Soccer: Mascenic gets statement win over previously undefeated Trinity

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/3/2019 9:40:13 PM

The Vikings knew Thursday’s game with Trinity was serious business. After a season-opening loss to Hopkinton (8-2), Mascenic went on an eight-game tear against the bottom half of Division III. The wins over Conant, Hillsboro-Deering, Fall Mountain, Raymond and St. Thomas Aquinas – combined record: 16-29-1 – were good, but undefeated No. 1 Trinity was no laughing matter, and Mascenic was up for it. 

“In warmups, most of the time we’re cracking jokes,” said senior forward Noah Caballero. “Today we were focused, we were locked in and loaded – we want this.”

Mascenic’s trademark physicality and strong defensive back line were in full evidence on the frigid fall afternoon, giving the Pioneers fits.

“They’re a very strong team up front and out back, they’re obviously well-coached and they’re definitely a team that if nobody’s taking seriously, they should,” said Trinity head coach Chris Morgan. “We haven’t seen a team like this this season, that’s this physical.”

It was a chippy game that saw four yellow cards raised aloft and a slew of fouls, one of which led to Mascenic’s first good scoring chance. Midway through the the first half, senior forward Nate Wilkins powered his way through the Trinity defense and fired a curving screamer as he was taken to the ground. The shot missed but the whistle blew, and Caballero was tapped to take the penalty kick. Caballero went low left side, and Trinity keeper Anthony DiZillo made a diving save, got to his feet, and saved the rebound to keep Mascenic off the board.

Mascenic’s season-long mantra has been to work twice as hard in the face of adversity, and that’s just what Caballero and the Vikings did after being denied twice at the goal mouth. 

“We always say as soon as you screw up, that’s when you have to work the hardest,” said head coach Andy Helliesen. “As soon as you lose possession, that’s when you’ve got to get back and win it.” 

The first half ended scoreless, but in the second, the Vikings got back to work. Jasmine Williams sent a ball to Sam Stauffeneker for a volley that went just over the bar, and it was clear the Mascenic offense was on the doorstep. Minutes later, Williams sent another deep ball into the offensive zone for Caballero, who corralled it, shot and then punched home the rebound.

“I just wanted it more,” Caballero said. “You could tell who wanted it more out there today.”

The senior striker streaked out of the goal mouth, tore off his jersey and celebrated his way to the cheering Mascenic sideline, earning the Vikings their third yellow card of the day. 

“That’s what happens,” Caballero said. “I scored a goal against an undefeated team, I was so excited, I wasn’t thinking about [a card].”

After Jackson Cocozella drew yet another Trinity penalty, this one just outside the Pioneers box, the Vikings struck again. Matt Wilkins lined up the set piece and booted it in to Zack Barthel, who went airborne – horizontal – and headed home a goal before landing in a heap. 

“They’re just a good team,” Morgan said. “They matched up  well with us, they’re very physical and they made some good plays. They’re going to be a tough team to see down the road, for sure.”

Mascenic’s staunch defense, led by the skyward headers of Barthel and Shea Zina, kept Trinity and their long throwins at bay, and Helliesen got valuable bench minutes up top from Sean Agonis and Matt Swanson. It wasn’t until the final minutes that the Pioneers finally broke through, as a Trinity shot was partially deflected and redirected off Barthel’s head and past Mascenic keeper Chris Wilkins. After an eternity of stoppage time, the whistle rang out three times, and the Vikings celebrated their 2-1 win. 

“This is what we’re going to see in the playoffs,” Helliesen said, “and we don’t want a repeat of what happened against Belmont last year, where we just got demolished. This year we’re feeling it. We’re going for that DIII title, we want that banner, that’s all we want and we’re going for it.”

The win put Mascenic (9-1) in second place in Division III, behind last year’s champion Campbell (9-0-1), the only undefeated team remaining. The Vikings are at Bishop Brady (5-4) Tuesday as they head into the home stretch, with six games remaining – including a trip to Campbell on Oct. 15 – before the postseason, and Mascenic is ready for that tournament action.

“I want to compete,” Caballero said. “I love competing. I’m a soccer player, that’s what I am, so I can’t wait. I’m so excited. I feel like if we play like that, we can go all the way.”

 

GIRLS’ SOCCER

ConVal 3, Sanborn 3

The Cougars got two goals from Nikki Bell and a strong defensive effort to hold Sanborn without a shot on goal and win in a shutout on Wednesday. 

Kara Keiper added a goal for ConVal and Cami Hendrixson and Grace Shippee had an assist apiece. 

ConVal (6-3) hosts Bow (8-1) Saturday at 2 for homecoming. 




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