Boys’ soccer: Colby Smith sets up a pair of goals to lead Bow to 3-1 homecoming victory

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 09-24-2023 2:15 PM

BOW – Last week the Falcons showed they could defend against the best in the division. On Saturday, against one of Division II’s best goalkeepers, the Bow boys’ soccer team (5-1-1) showed they attack against the best too.

Senior midfielder Colby Smith set up a pair of goals, including one in the fourth minute by Luke Hartshorn, Kody McCranie and Carter Weiss added tallies in the second half, and Bow’s all-senior back line held the Pride (6-3-0) off the board until late into the match as the Falcons won their homecoming game against Merrimack Valley, 3-1.

Smith sent a through ball up the middle to Hartshorn, a junior, who calmly finished the strike to the lower left side netting.

Smith’s service into the box found junior Carter Weiss in the 31st minute, but his shot went off the post.

It was 1-0 at halftime, but Smith wasted no time after the break, winning the ball near midfield and sending a ball to Hartshorn up the left flank. Hartshorn crossed to McCranie, also a junior, who came streaking into the box to tap the ball inside the near post.

“We were able to control a little bit (in the middle) and then we could work in different spaces and different pockets to find different scoring chances,” Bow head coach Josh Smith said. “It’s something we’ve been working on.”

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Coach Smith also highlighted Colby Smith’s role in the midfield, connecting the lines between the attacking and defensive players, as well as switching the ball across. The Falcons controlled the tempo for the majority of the match, getting 11 shots on target compared to four for MV.

The Pride showed promise off the counterattack, with senior Andrew Suprenant’s cross finding junior Joey Olivera in the middle of the box in the 74th minute. Olivera’s header past Bow keeper Aaron Barrieau (three saves) made it 2-1 in the 74th minute, but Eli Modzeleski’s long ball found an unmarked Weiss for another Falcon goal just 15 seconds later.

The Pride had another strong chance to score about 10 minutes earlier when Owen Piper’s rocket of a free kick from 30 yards out just sailed over the crossbar.

Otherwise, Bow’s defensive unit Eli Berrigan, Wes Michaelis and Brodie O’Neil didn’t let MV get many looks at the net, while the ball movement from the Falcons eventually wore their opponents down.

“We were playing with one sub for the majority of the second half, which is tough against a quality team” said MV head coach Ken Fuller, who added that his squad was down four starters. “It felt like there would be a breaking point, but the boys played well. Trevor Simonds (eight saves) was awesome in goal, Owen Piper in the back, he’s just been rock solid for us from the beginning.”

As the midpoint of the season approaches, both Bow and MV sit near the top of the D-II standings. Lebanon, at 9-0-0, has a good lead over the rest of the division, but only one game separates the second- through sixth-place teams.

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