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Eagles blank Winnisquam, 6-0



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Gilford forward Nick Riendeau sprints down the field during the Eagles’ 6-0 win over Winnisquam last week. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
September 19, 2011
TILTON – While the speed of the Winnisquam Regional High School offense put plenty of pressure on its defense, the Gilford High School boys' soccer team held firm on Sept. 13.

The Golden Eagles scored three goals in each half while goalkeeper Connor Veazey picked up his fourth shutout of the year en route to a 6-0 win in Division III action.

"We had pressure on us for really the first time this year," said Gilford coach Dave Pinkham of the Winnisquam strikers. "We made some mistakes defensively in the first half that I think we were able to shore up for the second half."

Gilford wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the first half, as forward Nick Riendeau snared a loose ball in front of the Winnisquam net and buried it for the 1-0 lead in just the third minute of play.

The Bears didn't let the early tally affect them however, as Luke Welch peppered Veazey with two tough shots in the game's first 10 minutes, including a bullet from 20 yards out that Veazey bobbled but was able to pounce on before any Winnisquam players got a chance on the rebound.

The Eagles were able to weather the storm and double their lead however, as Dan Dormody dribbled through the Winnisquam defense on a 50-yard run from the midfield, beating Bears goalkeeper Michael Matcheski to put the visitors up 2-0.

That lead would grow to 3-0 just two minutes later, when Chris Medlin's shot from just outside the 18-yard box beat Matcheski to the near post for the 3-0 Gilford lead.

Not pleased with his defense in the game's first 20 minutes, Winnisquam coach Jason Welch moved sniper Nick Welch back to try and shut down the Gilford offense for the remainder of the half. The move paid off for the Bears, as Welch's speed proved to be just what the doctor ordered and he managed to make several goal-saving plays along the back line.

"It was a good challenge for us to play against Winnisquam," said Pinkham. "They're a good team and they attack well enough where we have to make sure our defense is in order."

While Winnisquam had several chances on Veazey (seven saves) in the second half thanks to solid play in the midfield from Cullen Robinson, Gilford stuck three more in the back of the net to pull away for the 6-0 win. Tim Ryan scored two of the three goals while Anthony Diamantopolos accounted for the other.

"Tim Ryan off the bench did a great job for us," said Pinkham. "He's a kid making a real case for playing time. And Vinnie Sisti I thought had the best game he's ever played for me as well in the midfield."

The offensive explosion continued for Gilford, as the Eagles averaged 6.8 goals per game in their first five contests of the year.

"I'm surprised at how well the offense has come around so quickly to be honest," Pinkham said. "But they're doing some great things out there and hopefully that'll continue."

After starting the year 5-0, Gilford ran into its first speed bump of the season the next day however, as Newfound Regional came to town and left Gilford with a 1-1 tie, the first non-win on the Eagles schedule.

Diamantopolos scored in the first half on an assist from Bryce Quigley, but Newfound tallied midway through the second half and held on through two overtime periods for the 1-1 draw. The Eagles outshot Newfound 30-2 but couldn't pull out a win against the Bears.

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