Berlin's Carter Poulin controls the ball as Ryan Bousquet of Inter-Lakes tries to knock it away in action last week. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
October 13, 2021MEREDITH — The long trip from Berlin south to Meredith didn't seem to phase the Mountaineer soccer boys last Wednesday afternoon, as the visitors scored in the first seven minutes of each half to pick up the 2-0 win.
"We'll take that," said Berlin coach Tony Valliere. "We're coming off a tough loss against Kennett and we're so tight in the standings, so this was a big one."
"We only had one corner, that's not normally how it goes," said Inter-Lakes coach Dan Curnyn. "We've been leaving guys wide open. Potter (keeper Alex Potter) is good, but he can't do everything."
Berlin had the better of the early chances and converted on one just 6:24 into the game, as Ben Estrella made a nice run up the sideline and fired a cross through the box, which Jason Sweatt was able to deliver the ball to the back of the net for the quick 1-0 lead.
Luke Brown, Ryan Bousquet and Owen Carney had chances for the Lakers as they looked to bounce back. Kolin Melanson answered with a nice cross for the Mountaineers that just missed connecting with Carter Poulin. Aric Huter and Melanson turned in solid defensive plays for the Mountaineers, while Bousquet had a long direct that was stopped. Hunter White had a strong defensive play for the Lakers, while Estrella and Carter Poulin teamed up on a chance that Potter stopped. Rafe Bean had a shot for the Lakers that was denied by Berlin keeper Haden Poulin and Potter was able to grab a ball sent forward by Carter Poulin that just missed connecting with Estrella.
Griffin Melanson headed a ball on net that Potter stopped and Huter had a good defensive clear. Bousquet had a direct kick headed wide for the Lakers and Berlin had bids from Malachi Plociennik, Brody Duquette and Jamison Walsh, with Potter hanging tough in the Laker net. Brown sent a bid over the top of the net at the other end.
Carney sent a shot wide for the Lakers and Estrella sent a nice cross in to Walsh that Potter was able to grab. The Lakers had a corner but Griffin Melanson was able to clear the ball out of the zone. Estrella had another cross that Danny Bean was able to clear for the Lakers and Potter made a save on Kolin Melanson to close out the first half.
The Mountaineers started the second half like they started the first half, scoring in the first six minutes, this time with Duquette finishing off a nice flick into the box from Walsh, giving Berlin the 2-0 lead.
Kolin Melanson had a nice strike on net that Potter stopped and Bousquet came back with another chance for the Lakers that Haden Poulin saved. Bousquet and Owen Brown also had bids miss the mark and Jack Gintof redirected a Bousquet direct kick just wide of the net.
Owen Brown had a nice cross that Kolin Melanson cleared and Ben Beaudoin sent a ball on net that Haden Poulin stopped. Jonah Huot had a shot that Potter grabbed and Carney and Sebastian Hart had nice crosses for the Lakers, but they were cleared out by the Berlin defense.
Berlin got bids from Griffin Melanson, Carter Poulin, Duquette and Walsh as they pressured Potter and the Laker defense, but the hosts stood tight. Bousquet came through with a couple of good late chances for the Lakers that Haden Poulin stopped and the Mountaineers took the 2-0 win home with them.
"That was a good team win," Valliere said, praising the work of Walsh off the bench up front and Sweatt for his work on the first goal. He also noted that Potter was strong in the Laker net, but pointed out his keeper was pretty solid too.
"We're used to shooting against one of the best goalies every day," Valliere said, praising Haden Poulin's performance in earning the shutout.
"Coming in we knew we had to shut off Estrella and the Melansons," Curnyn said. "And the first goal, Ben (Estrella) dribbled 40 yards up the field and delivered a perfect pass for the goal."
The Lakers are slated to be at Prospect Mountain on Friday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m. and at White Mountains on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 4 p.m.
The Mountaineers are scheduled to be at home against St. Thomas on Friday, Oct. 15, at 3:30 p.m. and will be at Gilford on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 3 p.m.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.