Adam Donnelly of Gilford battles Alex Losada of Inter-Lakes during a GHS win.
Bob Martin. (click for larger version)
September 11, 2017GILFORD — The Gilford High School soccer program has a rich history of winning streaks, records and championships. While it is still early in the season, this year's boys' soccer team is once again on the winning trend by starting 4-0, including a tight 1-0 win over rival Inter-Lakes last week.
It was a tight, back and forth game from the beginning of the game played at Inter-Lakes on Sept. 6. The game started with lots of pressure by the Lakers early, but the momentum was quick to change hands on a number of occasions.
For much of the first half there was no clear advantage for either team, but one thing that was notable was that Gilford was getting more shots on goal. Shea Therrien had a header with about 32:30 left in the game that went up and over the goal, and about seven minutes later he shot high. Gilford tacked on another wide shot and then with 20:20 left in the half Adam Donnelly had another scoring opportunity for Gilford but Hunter Sanders made a great save to keep it a 0-0 game.
After a corner kick by Gilford, Ben Gardiner shot wide and narrowly missed giving the Golden Eagles the lead. Colton Workman also had a scoring chance with about 16:28 left after racing down the field and shooting wide.
The near misses would continue and the half ended with a 0-0 tie.
This trend of close calls for Gilford continued into the second half until finally they got on the board when Donnelly scored on an assist by Therrien and Pat O'Connor. This was all Gilford would need to take home their third win of the season.
Coach Dave Pinkham was happy with the play of the team, and was also quick to commend Inter-Lakes for their solid play.
"I said from the very beginning that we have got to take advantage of the opportunities that we are given," Pinkham said. "In the first half, we had a number of opportunities that we did not convert. Their goalkeeper had a really nice game and made some great saves. They are a very talented team."
Pinkham said it was a great win on the road and it tested them, as the Golden Eagles had to work hard for their lone goal.
"Overall it was a great win," Pinkham. "I couldn't be any happier with the way we played defensively."
As for offense, Pinkham said they have an issue with players floating around the field and may not be exactly where they need to be. He said against a good team there won't be a lot of great opportunities to score, and this is why they need to make the most of their opportunities. The Golden Eagles were able to keep chipping away at Inter-Lakes, he said, which led to the win.
"I felt that offensively we did some great things but really defensively is where we really played very well," Pinkham said, adding that their goalie Ethan Warren had two saves.
The Golden Eagles improved to 4-0 with a 3-1 win over Prospect Mountain on Sept. 8. Five minutes into the game Connor Leggett scored on an assist from O'Connor. He scored his second goal of the game at 7:40 on an assist by Daegan Boucher. After Donnelly was fouled inside the penalty box, Tyler Hanf scored the third goal on a penalty kick. All three goals were scored in the first half and Prospect Mountain's goal came with around three minutes to go in the game. Warren finished with eight saves on the day.
"A good win against a very good team," Pinkham. "We played well defensively and created a number of good scoring opportunities."
The girls' soccer team has started this season 2-2, and most recently they traveled to Somersworth where they had a 3-0 shutout. Sophie Leggett scored nine minutes into the game, assisted by Lauren Dean. Dean had her own goal as well, assisted by goalie Hannah Perkins. Josie Curley scored at the beginning of the second half on assists by Dean and Sarah Currier.
A win is a win but coach Tom Raymond said it wasn't their best performance by any means.
"After the first half, I challenge our defense to step up more," said Raymond. "We were getting beat to the ball. I challenged them to be more solid defensively as a unit and they did in the second half."
Perkins had 10 saves and the Golden Eagles had 24 total shots on goal.