brady on Monday in the semifinals.

Coach’s quote: “It is always tough to have it go to penalty kicks. St. Thomas is a very good team as both teams really played well in tough conditions. After starting our season at 1-1-1 this team really grew together and played some great soccer. As a coach, I really could not be more proud of this team. They all played their hearts out today and left it on the field and as a coach that all you can ask for.” – Belmont’s Mark Dawalga

Records: St. Thomas 14-4-0; Belmont 13-4-1

Football

Windham 22
Concord 15

Key players: Concord – Ronan McGonigle (43-yard TD pass, 50-yard TD run), Jackson Tewksbury (TD catch)

Highlights: McGonigle’s touchdown pass to Tewksbury and his 50-yard run for a score in the fourth quarter dug the Tide out of a 14-0 hole, but Windham returned a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown with 1:50 remaining to secure the win. The Jaguars scored on running plays with 1:51 left in the second quarter and 1:22 left in the third to take a 14-0 lead before the Tide got on the board in the final frame in its final game of the season.

Records: Windham 3-6; Concord 2-7

Hillsboro-Deering-Hopkinton 27 Stevens 6

Key players: HDH – Colby Quiet (3 TD)

Highlights: The Redhawks picked up a big win over the Cardinals in Claremont on the last day of the regular season. The victory should lift the Redhawks into the No. 5 spot for the Division III playoffs starting next weekend.

Records: HDH 6-3; Stevens 5-4

Monadnock 36
Kearsarge 5

Highlights: The Cougars ended the season with a loss to the playoff-bound Huskies.

Records: Monadnock 5-3; Kearsarge 0-8




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