By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BRISTOL — Newfound field hockey advanced to the Division III title game as the Marchand sisters combined to score all of the Bears' goals in a 5-1 victory over defending division champion Gilford Thursday at Bill Ball Stadium in Exeter.
The undefeated Bears (16-0) will face No. 10 Mascoma (11-6) for the state championship on Sunday at Bedford High scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Mascoma knocked out No. 3 Monadnock, 3-1, in the first semifinal game Thursday evening. It will be Newfound’s first time back in the title game since 2009.
Sophomore Caroline Marchand scored a hat trick, starting with Newfound’s second goal of the first half that gave the Bears a 2-0 advantage. Her older sister, Julianne, a senior forward, had pushed Newfound onto the scoreboard for a 1-0 lead just over 17 minutes into the game. After gathering a pass from senior classmate Kylee Macdonald, Julianne carried the ball 35 yards down the middle of the field, beat a Gilford defender in a foot race, and scored past Gilford goaltender Jenna DeLucca.
Meanwhile Gilford (13-3-1) was having trouble clearing the ball out of its own end. Gilford Coach David Rogacki took a timeout when Newfound pulled ahead, 2-0, and 11 minutes left in the first half. The Golden Eagles came back out and scored two minutes later in a scramble in front of the net. Laurel Gingrich put her stick on the ball and snuck it through to the net.
With plenty of time left, Gilford trailed 2-1. But Julianne scored her second goal with 8:35 left in the first half, giving Newfound a two-goal cushion. Jasmine Peterson assisted and the Bears took a 3-1 lead into halftime.
Caroline hit her second and third goals less than two minutes apart in the second half, mounting a 5-1 lead, which held up the rest of the way.
Newfound Coach Karri Peterson said that she was pleased to see the intensity which her team showed the entire game against a traditional rival that has come up big against the Bears in post-season play.
Belmont 5, Masoma 0
The eighth-seeded Belmont boys’ soccer team, which had lost three of their last five, put together 80 minutes of the best soccer they’ve played all season, running circles around the No. 9 Mascoma Valley Royals in a 5-0 shutout Thursday on the turf at Laconia High School.
The Raiders attacked Mascoma nonstop. Fom freshman Lucas Mathieu’s goal in the 16th minute all the way down to his brother, River, blasting home a direct kick from 20 yards out late in the second half, the contest was all Belmont.
The Raiders will have a chance to really make a statement when they visit top-seeded Derryfield in Sunday’s Division III quarterfinal round at 2 p.m.
The matchup against Derryfield will be a rematch of a tight regular-season contest on Sept. 8. The Raiders carved out a 2-0 lead, but Derryfield exploded for three unanswered goals to snatch away the victory.
DIVISION III VOLLEYBALL
Moultonborough 3, Pittsfield 2
The two sides put up exactly the match expected between similar seeds in the first round. Pittsfield sandwiched a 25-17 win in the second set around two losses in sets one and three before running away with game four. Moultonborough caught fire in the fifth set on the way to a 15-8 win.
Moultonborough, 12-5, will play at top-ranked Inter-Lakes (16-0) Saturday at 6 p.m.
Belmont 3, Mascenic 2
The Raiders completed the lone upset of the first round, taking advantage of a season-high 17 Mascenic service errors to win in five sets. The Raiders went up 2-0 on the night before allowing Mascenic back in it and stunned the Vikings in the fifth set by scoring the game’s final four points to win, 16-14. Belmont takes on No. 3 Campbell in the quarterfinal round on Saturday.
Belmont is 9-8; Mascenic 10-6.
Newfound 3, Sunapee 1
The Bears held tough on their home floor as the two sides traded wins in the first three sets. Newfound claimed the first set, 25-17, and put its postseason victory on ice with a 25-22 victory in the fourth set. Newfound plays at No. 4 Farmington next in the quarterfinals.
Newfound is 12-5; Sunapee 8-9