Soccer: Conant roars into playoffs; ConVal, WLC set for postseason matchups

  • Conant’s Noah Mertzic celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in double overtime against Kearsarge Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' soccer team hosted Kearsarge on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Coe-Brown goalkeeper Waylon Walker makes a save against ConVal on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. Ben Conant / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Coe-Brown on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Coe-Brown on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Coe-Brown on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Coe-Brown on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal boys' soccer team hosted Coe-Brown on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/25/2021 1:13:04 PM

The Oriole boys are roaring into the postseason after a thrilling double-overtime golden-goal win against Kearsarge on Friday’s senior night.

“This is the perfect game to go into the playoffs on,” said Conant senior Noah Mertzic after the 4-3 win. “This is the exact experience we needed going into the playoffs.”

Mertzic got the scoring started for Conant (12-2-2) Friday, knocking one in off a Josh DiPasquale cross. He’d add another – sort of – in the second half, when he launched one from the right wing that deflected in off a Kearsarge defender. Adding that on top of Jacob Sawyer’s late first-half goal, the Orioles were up 3-1 midway through the second half.

The Cougars were playing to hold on to the eight seed in Division III and with it, a home playoff game. Inspired, Kearsarge rallied in the second half and sneaked two balls past Conant keeper Garrett Somero to tie it up.

“We lost a little bit of focus,” Mertzic said. “Our legs were tired. They scored two quick goals, but props to the team for not giving up after that – we kept fighting until the end. We don’t give up. To keep fighting and get the win, that’s what’s going to count in the playoffs. I’m really proud of my team today.”

Mertzic gave his team something to be proud of in the final two minutes of the second overtime, when he broke through in the 98th minute for the game-winning golden goal and led his team to a raucous celebration in front of the cheering Conant fans.

“I’ve never experienced a moment like that in soccer before out of all the years I’ve played,” Mertzic said. “It was magical. I couldn’t have asked for a better senior night.”

Conant (12-2-2) locked up the fourth seed in Division III, behind two teams – Hopkinton (14-1-1) and Campbell (13-2-1) who’ve beaten the Orioles this fall, and one – No. 1 Gilford (16-0) – Conant hasn’t faced.

BOYS SOCCER

ConVal in as ninth seed

ConVal and Coe-Brown played 100 minutes without a single goal Thursday night in a thrilling senior night contest that featured stellar goalkeeping from both sides.

ConVal’s Wyatt Beaulieu and Coe-Brown’s Waylon Walker were tested often in net during the final regular-season contest, and they were up to the task, as each made an array of diving and leaping saves to keep the pair of clean sheets.

The Cougars were bailed out twice; once, a Coe-Brown shot got past Beaulieu but was booted away from the net by a ConVal defender, and in overtime, a promising Bear shot hit the crossbar. Walker was beaten once as well, in the final minute of regulation, but the ball went past his outstretched hands about six inches wide of the right post.

It was the final regular season home game for seniors Zach Burgess, Fletcher Maggs, Abe Dreher, Adrian Jimenez and Owen Kotula.

ConVal (8-6-2) fell to the ninth seed in Division II and will travel to No. 8 Stevens (9-7) Tuesday at 6 p.m.

 

Hopkinton 3,
Mascenic 2 (2 OT)

The Vikings closed out their season with an excellent effort against No. 2 Hopkinton on Friday. Senior Sean Agonis scored twice for Mascenic with assists from Hunter Thompson and Dylan Barthel. Mascenic was up 2-1 with three minutes left before the Hawks tied it; Hopkinton would win it in the second overtime.

The Vikings finish their year at 3-10-2.

 

WLC wins, hosts
Division IV playoff game

WLC’s 1-0 win in the season finale at Hinsdale Friday means the Warriors are in the Division IV playoffs as the fifth seed. Wilton (10-3-1) will host No. 12 Pittsfield Tuesday at 3 p.m. to open the postseason.

GIRLS SOCCER

ConVal clinches playoffs with pair of wins

The ConVal girls were fighting for their playoff lives last week, and they got the job done with a pair of shutouts.

After Wednesday’s 2-0 win against Plymouth, it was do-or-die for the Cougars at Coe-Brown Thursday in the season finale. Senior keeper Mairin Burgess pulled off another shutout, and Zoe Lazzaro converted a penalty kick for the 1-0 win.

ConVal finishes at 6-8-2, good enough to move up to No. 11 in Division II. The Cougars travel to No. 6 Stevens on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

 

WLC makes postseason

The Warriors’ final game at Hinsdale Friday was canceled, but WLC’s 4-10 record was good enough to get them into the Division IV playoffs as the 14th seed. WLC will go on the road Wednesday for a preliminary round game at No. 3 Woodsville Wednesday at 3 p.m.


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