Soccer: ConVal boys hold off Hollis-Brookline to remain undefeated

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/4/2019 7:08:45 PM
Modified: 10/4/2019 7:08:33 PM

Three’s a magic number, and the ConVal boys’ soccer team found some magic Friday afternoon in their 3-1 victory over Hollis-Brookline to open homecoming weekend. 

“Anytime you can get more than one goal in a game, it feels good, especially when you win,” said ConVal head coach Josh Smith. “I think in the division, if you’ve scored three goals, I don’t think any team’s lost yet, so that’s a pretty good number to shoot for, so if you get there, you’re usually pretty safe.”

Smith thought correctly; no team in Division II has scored three goals and lost this season, and the Cougars, who’d only scored four goals total in their previous three games, were happy to put a crooked number on the scoreboard. 

Watching the first half, you might have expected another 1-0 game, as the two teams battled defensively to a scoreless tie at the midway point. ConVal’s defensive back line of Zach Kriebel, Connor Close and Trevor Faber did their usual work to keep the ball off of keeper Mather Kipka, and Casey Jordan and Finn Wegmueller did the under-the-radar dirty work in the middle. 

“They’re putting in work and being responsible for a lot of things defensively,” Smith said.

ConVal made sure to mark up Hollis-Brookline’s dangerous frontal attack of Andy Basque, JJ Kennedy and Ethan Smith, using organization and communication to keep them at bay.

“They had multiple guys up top that are dangerous and they mix things up well,” Smith said. 

ConVal finally broke through four minutes into the second half, when Colby Knight sailed a corner kick through the gusty sky and over the H-B goal to a waiting Trevor Faber, who headed the ball in to Del Bonsu-Anane for a quick strike and the game’s first goal. 

There’s nothing more dangerous than those first few moments after a game-changing goal, though, and Hollis-Brookline’s counterattack struck quickly. Just two minutes later, Kennedy got through and rifled a zinger that struck Kipka high on the chest and found the net to equal things up.

Then it was ConVal’s turn to mix things up. Smith moved hard-working August Marshall back for a bit and subbed in lanky Jamison Coty, who got in position, received the ball at the top of the, turned and fired for the eventual gamewinner.

“He’s a guy who started a couple games, comes off the bench most of the time as one of our first or second subs, and he had a huge game,” Smith said.

It was still a one-goal game, and Kipka turned on the heat with the lead, making a game-saving deflection with a leaping save at the crossbar with 8:35 remaining. 

Max Shumway completed the scoring with an impressive bender from way out along the left sideline that sailed over the helpless head of Cavs keeper Ryan Coutu. 

“Even though 3-1 was the result, we won by two goals, it was still a tight game,” Smith said. “We were just able to find the ball in the right situations and we were able to take care of it and put it away.”

ConVal (9-0-1) remains the undefeated No. 1 team in Division II and travels for a huge rematch at No. 2 Lebanon (9-1) Monday afternoon. ConVal beat Lebanon 2-1 in overtime earlier in the season. 

 


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