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Timber Wolves net first win

Joshua Spaulding image
by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

ANDY HAMILTON pushes the ball through two Inter-Lakes defenders in action on Sept. 1. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
September 11, 2017
ALTON — The Prospect Mountain boys' soccer team entered the third game of the season still looking for the first goal and the first win of the new season.

Thanks to Jonah Dudzik and Drew Nickerson, the team achieved both of those marks with a 1-0 win over Inter-Lakes on Friday, Sept. 1.

"We got some things out of the way," said coach Cory Halvorsen. "We definitely really elevated our level of play from Tuesday (against Belmont).

"There was definitely a lot more energy today," the Timber Wolf coach continued. "It was good to get the monkey off our back with the first goal and getting us started on the season."

The Timber Wolves came out of the gate with some solid chances from Dudzik, Travis Stockman and Brandon Sinclair, but the shots either went wide or were stopped by the defense and keeper.

The Lakers came back with some chances, sending one cross into the box that the Timber Wolves cleared out and then had a direct kick go high. Michael Mahoney just missed connecting with Carter Dore on a crossing pass and then Mahoney came through with a good clear in the defensive zone.

Dudzik and Joe Doherty teamed up on a bid that was cleared out. The Timber Wolves had a direct kick deflected wide and then on a corner kick, the ball was headed over the top of the net. Tucker Kierstead had a good clear for the Timber Wolves and then Nickerson came through with a couple of big saves, including one on a diving attempt and another on a direct kick.

Dudzik connected with Sinclair on a crossing pass that was cleared and Kierstead came through with a nice clear at the other end of the field. Tyler Bredbury sent a ball just high and Nolan Sykes had a nice cross cleared. The Timber Wolves had a corner kick cleared and then Bredbury and Sinclair teamed up for a chance that went wide. Andy Hamilton had a shot go high, while Cody Willette just missed connecting with Lucas Therrien and Doherty sent a shot high. The Lakers had a couple of bids go high and wide and the half came to a close with neither team on the scoreboard.

Dudzik came through with a shot out of the gate in the second half and Doherty followed with a bid that was stopped by the defense. Hamilton and Stockman both had good clears and the Lakers had a bid go wide of the net. Sinclair sent Stockman in on a bid and Nickerson came through with a save on an Inter-Lakes corner kick. The Timber Wolves had a corner kick as well but they were unable to get a shot on net. Hamilton had a good bid that was stopped by the Laker keeper.

The season-long scoring drought came to a close with 26:27 to go in the game, as Doherty sent the ball in to Dudzik, who got through the defense and fired the ball past the keeper for the 1-0 lead.

The Lakers came back with a corner kick that went wide and then Mahoney sent a ball ahead of Dudzik on a bid. The Lakers had another corner that Isaac Smolin was able to clear from the zone. Nickerson came through with a pair of good saves and then the Lakers sent a trio of shots wide of the net. Doherty had a bid denied at the other end.

Prospect had a corner kick chance that Sykes headed on net, but the keeper made the saves. Smolin had a good clear on the defensive side of things and Hamilton came back with a bid off a feed from Dore. Dudzik also headed a ball on net on a great feed from Dore, but his attempt was stopped.

Nickerson continued his fine play with a few more saves and Kierstead helped out with a defensive clear and the Timber Wolves held on for the 1-0 win.

"The amount of work we've been putting in at practice, they've definitely been receptive to that and they're buying the changes," Halvorsen noted. "I was happy with the effort today."

He noted that the win gave the team some good energy, something that the team certainly could use after a couple of tough opening games.

"We came out with more energy in the second half than they did," Halvorsen said.

The Timber Wolves were scheduled to host Berlin on Sept. 5, but that game was postponed until after deadline on Sept. 11.

The Timber Wolves dropped a 3-1 decision on the road at Gilford on Sept. 8.

The team will be at Newfound on Friday, Sept. 15, at 4 p.m. and will be hosting Winnisquam on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or josh@salmonpress.news.

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