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Boys Soccer

WLC extends winning streak

Warriors knock off previously undefeated Derryfield 1-0 for 8th straight victory

  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • Most Improved Player: Jordan Litts, WLC boys soccer<br/><br/>Though he already possessed the physical talents to be a champion track and field competitor, this Texan transplant was relatively new to soccer when he arrived at WLC – but it didn’t take long for him to pick it up. Warriors head coach Steve Martus likened Litts to a sponge, saying he soaked up every bit of information and advice and applied it on the field.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.

If you looked at the standings prior to Monday’s contest between the Wilton-Lyndeborough boys soccer team and Derryfield, the game felt like a sneak preview of what the Division IV championship game could be five and a half weeks from now.

While there was nothing truly at stake, the records indicated it was going to be one of those midseason measuring sticks for both squads.

With WLC entering the game having won seven in a row and Derryfield sitting undefeated and atop the D-IV standings, it clearly was a match-up of two of the better teams in D-IV.

“We were expecting a challenge from Derryfield obviously because they were undefeated,” said coach Steve Martus.

The winner would end the night with all of Division IV looking up at them and the Warriors could not have been more thrilled to be that team.

Senior midfielder James Edmunds converted a penalty kick with 15 minutes gone in the second half for the game’s only goal as WLC pulled off the 1-0 win and extended its winning streak to eight.

“This meant a lot to us,” said Edmunds. “This gets us up in the standings and it was a big deal.”

Edmunds was awarded the PK after being taken down in the box and with knowing how much the goal could mean for his team, the senior captain knew he had to take advantage.

“It should be a given goal, but you’re crossing your fingers and your toes that it’s going in,” said Martus.

So he shot to the lower left corner and despite Derryfield’s freshman keeper Tommy Cissel diving to the correct side, Edmunds’ shot was in the perfect location.

“I just tried to keep it nice and low and to the outside and that’s what I did,” said Edmunds. “It was far enough away from him to get it in there.”

It was only the third goal that Derryfield had allowed all season, so the Warriors were determined to make sure it held up.

“We knew they had a very good defense because they only had two goals against them before [the game],” said Martus.

And that is where junior goalie Connor Melrose came up huge. Melrose, who won a state championship as a freshman, had not allowed more than two goals in any game since dropping the season opener at Sunapee, 3-0.

“He’s just vastly improved,” said Martus of his goalie. “He puts his body on the line and he covers the entire goal.”

Prior to Edmunds’ goal, the Cougars had failed to get off a single shot on two indirect kicks inside the box in the second half, but after falling behind, Derryfield started to put some of its opportunities on net.

“I knew from past years that their strikers are really good so I expected a lot of shots,” said Melrose.

Derryfield’s Jack St. Jean could not take advantage of an open net just minutes after Edmunds’ goal off a cross from Austin Hammer. that got past Melrose. Then with under five minutes, Joe Costa collected a loose ball just outside the penalty area and blasted it toward the net.

Melrose was able to deflect the shot and grab it just before it crossed the goal line. It was Melrose’s 11th and final save of the game and the most important.

“It was really close. The line was right there and it was right above, so I just grabbed it and hoped I got it,” said Melrose.

The victory put the Warriors in first place in Division IV with an 8-1 record.

Since the loss at Sunapee to begin the season, WLC has posted three shutouts and won five games by a single goal, but Martus still wants to see improvement.

“If you look at our record before this game, we had nine goals against us in eight games, so we changed things up in the back,” said Martus. “We kept the same guys, but we changed the shape a little bit and I think it’s working pretty well.”

The Warriors will host Newmarket on Monday.

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