GILFORD – The Gilford High School girls' field hockey team finished the quarter-final playoff game on Saturday afternoon with a satisfying shut-out against Winnisquam High School. The final score of the game was 3-0 Gilford.
As the ball started rolling the Gilford and Winnisquam girls immediately sprang into action, aggressively trying to get possession. Taking off down the field, Winnisquam attacked the ball first, directing it down toward Gilford's goal. This fiery start by Winnisquam caught the attention of Gilford, and they worked efficiently to prevent any further advances and gained possession of the ball. With a window of opportunity approaching, Gilford drove the ball into Winnisquam's zone, getting ready for the strike into the goal. Moving in closer to the goal, Winnisquam player came out at the Gilford girl in possession of the ball in a deliberate and physical matter. In response to this violation of conduct, a penalty shot was awarded to senior, Kelsey Buckley. As she approached the goal and got into position, the crowd watched anxiously as she made the drive. The successful drive shot past the goalie and into the goal, putting the first score on the board for Gilford.
With a one point lead, the Winnisquam team attempted to even the score. Their attempts to put pressure on the Gilford were short lived however, as Gilford again claimed possession of the ball, hurtling it toward Winnisquam's end. Closing in on the goal, Gilford accurately directed the ball toward an unprotected section of the net. The sound of the ball hitting the goal was answered with screams and cheers from the Gilford team as well as their fans.
At the sound of the whistle to begin the second half Winnisquam was first to claim possession over the ball. The advance was thwarted by Gilford, who turned the ball around and sent it back toward Winnisquam's zone. The ball moved back and forth between the two opposing teams, failing to make any complete advances into one zone or another. Eventually, Winnisquam gained a break away, and moved in on the Gilford team. With their 2 point lead threatened Gilford went on high alert and managed to halt the advance. Gilford counter-struck, darting down the field for a third goal.
With pressure mounting with every tick of the clock, Winnisquam claimed possession of the ball and advanced toward Gilford's goal. Although the advance seemed promising, the ball was intercepted by Gilford, hurtling the ball back toward Winnisquam's zone. Fearing another goal, Winnisquam aggressively took possession and maneuvered the ball down the field. The Gilford squad came together as a fluid unit to gain possession of the ball once more, bringing it down toward the Winnisquam goal. Although the Gilford girls were putting pressure on the Winnisquam team, their final attempts to make the score 4-0 were unsuccessful. As the whistle sounded to end the game, the Gilford girls left the field exuberant in celebration of their advance to the semi-finals.
In response to the win, senior Kayla Orton of Gilford said, "It's such an unbelievable feeling winning today. We made it to the quarter finals last year but lost 3-2, so we were determined to come back this year and play our best so we could move on to the next round this time. It's also really important that we did well today because there are nine seniors on the team this year, and we have all been playing these past four years, so a win was pretty important to us."
Beaming and congratulating the team, coach David Rogacki had a few words to share about the success of the team this year. "People can't understand that good students can be good athletes, but they can. This team is made up of almost all honor students who are dedicated to both their team and their academics. These girls have been disrespected a lot this year by outside parties so they had a lot to prove entering this season. I am so proud of the game they played today and for the season we have had overall, they have definitely come from the bottom and risen to the top."
Gilford's semi-final game will be held on Wednesday, October 30 at Exeter High School at 5 p.m. The Eagles will face the third-seeded Berlin team, which defeated Littleton by the score of 4-0.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 October 2013 10:43
CONWAY — The Sachems' (3-5) playoff hopes are now a long shot after a 38-14 loss to Kennett (4-4) on Friday night. Laconia's offense was smothered by the Eagles defense as Kennett linebackers caused three turnovers and did not give up a touchdown in the second half.
"We were outmatched tonight," said coach Craig Kozens. "They were the better team. We are not mathematically eliminated, but will need a lot of help if we want to reach the playoffs." With the win over Laconia, Kennett is in the driver's seat for the second playoff spot in the Division II North Conference.
