Boys’ soccer: Trinity knocks out Mascenic, will host Conant in quarterfinal Saturday

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' soccer team hosted Trinity in the NHIAA DIvision III tournament Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/29/2020 9:10:50 AM

Mascenic’s “weird” six-game soccer season came to a close Wednesday with a 7-1 loss to Trinity in the NHIAA Division III tournament prelim round. 

With this season’s regional scheduling, it’s been hard to gauge just how good teams around the state might be. Mascenic head coach Jeremy Taylor said he had an “inkling” after Trinity shut out defending champions Campbell 3-0 in their first round game Monday, and when the Pioneers got to New Ipswich Wednesday, that inkling was writ in full. 

“Best soccer we’ve seen all season, if we’re being honest,” Taylor said. 

The Vikings’ loaded 2019 team with nine senior starters snapped Trinity’s win streak and then knocked them out of the playoffs; this year, the tables were turned, as the Pioneers’ senior-heavy team returned the favor. 

“They’re all well-rounded kids, they played hard and just had the better team, that’s what it came down to,” said Mascenic co-captain Shea Zina, the lone senior on this Viking team. 

Trinity looked like a championship contender Wednesday, putting up three goals in the first five minutes and never letting up. Mascenic was able to muster just one goal off the boot of Matt Swanson, who’d just been medically cleared to play for the first time all season this week. Swanson corralled a soaking-wet loose ball that slipped from the grasp of Trinity’s keeper and poked it home for Mascenic’s only score (Swanson put another one in near the end of the game off one of Zina’s mighty throw-ins, but the play was whistled dead). 

Nate Shipman led the Pioneers with three goals and two assists. 

It wasn’t exactly the senior season Zina had in mind after last year’s magical run to the championship game.

“It was a pretty weird season,” Zina said. “Still doesn’t feel like it’s over. It will probably hit me when I get home…It was fun to play, at least I got a season, some kids out there didn’t even get to play soccer, so kind of a blessing that I got to play and have a senior season.”

Still, he can go out knowing that he helped usher in a new era of respectability for Mascenic soccer. 

“It feels really good to know that I was a part of that, to put Mascenic’s name out there and say ‘Hey, they’re pretty good,’” Zina said.

And while a blowout loss wasn’t the way anyone wanted to go out, the Vikings’ future is bright. Zina is the only player graduating, Mascenic returns co-captains Blaine Krook and Jackson Cocozella, and every player on the roster got significant playing time. 

“We’re setting ourselves up well for the next season,” Taylor said. “It will be tough to lose Shea, and it was tough to lose this way, but that’s why there’s next season. There’s a lot to look forward to.”

Trinity will square off with Conant Saturday in Manchester after the Orioles beat Fall Mountain 1-0 Wednesday in their own playoff game. 

“We were resilient and stayed together on the pitch,” said head coach Tom Harvey.

Junior Noah Mertzic scored Conant’s only goal off an assist from freshman Thomas Harvey. 

Conant benefited from the return of first-string keeper Garrett Somero, who has been battling injuries all season and played just his first full game Wednesday. 

The Orioles sported a variety of new accessories in their playoff game. Conant’s players wore black ribbons to remember former classmate Trevor Pierce, who died in an accident while at college earlier this month, and yellow ribbons in memory of another fallen classmate, Alejandro Menjivar, who died last October. And, for the first time this season, the Orioles were required to wear masks while playing. 

“It was tiring for the boys,” coach Harvey said. 

Conant travels to Trinity for a quarterfinal game Saturday, though the start time is not set in stone, as several Oriole players are also on the cross-country team, which competes in the divisional championship across the street from Trinity at Derryfield Park at 4:20 p.m. 

WLC out at Sunapee

The Warriors played a good game at rival Sunapee Wednesday but ultimately lost to the Lakers 5-1 to end their Division IV playoff run and their season. 

“They are a tough team,” said WLC head coach Dan Nelson. “Wish we could have seen them more before today.”

Junior Troy Brennan scored WLC’s only goal.

“Really happy with the entire team and the progess they made this year,” Nelson said. 

The Warriors graduate seniors Sam Townsend, Nate Brown, Paul Van Blarigan and Duwayne Thompson. 


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