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Warriors knocked out

  • Sam Townsend goes up for a header as the Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' soccer team hosts Woodsville in the NHIAA DIV playoffs Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' soccer team hosted Woodsville in the NHIAA DIV playoffs Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' soccer team hosted Woodsville in the NHIAA DIV playoffs Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' soccer team hosted Woodsville in the NHIAA DIV playoffs Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Wilton-Lyndeborough’s Zephyr Bartlett goes up for a header against Woodsville Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' soccer team hosted Woodsville in the NHIAA DIV playoffs Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' soccer team hosted Woodsville in the NHIAA DIV playoffs Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' soccer team hosted Woodsville in the NHIAA DIV playoffs Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 6:1PM

By BEN CONANT

Not even five minutes had passed in Wilton-Lyndeborough’s playoff game against Woodsville, and the Warriors were already in a hole. The scoreboard still read 0-0, but standing under it on the WLC sideline was senior captain Jacob Yurcak, arguably the team’s best all-around player, who’d gone down with a shoulder injury that would send him to the hospital.

“Not having him out there hurt a lot,” said head coach Kristin Schwab.

The midfielder does a little of everything for the Warriors, and his presence was missed, especially by fellow senior co-captain Jake Levert.

“He’s a big difference on the outside,” Levert said, “because he beats everyone, he out-muscles everyone, and he sets me up a lot on the inside.”

Without that muscle, the Warriors took a pounding from the tough Engineers.

“Every North team’s physical,” Levert said. “They’re always big and buff, strong kids.”

Woodsville got on the board first Tuesday with a somewhat fluky goal, as the Engineers sent a free kick from the left side deep into the back right corner of the box. The ball was headed straight up in the air and then headed again; it got past goalie Sam Bailey but hit the bar and a Woodsville player was there to chest it in. The Warriors didn’t put together many scoring chances of their own and the halftime score was 1-0.

“I've never been upset with the team and I was really upset at halftime,” Schwab said. “We were very much off today and I just don't know why.”

Without Yurcak, the midfield belonged to Dylan Pfiel, powering through an ankle turn, and speedy Sam Claire, but between injury and inexperience, Woodsville was able to dominate possession in the second half.

Still, it was just a 1-0 game when Levert dribbled around goalie Cooper Davidson, beat him easily, and headed in for the equalizer. Levert approached the empty net, cocked back his cleat, and — stepped into a divot, twisted his ankle and fell to the turf. The ball rolled harmlessly out of play. Levert got up, hurt, but kept on playing.

“Jake gives me 110 percent, no matter what,” Schwab said. “He takes his game to heart. He plays really, really hard.”

Despite courageous play from Owen McGettigan and Cody Tetreault, the Engineers broke through again and again, and Woodsville extended the lead to 4-0. And even as the Warriors increased their aggression and got a trio of corner kicks in the waning moments, it wasn’t enough — and certainly not enough to beat the Woodsville goalie Davidson.

“Their defense was strong,” Schwab said. “Their goalie is amazing.”

WLC finished with a final record of 10-6-1.

Sports Editor Ben Conant can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 226 or at bconant@ledgertranscript.com.