Kennett started the game with an onside kick that was recovered by Laconia at midfield. The Sachems needed to convert two fourth downs and a little help from a pass interference penalty to score the first six points of the game. Laconia's touchdown came on a Kyle Chiasson sweep to the left side from 13 yards out. The drive totaled 51 yards on 15 plays, chewing up eight minutes of the first quarter. Kennett did not waste any time scoring in the Eagles' first possession. Eagles running back Nate Emerson lined up in the slot on the opening play, took a hand-off while coming around for a reverse and sprinted untouched down the Eagles sideline for 65 yard touchdown.
Laconia's defense had trouble slowing Eagles quarterback Nick Graziano, who completed 12 passes for 229 yards and two TDs. The Sachems' Matt Swormstedt completed seven passes for 84 yards and a TD of his own. The touchdown ended the first half on a 10 yard toss to Chiasson.
The second half looked promising for Laconia when Emerson fumbled the snap on the opening drive and Laconia's Jordan McCrea recovered the ball. Laconia ran three plays before Swormstedt tried to hit Chiasson up the middle, only to be picked off by Grant Meserve. Meserve had a fumble recover in addition to his interception, while racking up 92 yards rushing and a touchdown on offense.
Bank of New Hampshire Stadium will be the site for senior night and the final regular season game, as Laconia will host Milford (5-3).
Last Updated on Monday, 28 October 2013 10:24
After a string of tough losses earlier in the month, the Sant Bani soccer team achieved its second straight win on Saturday, outscoring Kimball Union Academy's JV3 team 7-1. The 3-0 halftime lead gave Sant Bani coach Todd Schongalla some flexibility with his younger players, inserting freshman Sam McLaughlin into the net. "Sam will likely be our #1 keeper next season and the more playing time we can give him now, the better." Schongalla also praised the defensive work of freshman defender Lindsey Tarbin and sophomore midfielder Connor Lemay, who had a couple of great shots on goal and an assist in the second half. Sant Bani senior Harrison Evans took credit for four goals on the afternoon; rounding out the scoring were juniors Mohamed Sapry and Ander Trevino Aizpurua and senior midfielder Caio Thielen. KUA denied Sant Bani's attempt for their second shutout of the season with a late goal in the 76th minute. Sant Bani travels on Wednesday, playing Vermont Academy for the first time. San Bani's season record is now 6-4-1.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 October 2013 09:10
Gilford High School volleyball earned a 3-0 win over Laconia on Monday. Game scores were: 25-14, 25-23, 25-20.
The score was close in game one until Mikaela Mattice came to the service line and served 4 straight to give Gilford a 14-5 lead. Mattice served an ace for point 13 and Kristen Dionne had a kill spike for point 12 in that run. Laconia battled back and brought the score within 4 points with Gilford holding onto a slim 18-14 lead. Cassidy Demo came to the service line for Gilford and served the final 7 points of the game. In the final run, Demo served aces for points 22 and 24, Mikaela Mattice put down a kill for point 20 and Jordan Dean had kills for points 19 and 25. Laconia jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game two and brought the score to 11-6 before Gilford's setter Danica Gelotte came to the service line and served 7 straight to give Gilford the lead that they never relinquished. In that run, Gelotte had ace serves for points 8 and 13, Brooke Marcella had a kill spike for point 11 and Kirsten Dionne had a kill spike for point 12. Gilford finished game two with 7 kills in the final 10 points. Jordan Dean had kill spikes for points 16 and 17, Gelotte point 19, Dionne for point 23 and Maddie Harris for points 21, 22 and 25. Game three was highlighted by Dean and Harris with 4 kills apiece, Dionne with 2 kills, Marcella with 1 block and Gelotte with a kill tip. Said Gilford coach Joan Forge, "The Laconia coach is doing a wonderful job with her team. They demonstrated tremendous improvement since the first time we played them earlier in the season."
Gilford improved to 11-3 with the win.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 October 2013 09:08
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