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Boys’ soccer: Mascenic, ConVal, WLC ready for playoffs

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

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

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

  • Mascenic’s Dylan Vaillancourt gets a header during the soccer game against Monadnock on Friday. The Husky keeper saved this shot but Vaillancourt kicked in the rebound. Staff photo by Ben Conant

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

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

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

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

  • ConVal's Taylor Burgess scores the winning goal against Bow on Thursday. Photo by mikemunhallphotos.com



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 22, 2018 1:7PM

Mascenic ended their soccer season on a high note, beating Monadnock 2-1 to lock up the seventh seed in the Division III playoffs.

“I don’t think there’s a team in the division we can’t take on,” said head coach Andy Helliesen after the game, pointing to the season split with No. 3 Campbell and the one-goal OT loss to No. 1 Trinity as evidence.

Monadnock will miss the playoffs this year, but they’re still a dangerous foe, as No. 5 Hopkinton found out last week when the Huskies beat them 1-0. Playing their third game in a row once again, the banged-up Vikings might have had their hands full. However, Mascenic got on the board early, as Dylan Vaillancourt got up for a header off a corner kick. Monadnock keeper Noah Larson made the initial save, but Vaillancourt punched in the rebound for a goal - Larson’s first goal allowed in three games.

“Just like hockey, if you have a hot goaltender, it’s tough to break through, so I was glad we got that early lead,” Helliesen said.

Mascenic honored their lone senior, Jake Zina, during their “Zina Night” halftime ceremony, and then tried to get the midfielder loose for a goal in his final regular season game. Zina had a shot at a cross in the Monadnock box midway through the second half, but couldn’t connect with the ball; however, a Husky defender took a bad swing at it and sent it right into the Monadnock net to put Mascenic up 2-1.

“I told [Zina] we’ll give him 24-50ths of a goal,” Helliesen said. “The other player would not have shanked that if he hadn’t been putting the pressure on. There’s no such thing as a stat for being in someone’s head, but he was definitely a part of it.”

With only one senior for Mascenic, it was the freshman class who stepped it up in Helliesen’s lineup, revamped to rest the starters before the postseason.

“It’s really great to see these kids have the passion for the game, the passion for the play,” Helliesen said. “Going into the playoffs ... every game is going to be tough, so I’m glad we are bringing these guys into the fold.”

Keeper Chris Wilkins made a flurry of diving saves in the second half to keep Mascenic ahead. The Huskies finally scored in the final minute as a corner kick made its way into the box and off the body of Monadnock’s star striker Isaac Jasinsky and into the net to complete the 2-1 final.

Mascenic improved their record over last season by two wins, finishing at 10-6. The Vikings wrapped up the seventh seed in DIII and will host No. 10 Sanborn Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Vikings beat Sanborn 3-2 two weeks ago.

ConVal is No. 1 seed

The ConVal boys’ soccer team beat Bow on Thursday to complete a 15-1 regular season in impressive fashion.

Down 1-0 early, ConVal’s Colby Knight fed Max Richard at the 35-minute mark for the game-tying strike. With 15 minutes left in the second half, Knight found Taylor Burgess for the gamewinner.

Mather Kipka made two saves in net for the Cougars.

ConVal is the No. 1 overall seed in DII and will get a first-round bye before hosting the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 8 Merrimack Valley and No. 9 Lebanon.

ConVal equaled their impressive regular season record of 2016, when the Cougars went 15-1 in the regular season and finished at 16-2 after a heartbreaking home loss to Goffstown.

WLC has a long ride

The Warrior boys will have a long bus ride up to Franconia to face Profile on Tuesday after drawing the 11th seed in Division IV.

WLC lost to Sunapee 4-0 to conclude their season on Friday, but did beat Epping 3-1 on Thursday. In that game, Cody Swett, Jacob Boette and Sean Brennan all scored, with an assist coming from Jack Schwab.

The Warriors finished at 7-7-2 and will face a 12-4 Profile team that nabbed the sixth seed in DIV. The two teams did not face each other in the regular season.

Conant ends season with win

The Oriole boys will miss the playoffs this year with a 4-10-2 record, but they were able to beat Hinsdale in the final game of the season Friday, 3-2. Ethan Vitello, senior captain Gavin Motuzas, and Ethan Burke all scored for Conant.

With only Motuzas and Travis Olson to replace next season, the young Orioles should improve in 2019.