Three local high school soccer teams played exceptionally well in the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s tournament, although both Gorham and Berlin’s boys’ teams lost 1-0 to Woodsville and Trinity, respectively, while the Gorham girl’s team won their preliminary game at Moultonborough 2-1 (3-2 in a shootout) and then lost in the quarter finals 3-0, to Woodsville.
Berlin High School’s Joe Young was the North Country’s lone representative in the New Hampshire Meet of Champions Cross Country Meet.
The No. 11 seeded Berlin High School Soccer Team pushed No. 7, Trinity, to the limit last week before losing by a 1-0 score, with that goal being scored at the 78-minute mark of the game.
The game was pretty evenly matched throughout as both teams had and created opportunities, forced the goalies, Berlin’s Shaun Goyette to make seven saves, while the Pioneers’ goalie was credited with nine saves.
Mountaineer Coach Tony Valliere said, “We had a game plan, we implemented it and created some opportunities, but Trinity did, too, and capitalized on it one time, scoring very late in the game. In playoff competition that ‘one time’ can be a difference maker.”
Valliere went on to say, “It was a tough game to lose, but I was very proud of the kids, as they went all out, played in a tough environment and atmosphere, and showed great pride. Each individual played with heart and made no mental errors — at this point in the season, that is all I can ask of them.” Berlin ended the season with eight wins, eight losses and 1 tie.
Of special note, the No. 2 seeded Gilford, which has one of the winningest records in the nation for boys’ soccer was upset by No. 7 Hopkinton, 2-1, the other day in Division III soccer playoff action.
Along with what Valliere had said about a “tough atmosphere,” I had spoken with a couple of players and parents of the Berlin boys soccer team, and from all reports the atmosphere was worse than “tough.”
I wasn’t there but the question does come up as to “why parents and fans at high school athletic contests have to be so negative and nasty towards the opponents.”
There was a story about the National Basketball Association having a no tolerance policy from spectators who harass the players. The argument was “that the NBA was overreacting and that people who paid the price of a ticket should be able to say and do whatever they want and the players and coaches need to deal with it.”
Personally, I feel if someone is “abusing, insulting, being cruel and really annoying to someone in the arena, the fields, the courts and/or in the workplace” they should be called out, corrected and if it keeps up, removed from the environment and face criminal charges. I have seen it at all levels and it borders on ridiculous and using the excuse that “one got caught up in the moment” is a lame reason for harassing someone else’s kid.
So much that for tirade.
Chris Partenope’s No. 11-seeded Gorham High School Girl’s soccer team “mildly upset” No. 6 Moultonborough Academy last week, 2-1, in a 3-2 “shootout” victory in the first round of Division IV soccer action. Things weren’t looking too good early on, as at 33 seconds of the game, the Pioneers scored as Partenope said, “We missed some marks and even though Goalie Karly Cordwell tried, there was really nothing she could do to prevent the score.”
For the first 20 minutes of so of the game, Moultonborough controlled things but Gorham did not give up or give in and “rallied from that early goal shocker and started creating some opportunities, especially in the last part of the first half.”
That attitude and effort stayed with them into the second half and, at 8 minutes, Ella Watson scored on a great give-and-go pass from Grace Couture to tie things up, a score that would remain throughout regulation and through two 10-minute overtimes.
Thanks to Chris, I was informed that shootouts begin with each coach selecting five players to alternate shooting a penalty kick, and it is the best out of five shots. After four players had their shots, things were tied at 2-2, with Gorham’s Emma Bernier and Libby Fortin scoring.
It all came down to Sidney Chapman and she did not disappoint as her shot found the back of the net to give the Huskies a hard fought victory. Goalie Karly Cordwell had 11 saves and “came up big a number of times, in regulation, overtime and the shootout.” Speaking of the win Coach P said, “It was a very exciting preliminary game, the girls played well and dug deep.”
Now it was on to a rematch with the Woodsville Engineers who scored two goals in the first half, one early, at 3 minutes, and one about half-way through (17 minutes) and then at about the 1- minute mark in the second half to win easily, 3-0.
