Nicole Arguin's field hockey team completed a very successful season with a nail-biter against Gilford, winning 1-0, in the semifinals of Division 3 field hockey, with the game-winner coming not until 1:52 of the fourth quarter.

There was some good action throughout as Berlin Luma Berry was forced to make six saves, while the Gilford goalie was credited with 10 stops.

The Mountaineers had an 11-3 advantage in corners but the clincher came when Berlin's high-scoring trio put it together one last time coming off the stick of Cienna Langlais. Kenna Balderrama started things off by getting the ball off a Gilford free hit, made a nice pass to Becca Pouliot at the top of the circle. Becca then completed a nice, soft pass to Cienna who made a quick and efficient move and put the ball in the back of the net for the big win.

With that win, Berlin was to go to the finals against Bishop Brady on Sunday, but the decision was made by local school authorities shortly after to forfeit the game due to a sudden spike in COVID-19 virus cases in the Berlin area, giving the Division 3 crown to Bishop Brady, while the Mountaineers finish with a very nice 8-4 record, and wonder what cuddle have been.

Let's not forget Coach Bob Lord and his Berlin High cross-country team. Their season was curtailed tremendously with only five meets, mostly local, and only two other schools in the whole area besides Berlin had enough runners (at least five) to make up a full team, so in three of those meets scores were not kept because of that.

The meet they geared their summer training and regular season to was the Division III and IV meet this past Saturday at Derryfield Park in Manchester.

Coach Lord found out after his team's last full practice on Thursday, two days before the meet that they would not be going and competing due to the spread of the pandemic and had to handle the extreme disappointment they all felt when they heard the news.

Mr. Lord shared with me, "You try to explain to the kids about the decision to cancel our chance to compete at that event, but still it was devastating news for all of us and hard to handle"

It is unfortunate for all involved that things worked out as they did but these situations are out of our control and in the hands of the leadership of our schools and community. We hope and pray that the decisions made were the right ones for all involved. I suppose you could look at other parts of the country where wildfires, tornadoes, riots, looting, flooding and hurricanes have destroyed schools, homes and lives with absolutely no chance of any sports being played, say nothing about any other "normal activities taking place. Blessings can be found in all situations though if we look close enough.

Local high school fall sports teams competed and completed their seasons this past week with the Berlin High boys’ soccer team losing in the preliminaries 3-1 to Gilford, and the Gorham boy's also losing 3-1 to Colebrook to end their seasons.  Information was not available on those games at press time.

Meanwhile, the Gorham girls’ soccer team ran into a buzzsaw as Littleton outplayed and outscored the Huskies 6-0 score in a game Coach Chris Partenope described as "tough conditions, with a soggy field and one in which we could just not get our offense together to generate any good scoring chances."            

Littleton scored three goals in the first half and three more in the second half to win going away.  The Crusaders played very aggressive and outshot Gorham 23-6, with goalie Olivia O'Neil making 10 saves early on, some very big ones to keep things close.  She, unfortunately, left the game in the first half with an injury and was replaced by Halery Desilets, who did a commendable job filling in.  

As Coach "P" quipped, "She stepped in big time for us, and I thought Izzy Micucci played some great defense."  

Gorham ended its season at 3-7-1.

The Gorham coach was quick to thank all of her players, and was "very proud of all of them, as they dealt with the craziness of the season throughout with poise, hard work and a great attitude.  At least we had a season and it was great to watch everyone grow as players, teammates and people."  

She was particularly pleased with her seniors, including Emma Bernier, Bryanna Poirier, Isobel Micucci, Katelyn Chase, Lilly Fortin, Madi Buteau and Sophia Schoenbeck.

"They definitely worked hard and were dedicated throughout their entire high school careers and I will miss them,” she said.

She does have a great group of underclassmen, Halery Desilets, Sage Gallant, Sidney Chapman, Jess Burton, Amber Wilson, Olivia O'Neil, and Sarah Godin. and looks forward to them and a strong, large incoming group of freshmen next fall.   

   

Al Woodward's Berlin girls’ soccer team lost to Belmont 3-0 in its round of Division 3 playoffs.  Berlin came out flat in the first 20 minutes or so of the game, in which Belmont took advantage scoring all three goals in the first half.  

Berlin's defense stepped up, and the locals played solid for the final hour of the game but it was too little, too late.  

As Coach Woodward said, "We had a few solid offensive chances once we got going but with no goals to show for it."  

Goalie Chloe Dagesse had 21 saves, many of the spectacular nature.  The Mountaineers ended their season at 4-9.

Woodward finished with this: "The outcome was not what we had hoped for but I was proud of the effort the girls put forth.  It was a solid season and I look forward to the future of the program."

Three weeks ago my 99-plus-year-old Dad, opted out of the nursing home he had lived in for 7 years, to come home to the family homestead, where Melinda and I have been for the past 23 years, to live out his last days.  He has already voted via absentee ballot in Tuesday's election and mentioned that this is his 20th time voting in a presidential election-not many people can say that!  

Advice from him is "get out and vote, and make it a wise vote based on really knowing the candidates and their stands on the important issues of the day, and voting with your conscience, not your emotions.    The ability to cast your vote is one of the things that makes America great."

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