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ConVal boys soccer grabs lone homecoming win

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • ConVal’s August Marshall fights for a ball during Saturday’s homecoming game. The Cougars were dominant against Pelham, winning 6-1. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Del Bonsu-Anane winds back for a big kick across the field during Saturday’s victory.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • The ConVal boys soccer team had another strong showing during Saturday's homecoming game, defeating Pelham 6-1. Sept. 22, 2018. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Above: ConVal sophomore Kara Keiper attempts to block the pass of Merrimack Valley’s Kylie Marquis during Friday’s 2-1 loss. Below left: ConVal running back Austin Davis carries the ball during Friday’s 40-12 loss to Alvirne (Photo by Mike Munhall). Below right: ConVal senior Jaclyn Clark battles for control of the ball during Friday’s scoreless tie with St. Thomas. (Photo by Mike Munhall). Staff photo by Tim Goodwin

  • ConVal running back Austin Davis carries the ball during Friday's 40-12 loss to Alvirne. Photo by Mike Munhall—MUNHALL2012

  • The ConVal field hockey team finished Friday's contest with St. Thomas in a 0-0 tie. Photo by Mike Munhall—MUNHALL2012

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal girls soccer team dropped its homecoming match-up with Merrimack Valley on Friday, 2-1. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—



Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:43AM

After coming up empty in the win column on the first day of its homecoming festivities on Friday, ConVal got a boost from its boys soccer team on Saturday to end the weekend on a high note.

With losses by the football team, girls soccer, girls volleyball and a scoreless tie for the field hockey squad, the Cougar boys got back to its winning ways with a dominating performance over Pelham on Saturday. The boys had been undefeated and had yet to allow a goal until a 1-0 loss to Oyster River on Wednesday. But that was all erased with Saturday’s win.

BOYS SOCCER

Following a tough first loss of the season to Oyster River on Wednesday, ConVal's boys soccer team rebounded in a big way during their homecoming game on Saturday, dominating Pelham 6-1.

“I feel good about the win... I was interested to see how we responded,” head coach Josh Smith said. “They didn't make it easy for us. They fought hard for every ball, nothing came easy. It was good to see us respond well, get a lot of goals, and move the ball well.”

Smith said it was important for his team to get off to a fast start and that they did, scoring one goal in the first two minutes and three in the first ten.

“We talked about starting fast, we really needed to do that,” Smith said. “It was good that we set the tone early, got a couple goals, and were able to settle in a bit.”

Offensively the team was led by Colby Knight, who had two goals and two assists, and Max Richard, who had two goals. Finn Wegmueller and Del Bonsu-Anane also contributed a goal and an assist each, and Max Shumway also had an assist.

“We had a lot of people playing different positions, I think our depth wore them down,” Smith said. Smith said 21 Cougars played in Saturday's game, many around 15-20 minutes.

A 6-1 victory certainly shows a strong offensive showing for the Cougars, but Smith said Shumway, August Marshall, and Casey Jordan also had strong defensive showings.

“They didn't show up on the score sheet, but they were strong defensively for us, which helped to open things up for us offensively,” Smith said.

With a 7-1 record halfway through the season, the Cougars have a realistic shot at one of their goals – a home playoff game.

“I think our mindset has been the same from the beginning,” Smith said. “We know the talent we have, but there are a lot of tough teams in the division.”

ConVal's next match will be a battle of the Cougars, with the 4-5 Kearsarge team coming to Peterborough on Wednesday.

GIRLS SOCCER

ConVal girls soccer coach Curt Martens saw three different versions of his team during Friday’s 2-1 loss to Merrimack Valley.

There was the one that started the game that was solid, but still showed signs of the major things that Martens knows his young team needs to work on. The group that started the second half that was standing more, watching more and not anticipating is one that Martens would rather not see again the rest of the season.

It’s the team he saw in the final minutes that he wants to emulate as this group moves forward and gets more time together.

It was the fight and never give up attitude that he hopes to build off as the Cougars look to become a more formidable squad in Division II.

When Merrimack Valley senior midfielder McKayla Palhof finally broke a scoreless tie with 11:49 remaining in the game off a deflection that got past ConVal keeper Lindsey Carey, the Cougars seemed to show a sense of urgency that had lacked for much of the second half.

When Palhof scored just over three minutes later to make it 2-0, Martens finally saw what his team is capable of.

“It took two goals for them to snap back into it,” Martens said. “And after that, I thought they played fantastic.”

Over the final eight minutes of the game, the Cougars refused to give up. They fought for every loose ball, made more controlled passes and better decisions with the ball.

“That’s the type of soccer I think they should be playing all the time,” Martens said. “If we eliminate that slump, it’s a different game.”.

And it worked, as Nicole Bell finally got ConVal on the scoreboard with 1:30 left on the clock after beating three Merrimack Valley defenders to the ball and inserting it into the top right corner of the net.

But it was a little too late for the Cougars to complete the comeback, as the Pride used a boom ball approach to derail any potential run ConVal still had in them.

With only one senior (Carey) and a trio of juniors, the Cougars are young and learning the varsity game as they go.

“We need smart decision making and quickness of plays and that all comes from getting comfortable and playing together more,” Martens said.

ConVal will look to snap its three-game skid when they travel to Sanborn on Wednesday.

FOOTBALL

The Cougars fell to 1-3 on the season with a 40-12 loss to Alvirne Friday night.

ConVal once again had a hard time getting things going offensively in the first half, as they fell behind 35-0 at the half.

The Cougars were able to get on the scoreboard in the second half for the first time since their season opening win over Kingswood following back-to-back shutouts to Souhegan and Hollis/Brookline.

Liam Denehy had a fumble return for a touchdown and Austin Davis scored on a six-yard run.

ConVal will look to get back in the win column when they travel to Manchester West Friday night.

FIELD HOCKEY

The Cougars posted their third shutout in four games, but couldn’t put one in the back of the net in a 0-0 tie with St. Thomas on Friday.

Senior goalie Taylor Jarest had a great game in net, as the ConVal defense fought off 12 St. Thomas corners and held them scoreless for just the second time this season.

Goals have been at a premium for the Cougars this season, as they have scored just five goals in seven games

The bulk of the game was played between the 25's, and despite multiple corners and shots on goal, ConVal just couldn’t penetrate the Saints defense.

ConVal hosts Mascenic today, before playing Brady on Thursday and Monadnock on Saturday.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

The Cougars hosted Plymouth on Friday, and despite playing tough, they came up short in a 3-0 loss.

ConVal fell behind quickly in dropping the first set 25-11. The second set started with the Cougars jumping out to a 4-0 lead and led until Plymouth battled back to tie the set at 11. The Bobcat serving became to much and the Cougars lost the set 25-15.

The third set started in a similar fashion as the Cougars remained close but with five missed serves in the set they eventually fell 25-19.

Leading the team offensively were Isis Battaglia, Molly Cole and Haley Davis each with two kills, while Lillian James and Hannah LeComte each had one. Nadia Kazlauskas, James,  Davis and Cole each recorded a serving ace, and LeComte had five assissts. Davis, LeComte and James led the defense with five digs apiece. 

The Cougars host Laconia on Wednesday.