Coach Partenope said that, “Our goalie Karly Cordwell played very well, with nine saves, but we just couldn’t generate any offensive opportunities to get on the board. This was not the way we wanted to finish the season, but I am extremely proud of the season that the girls had.”
Gorham’s Boys Soccer Team ( a No. 15 seed) lost to the No. 2 seed Woodsville by a very close 1-0 score to be eliminated from the tournament and ended the 2019 season with six wins, nine losses and two ties.
Berlin High School’s Joe Young, competed in the NHIAA Meet of Champions Cross Country Meet this past Saturday, finishing in 102nd place, out of 142 of the top elite runners in all Divisions in New Hampshire.
Joe, in his last high school race, ran the course in 17:23, averaging 5:35 per mile.
Coach Bob Lord was pleased with Joe’s time and place, considering there were many very strong runners, especially from Divisions I and II in the field.
On a side note, big “thank you” goes out to all volunteer local fire department personnel and EMT’s, including guys like Bob, who was out for 18 hours this past Friday, taking care of trees (some burning) blown down by the storm we had and dealing with a huge tractor-trailer accident. Then he gets up Saturday morning and heads down south with his runner, Joe Young, for the Meet of Champions Cross Country Race. Thanks Bob for all you do!
Middle school soccer
Craig Langlais, a mainstay of many Gorham youth league programs sent the following information to me regarding the Gorham Middle School Soccer season.
They had a very successful season, capped off with a championship trophy as they finished 1st in the 25th Annual Haverhill soccerfest held a few weekends back.
There were 14 teams from New Hampshire and Vermont in the tournament, with Gorham coming out of the pool play seeded No. 3. All they had to do was beat the No. 2 Lebanon Red Raiders, which they did, 3-2 and then beat the No. 1 seeded and host Haverhill 2-1.
Many thanks to him and the rest of the staff in Gorham who do so much unnoticed work with the younger kids in sports.
Local boxing legend and coach, Dick Kimber, shared information on local Middle Weight Boxer Ken Lavoie, regarding his recent match in the semi-finals of the Rocky Marciano Championship. He won the match with a third round technical knock out, on Oct. 26, which sends him into the finals on Dec. 14, at the Bridgewater (Mass.) Vet Club.
Later Ken will compete in the Golden Gloves competition and then the New England Championships.
Stay tuned for more information on this promising local boxer.
Kimber thanked P. J. Cyr (an excellent boxer himself) for helping to support Ken’s quest for a championship.
The high school level Androscoggin Valley Gladiators football team was in Damariscotta, Maine, on Saturday and returned home with a 38-22 win, giving them the opportunity to play for the league championship at Memorial Field in Berlin on Saturday, Nov. 16. More details upcoming.
Shawn Cooney’s wake and funeral were held this past Friday and Saturday, with a large number of friends and family in attendance. It was a bitter sweet time for all, and I will say to “catch up” with so many of Shawn’s friends and classmates, that I had a students and athletes in many cases was special.
Connecting with one of Shawn’s classmates and teammates, and a student-athlete I had the pleasure of coaching was Jason Blais, an extremely talented cross country and track runner.
There has been a scholarship named for Shawn and details of that will be forthcoming.
The passing of Robbie Martin, a former Berlin High student/athlete, especially hockey, was sad, as was the death of friend of mine and many, Mr. Robert Lacroix, and of Joan Bradley, wife of hockey legend, school administrator and coach, Richard Bradley. Joan was the girls’ physical education teacher at Berlin High School when I was a student there a few years back.
With all of the people leaving us, make sure you show, “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, peace and forgiveness to others, sprinkled in with love and gratefulness.” (to paraphrase Colossians 3:12-17), as we can never know what is ahead for any of us in this life.
Here is an update: Amy Cayouette Hollingworth and her husband, Glen, just finished their 12th half marathon in Connecticut, in their quest to do a half marathon in all states in the union.
You may recall a story I did on then for The Berlin Sun earlier in the summer.
Also, Brad and Sue Wyman, the world-renowned tandem bikers, who were featured in this column a while back, informed me that they are going on a five-week tour starting in Bangkok, then with a small bike tour through Thailand, Cambodia and then Saigon to Hanoi.
We pray for safety and enjoyment to both of them.