T-Wolves best Spartans in overtime
Frangione's tally lifts Prospect boys to their 11th victory
|JESSE BROWN goes head-to-head with a White Mountains Regional Spartan during action on Friday, Oct. 16, in Alton. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)|
October 18, 2009ALTON — As the final minutes ticked off the clock in Friday's Class M boys' soccer matchup between Prospect Mountain and White Mountains Regional, with the score tied at one, the host Timber Wolves seemingly were snake-bitten.
Despite numerous great chances, the Timber Wolves could not put the ball in the net. Zack Drouin sent a shot high, Tony Ungarelli and Brian Jones sent the ball wide. Ungarelli drove a laser of a shot that appeared destined for the back of the twine but which clanged harmlessly off the crossbar.
After all the pressure, regulation still drew to a close with the Timber Wolves and Spartans tied at one. With darkness descending quickly, the Timber Wolves took about four minutes before Anthony Frangione's soft bouncing shot found its way past the Spartan goalie, giving the Timber Wolves a 2-1 win and securing the team's spot as one of the top seeds in the upcoming Class M tournament.
"Man we had some real good looks at the end of regulation," said Prospect coach Gary Noyes Sr. "That was a great game."
For all the drama the end of the game provided, the rest of the contest was nothing to slouch at either, as the battle of the mountains turned out to be a pretty intense soccer match.
The Spartans came at the Timber Wolves early in the first half, sending the ball in the zone on more than one occasion, including one shot that sailed wide of the net.
However, the host Timber Wolves didn't shy away and pull back, instead choosing to attack on offense, as Jones sent a shot high and Ungarelli made some great moves up the sideline to advance the ball into the Spartan end. Drouin and Jiri Dahlgren each had shots on net, with the former's hauled in by the keeper and the latter's sailing high.
The Spartans kept at it in the offensive zone as well, testing Prospect keeper Scott Kanash, who was more than up for the challenge, corralling everything that came his way.
With 18:30 to play in the first half, Frangione sent a nice cross over to Ungarelli and the senior rifled it into the net for a 1-0 Prospect Mountain lead.
Dahlgren, Jaime Fraile, Jones and Frangione all had offensive chances that didn't find the net, while Jesse Brown lent a solid hand to Kanash, making a great defensive clear, heading the ball out of harm's way.
White Mountains continued to pressure, with Kanash and the Prospect defense standing strong and the two teams went to the break with the host Timber Wolves clinging to the 1-0 lead.
Frangione and Drouin came right out of the gate in the second half and pressured the ball in the White Mountain end, but they were unable to put a shot through to the keeper. Fraile joined in the offensive attack as well, but the Timber Wolves couldn't get the second goal they so desperately needed.
Greg Tinkham turned in a couple of nice defensive plays to keep the Spartans out of the way and Frangione drilled a shot off the crossbar at the other end of the field.
Brown and Nick Bachelder were both strong in the defensive zone as White Mountains charged in, and Bachelder's pass up the field was just out of the reach of a charging Drouin.
Kanash made a couple more strong saves to keep his team in the lead and Frangione, Ungarelli and Jones continued to try and up the lead, but to no avail.
With 9:30 to play in the contest, the Spartans were awarded a penalty kick and they drilled it home, tying the game at one.
The visitors seized the momentum for a few minutes after their tying goal, forcing Kanash to make a couple of strong saves, including one leaping save and another on a corner. Jake Troy also helped out with a strong defensive play.
As the minutes ticked down, the Timber Wolves charged down the field with their last-minute attempt to win the game, but the ball found its way everywhere but in the net and the teams headed to overtime.
White Mountains had the first few chances in overtime, forcing Kanash to make at least one save on a deflection, before Frangione took a pass from Troy, who had received the ball from Ungarelli, and pushed it past the out-of-position Spartan keeper for the win.
"Scott had a couple of real nice saves," Noyes said in praise of his keeper. "They certainly played hard out there."
Noyes also praised Ungarelli for his energy throughout the game, as well as the team's solid passing.
"We had great passing out there today," he said. "That's the nature of this team.:
While the Timber Wolves came out with a win on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Farmington, it wasn't a pretty one.
Dahlgren and Jake Rochette scored goals to give the Timber Wolves a 2-0 lead in the first half, but the Tigers fought back and tied the game at two.
Ungarelli finished off a pass from Drouin to seal the win.
"We controlled the second half, we just could not finish out shots," Noyes said. "We didn't overlook them, we just could not find the back of the net."
The Timber Wolves will finish up the regular season with a game at home against Sanborn today, Oct. 22, at 4:30 p.m. The team will then host a first-round playoff game on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 3 p.m. Brackets will be released on Monday, Oct. 26. Check www.nhiaa.org to find out who the Timber Wolves will be matched up with in the first round.
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