Boys’ soccer: Conant exceeds expectations, but falls to Trinity in quarterfinals

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team played Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/1/2020 4:51:04 PM

The Conant boys saw their soccer season come to an end on Trinity’s turf Saturday night, but what they built this fall should carry over for years to come. 

“A fantastic experience for this squad to get this far,” said first-year head coach Tom Harvey after Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Trinity in the NHIAA Division III quarterfinals. “I’m very, very proud of this team. They’ve done a great job.”

Two wins deep into the playoffs is as far as the Orioles have progressed in 20 years or more, and Conant was playing with house money at Trinity, a team that dominated Mascenic in the prelim round with three goals in the opening five minutes. 

The Pioneers controlled possession in the first half, allowing Conant only a couple chances while pelting keeper Garrett Somero, who’d missed much of the season with an injury, with shots.

“When they’re coming down the field constantly, it’s a little easier to settle in than it is to push out, come back, push out, come back,” Harvey said.

But Somero and the defense were up to the task, turning away everything they saw for the first 33 minutes. That’s when Trinity’s Nathan Shipman took possession in the box, back-heeled the ball to his shooting slot and slashed one in past Somero for a 1-0 lead.

“This Trinity team is a great soccer team,” Harvey said. “They move around well, they’re big, they’re senior-heavy, we’re not.”

At the half, Harvey told his boys to focus on pressing out more, possessing and passing, and they turned the tide in the second with that strategy, using small-ball to work their way up the field and start putting together some scoring chances.

Conant kept pressing, but couldn’t get one past keeper Anthony DiZillo. And in the 75th minute, Colin McHugh put another in for Trinity to seal the deal. 

Conant graduates Sam Kalloch, Chris Wilson and starting midfielder Jacob Tremblay. 

“We’re going to miss one big senior in Tremblay,” Harvey said. “He’s just a beast on the field.”

Aside from those three, Conant brings them all back and has help coming from another good incoming class. The young Orioles bought into Harvey’s mantra of smarts and possession on the field and responsibility off it, and now, they’ve got something to build on in 2021 and beyond. The Orioles had simply hoped for one playoff win this year, and they exceeded that; now, they’ve got the confidence and reputation to play with the best of Division III. 

“Hopefully when people look at us on the schedule now they won’t think ‘oh, Conant’s coming, it’s going to be an easy win,’” Harvey said. “That should not be on their minds anymore.”


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