×

High Schools: Off to a hot start to the high school season

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team lost to Hopkinton in the season opener on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team lost to Hopkinton in the season opener on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic’s Matt Wilkins fends off Hopkinton’s Michael Baer. Below: Viking keeper Chris Wilkins reels one in. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team lost to Hopkinton in the season opener on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team lost to Hopkinton in the season opener on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team lost to Hopkinton in the season opener on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team lost to Hopkinton in the season opener on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal field hockey vs. Lebanon Photo by mikemunhallphotos.com—MUNHALL2012

  • ConVal field hockey vs. Lebanon Photo by mikemunhallphotos.com—MUNHALL2012



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 1:26PM

The only thing hotter than the rising heat index that canceled games statewide Tuesday was the scorching cleat of Hopkinton’s Paul Molnar, who had a first-half hat-trick at Mascenic to pace the Hawks in their 5-0 victory.

“He’s really quick, he’s a super smart kid,” said Hopkinton coach Scott Zipke of his top scorer Molnar. “He kind of weaves back and forth through their back line and it’s tough to mark him because he runs across instead of vertically - he never runs offsides.”

Molnar had already netted one goal in the Hawks’ season-opening loss at White Mountains, an inauspicious start for last year’s Division III runners-up. But Hopkinton picked up where they’d left off last season against Mascenic, handing the Vikings a loss in the opener after knocking them out in the first round last season.

Molnar slammed home a 25-yarder that hooked and

dipped into the top left corner of the Mascenic net to start the scoring at the 11-minute mark. Seconds later, he stole the ball off the kickoff and tapped in an easy one, and by the 15-minute mark, he’d knock in another off a ball ripped by Shea Dickson that was deflected off a Viking defender and then off Molnar.

First-year Mascenic coach Andy Helliesen, who’ll look to build on the groundwork he started as an assistant to Zach Stephenson last year, said those defensive and mental breakdowns can make or break a season.

“Last season, we had four or five games that came right down to the wire,” Helliesen said. “Our season could have been totally different, our playoff situation could have been totally different if it wasn’t for these five-minute bursts where we had a lot of mental lapses.”

The Vikings were held scoreless and tested Hawk keeper Sam Crawford for just three saves, while Mascenic keeper and co-captain Chris Wilkins was put on the spot for eight saves, including a diving beauty of a punchout that forced him out of the game with an injury late. But the slow start wasn’t for lack of effort and intensity. Shea Zina and Jasmine Williams were strong on the defense, anchored by co-captain Zack Barthel, who slotted nicely into the defense spot vacated by last year’s senior star Micah Howard.

“[Barthel] went hard the whole game,” Zipke said. “He’s going end to end.”

Barthel’s presence was notable in the Viking huddles, where he took the lead in instructing the team and instilling energy.

“I’m definitely trying to put as much onto the captains as they can, because they’re going to be juniors this year,” Helliesen said. “If they can practice that leadership and be good captains this year, then next year they’ll be unstoppable.”

Mascenic’s young this year, with Jake Zina the only senior, and the sped-up rotation necessitated by the heat allowed Helliesen a look at his younger players, where John Kushner, Sean Agonis and Spencer Dilda shone.

“It’s our first game, so it showed us what we need to work on,” Helliesen said. “I’m glad I got to see the freshman in action and see what they’re capable of, and see what the future of the program is.”

Mascenic (0-1) can bounce back Friday at Hillsboro-Deering as they rekindle the oft-chippy series with the Hillcats.

BOYS’ SOCCER

ConVal 4, Kingswood 0

ConVal put together their second 4-0 shutout of the season on Monday as they blanked Kingswood on the road.

August Marshall scored twice for the Cougars and Max Richard and Del Bonsu-Anane put in one apiece.

Colby Knight made two assists and Taylor Burgess and Finn Wegmueller made one each.

Mather Kipka put together three saves as ConVal outshot the Knights 30-5.

ConVal (2-0) is at Lebanon (1-1) Thursday at 4 p.m.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Hopkinton 9, Conant 1

Conant got off to a tough start on Friday, as they lost at Hopkinton 9-1.

Lilly Bower made 20 saves in the loss. Jillian Patria scored the lone Oriole goal in Conant’s first game under new head coach Adam Patria.

Conant (0-1) had their game against Monadnock Tuesday postponed due to heat, and is back in action Tuesday against Fall Mountain.

FIELD HOCKEY

Lebanon 3, ConVal 1

ConVal got out to an early start in the first game of their Division III schedule, as junior Shannon Allen punched in a rebound and scored the first goal of the game at the end of the first half against Lebanon Monday night.

Goalie Taylor Jarest and the Cougars held Lebanon scoreless for 57 minutes, but the Raiders put in three goals in the final minutes to steal a win on the road.

ConVal (0-1) is at Kearsarge (1-0) Friday at 4 p.m. and travels to Conant Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Hopkinton 6, Mascenic 1

Scoring star Allannah Johnson put in Mascenic’s only goal, off a corner and a rebound, as the Vikings started their season with a loss at Hopkinton.

“Freshmen played well for first high school game,” said head coach Selena Shaw, “looking forward to them contributing this year.”

Mascenic (0-1) hosts Bishop Brady Thursday at 4 p.m.