Gilford's Seth Valpey (15) looks to gain possession from Mascoma Valley's Kyle Wilson during the Eagles' 7-0 victory last week. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
September 29, 2014GILFORD – With the first of two rivalry games against Belmont High School looming, the Gilford High School boys' soccer team still managed to focus enough to take care of business on Sept. 23. The Golden Eagles scored early and often, and the defense continued its stellar early season run in a 7-0 shutout of visiting Mascoma Valley in Division III action.
"Our passing has been much better of late and we aren't making nearly as many mistakes as we were in the beginning of the season," explained veteran Gilford head coach Dave Pinkham.
The defense has been the catalyst of Gilford's hot play of late, as the Eagles allowed just two goals all season (both in 1-0 losses to Prospect Mountain and Somersworth) entering the Homecoming tilt with Belmont.
"The thing I'm happiest about is how our defense is playing," Pinkham said. "These guys know we have something good going back there but they also are good about still working at it to make it even better."
The goal barrage against Mascoma Valley kicked off in the 11th minute of action, as freshman Patrick O'Connor took a feed from Nick VanBennekum and buried it for a quick 1-0 lead. Bryce Workman was also credited with an assist.
Senior Keaton Quigley made it 2-0 in the 20th minutes, as he scored with an assist to Kaleb Orton. VanBennekum added the team's third strike before intermission, as his goal came on a cross from Jacob Baer in the 35th minute for a 3-0 advantage that would carry over into halftime.
"I think we've found some good combination play and that's leading to us putting the ball in the net," said Pinkham.
Gilford's offense was just heating up however, and Quigley notched his second of the afternoon less than two minutes into the second half when he took a feed from O'Connor and deposited it in the far corner for a 4-0 lead. Orton picked up his second assist on the play.
Workman followed with two consecutive goals, the first coming on a brilliant cross from Quigley. Quigley wound up assisting on both of Workman's tallies, and the Eagles were ahead 6-0.
Orton closed out the scoring with 19:50 left in regulation, as he scored with assists from Brad Bergman and Branden Lemay to account for the 7-0 final.
Senior goalkeeper Nolan Dwyer played the first 60 minutes of regulation, and he needed to make just one save – though it was a good one on a blast in the second half. Sophomore Logan Essaff finished out duty for the final 20 minutes, and he was not forced to make a save during his stint between the pipes.
Quigley wound up with two goals and two assists while Workman totaled two goals and an assist. O'Connor (one goal, one assist), VanBennekum (one goal, one assist) and Orton (one goal, two assists) also had multiple point outings for Gilford.
Gilford 7, Mascoma Valley 0
MASCOMA 0 0—0
GILFORD 3 4—7
Goals: (G) Quigley 2, Workman 2, O'Connor, VanBennekum, Orton.
Assists: (G) Workman 2, Orton 2, Quigley 2, Bergman, Lemay, O'Connor, VanBennekum, Baer.
Shots: Gilford 31. Mascoma 6.
Saves: (G) Dwyer 1, Essaff 0. (M) Gill 17.