Fall Preview: Gorham girls soccer team

The 2020 Gorham High girls’ soccer team is (back row, from left) Amber Wilson, Emma Bernier, Sarah Godin, Bryanna Poirier, Sidney Chapman, Sage Gallant, Jessica Burton and manager Danika Daniels; (front row, from left) Olivia O'Neil, Katelyn Chase, Madi Buteau, Libby Fortin, Isobel Micucci, Halery Desilets and Sophia Schoenbeck. (COURTESY PHOTO)

GORHAM — The Gorham High girls’ soccer team improved 3-3-1 start on the season in Division IV play following a thrilling 2-1 double overtime win over Pittsburg-Canaan on Monday. Coach Chris Partenope is upbeat about her squad, and the Huskies are thrilled to be able play this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is definitely a different set-up for soccer this year but thankfully at least there's a bit of a season with 11 games on tap with our regional teams Berlin, WMRHS, Profile, Groveton, Canaan/Pittsburg),” Partenope said. “Certainly, the protocols in place and being mindful of everything has added challenges but it is what it is. So, we adapt and hope it all works out.”

In Monday's win, Gorham started things off early, at 1:15 with a well-placed shot by Sidney Chapman after Bri Poirier set her up with a nice pass. 

At 30:42 of the first half the visitors tied things up and from then on through the remainder of regulation both teams played pretty even soccer and had chances to score to no avail. 

Thus overtime and it wasn't until 1:25 in the second overtime that the Huskies ended it when Sarah Godin picked the perfect time to score her first varsity goal, assisted by Sophia Schoenback to give the locals the hard-fought win.  Goalie Olivia O'Neil had a great game and came up with 8 very important saves. 

Gorham outshot P-C 17-13.

"It was good to get a win after the hard work the team has been putting in, plus I made some changes with the team that we did not have time to go over them in practice that the girls adjusted to well," said Partenope. "Sage Gallant had a great game on defense and Madi Buteau kept the opponent's defense and goalie busy.

There are 14 girls out for the program this season.

“We have a small squad this year, but we have plenty of experience players with a big senior class and an athletic underclassmen group should make for a pretty competitive group,” Partenope said.

“Being so small, players are being asked to be very versatile in their play, which just helps to strengthen the group as a whole.”

Seniors make up half of the roster. They include:

Bryanna Poirier: “Looking to work a lot in midfield but also up top in a forward position,” said Partenope.

Emma Bernier: “A defensemen with lots of experience to help bolster defense,” Partenope said.

Isobel Micucci: “Also strong in the defense that will help anchor our defense,” said Partenope.

Katelyn Chase: “This is only her second year but she is working into the midfield and forward positions,” Partenope said.

Libby Fortin: “She is stepping up to work into the defense,” said Partenope.

Madi Buteau: “Another experienced midfielder/forward,” Partenope said.

Sophia Schoenbeck: “We’re looking for strong play in midfield/forward position from here,” said Partenope.

Juniors include captain Halery Desilets: “She is seeing time with defensive backs as she did last year but also is between the pipes (in goal),” Partenope said.

Sage Gallant: “She will be stepping and seeing more defense time,” said Partenope.

Captain Sidney Chapman: “She is solid in the midfield/forward position,” Partenope said.

There is one sophomore in Jess Burton, who according to Partenope is, “small but mighty in midfield/forward position.”

Three freshmen are being counted on to contribute. Amber Wilson, who “has been working hard in defensive position,” Olivia O'Neil, who has been “working hard in goalie position;” and Sarah Godin,” who has been doing “some great things in midfield/forward position,” according to Partenope.

The Huskies opened their season with a 1-1 draw on the road against White Mountain Regional in Whirefield on Sept. 18.

They topped Groveton 1-0 at home on Sept. 22; fell 2-0 at Berlin on Sept. 26; were edged 2-1 by Coelbrook at home on Sept. 29; lost to Berlin 4-0 at home on Saturday, but rebounded nicely with a 2-1 win at home over Canaan on Monday.

Gorham has four regular-season matches remaining including at Berlin on Saturday at 11 a.m.; host Profile on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.; host White Mountains on Oct. 19 at 3:30 p.m.; and at Groveton on Oct. 22 at 4 p.m.

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