Boys’ soccer: Wilton-Lyndeborough wins rematch with Conant

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  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Wilton-Lyndeborough on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/10/2019 11:23:24 AM
Modified: 10/10/2019 11:23:12 AM

Though the result was the same – a Wilton-Lyndeborough win – Wednesday’s WLC/Conant boys’ soccer rematch game was a far cry from September’s 7-0 Warriors victory. 

“[Conant was] much more aggressive than the first game,” said Wilton head coach Kristin Schwab after her Warriors beat the Orioles 3-1 on a chilly, rainy Wednesday afternoon.

“We had some key, integral pieces of our team back this game and I think that allowed us to play a lot better,” said Conant head coach Dan Bemis. Defender and captain Silas Seppala and goalkeeper Garrett Somero – both injured back in September’s meeting – were on the field Wednesday and their presence made a huge difference on the final scoreline. 

Somero, in particular, put on a show in net, as WLC’s front line peppered him with shots on his way to another 15-plus save game.

“It was like glue on his hands on this terrible, rainy, cold day,” Bemis said. “Garrett had a phenomenal game.”

On the other end, WLC’s Joe Krug had to work to keep warm in his short-sleeved goalie jersey, as the Warriors’ defense kept him idle in the net, Conant’s offense stymied by the strong back line of the Wilton boys, with Sam Townsend, Troy Brennan, Ethan Smith and Dominic Hutchinson clearing things out and moving the ball to Dylan Pfeil in the midfield. 

“They have one of the best back lines out of anyone we played against this year,” Bemis said. “I think the only two better back lines we played against were Hopkinton and Trinity, and they’re great teams. They’re good, deservingly so. Having that solid back line gives them freedom to have that bigger push up there because they can rely on those guys. That makes it easier to generate offense.”

With Jack Schwab and Jacob Boette up front making runs from the striker position in WLC’s 4-4-2 formation, the Warriors were getting plenty of chances, but it was the Warriors’ free kick game that put them on the board. With 9:02 left in the first, Sean Brennan booted an indirect kick from the left side about 30 yards out that looped up over towards the net. Somero called off his defenders, but they inadvertently screened him, and the ball dipped down, grazed his gloves and went into the net. 

Two minutes later, WLC struck on another free kick, as Townsend pounded a heat-seeker from the right side that found a leaping Schwab on the back post for a clean header strike and the Warriors’ second goal.

“That was pretty sweet,” Townsend said. “That was a hard ball, so the fact that he went up there and pinged it right in is really nice.”

Matt Hadley added a beauty of a goal in the second half to put WLC up 3-1, streaking down the right sideline and drilling a ball behind Somero, nearly parallel to the goal line, that hit off the far post and in.

Conant finally got themselves on the board late in the game, as the defense, led by Seppala and Garrett Cournoyer, and midfield, with Jacob Tremblay at the helm, pushed back and set up sophomore forward Ethan Vitello – a speed demon who’s growing into the Orioles’ most dangerous offensive weapon – in wide open space in front of the WLC goal, where he hooked one past Krug.

“[Vitello’s] been great for us all year,” Bemis said. “He’s got that soccer mind, that buildup, and that’s what we need.”

At 2-8, 20th in Division III, Conant has a lot of work to do to make the 16-team postseason, though it’s not out of the question with eight games remaining. The Orioles will need to bundle up and buckle down at Fall Mountain (5-7) Friday night under the lights at 7 p.m.

WLC (9-2) is fourth in Division IV and should look to improve that against their next two opponents, at Mount Royal (1-8-1) Friday and at home against Epping (0-10-1) next Wednesday. Then, things get tough down the stretch, with a trip up to Littleton (7-2-2) and two games against the two teams who’ve beaten the Warriors this year – Sunapee (10-1) and No. 1 Newmarket (12-1) to close out the year. The Warriors know they’ll need to find a way to beat those opponents and the North Country wildcards to have a chance in the tournament. 

“I think we can unlock that extra ability, “ Townsend said. “We’ve been working hard in practice. I think we can definitely do it but it’s going to take a whole lot of hard work and effort to get there.”


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