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Lion of Summer: Ackerman Named N.H. Cup Coach

Mike Ackerman

Mike Ackerman

West Lebanon — Longtime Woodsville High boys soccer coach Mike Ackerman has an appointment with New Hampshire’s top players next summer.

In addition to being named the New Hampshire Division IV coach of the year, Ackerman was also announced as the head coach for the Granite State’s entry at the Twin State Lions Cup in a New Hampshire Soccer Coaches Association news release this week. Ackerman, who just completed his 37th season with the Engineers, will be joined on the Lions Cup staff by Alvirne’s Jeff Blackwell, Oyster River’s Charles Crull and Bishop Brady’s Ryan Joy, all of whom won coach-of-the-year plaudits in their respective divisions as well.

Woodsville recorded a 16-2-1 record and sat atop the NHIAA D-IV standings for much of the fall. The Engineers earned the top seed in the state tournament, eventually falling to Sunapee on a late goal in the semifinals, 2-1.

Ackerman’s Lions Cup roster will include a trio of Upper Valley competitors. Division I state champion Hanover will have defender Evan Greenwald and striker Daniel Hazlett as its representatives, while Lebanon will contribute midfielder Martin Gradijan. Hanover defender Emily Acker and Sunapee midfielder Abigail Armstrong are among the players set to represent the New Hampshire girls at the Lions Cup match on a roster coached by Newmarket’s Andrew Dawson.

The Lions Cup roster announcement came on the same day as the release of the NHSCA all-state teams. Upper Valley selections include:

Hanover: Greenwald, Hazlett (D-I boys first team); Xavier Tchana and Rocco Linehan (D-I boys second team); Acker (D-II girls first team); Kelly Brigham (D-II girls second team); Susanna Penfield and Evie Keating (D-II girls honorable mention).

Kearsarge: Andrew VanHooydonk (D-III boys second team); Robert Lauster (D-III boys honorable mention); Libby Brooks (D-III girls honorable mention).

Lebanon: Gradijan (D-II boys first team); Chris Morse and Jeffrey Purday (D-II boys second team); Tannger Singleton (D-II boys honorable mention); Michaela Schones (D-II girls second team); Sam MacDonald (D-II girls honorable mention).

Mascoma: Ben Jones (D-III boys honorable mention).

Newport: Mariah Chase (D-III girls honorable mention).

Stevens: Daniel Croteau (D-III boys second team); Zach Bunnell and Ethan Sweet (D-III boys honorable mention); Molly Early, Katelyn Belaire, Desneige Roy and Madelyn Whipple (D-III girls honorable mention).

Sunapee: Armstrong and Taylor Usko (D-IV girls first team); James Fitzgerald and Nick Skarin (D-IV boys first team); Alex Giioldassis (D-IV boys honorable mention); Madison Fowler (D-IV girls second team); Rose Webb (D-IV girls honorable mention).

Woodsville: Dan Roy (D-IV boys first team); David Bazzell (D-IV boys second team); Mike Lloyd and Derek Maccini (D-IV boys honorable mention); Julia Bowman and Louisa Noble (D-IV girls second team); Tori Clough and Paige Martin (D-IV girls honorable mention).

Marauders Make National Rankings

Hanover — A near-perfect season capped with the program’s first NHIAA Division I state championship vaulted the Hanover High boys soccer team into the National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings this week.

The latest poll, released on Tuesday, has the Marauders (19-0-1) ranked 21st nationally in the 25-school survey. It’s the first time Hanover has made the NSCAA national rankings since 1993.

The Marauders are also ranked third among New England (Region I) schools, behind only No. 7 Farmington (Conn.) and No. 13 LaSalle Academy of Rhode Island. The NSCAA will release its final ranking for the fall campaign next Tuesday.

Cross Country

Trio Makes All-State

West Lebanon — Lebanon’s Josh Fontaine and Hanover’s Zola Doyle and Liesel Robbins have been chosen for their respective Division II all-state teams by the New Hampshire Cross Country Coaches Association.

Fontaine, a junior, was the Raiders’ top runner throughout the fall. Fontaine placed third at the NHIAA D-II state meet, following that with a sixth-place finish at the state Meet of Champions and a visit to the New England Championships last month.

Both seniors, Doyle and Robbins backstopped a Marauder squad that took third as a team at D-II states, with Doyle finishing seventh and Robbins taking eighth. Both made the top 30 at the MOC, and Doyle later represented Hanover at the New England meet.

The NHCCCA will honor all three divisional all-state teams and name its top 10 runners and runner, team and coach of the year at a banquet on Dec. 5.

More Honors for D’Agostino

New Orleans — On the heels of her third straight NCAA Northeast Regional championship, Dartmouth senior Abbey D’Agostino added to her bulging trophy case with Northeast Region athlete of the year honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

It’s the third straight year D’Agostino has won the award and the fifth time in her career she’s received USTFCCCA recognition. She was also chosen the region’s top indoor and outdoor track athlete during the 2012-13 season.

D’Agostino swept all five of her cross country races this fall, winning them by an average of more than 28 seconds per start. The senior also helped guide the Big Green back to this weekend’s NCAA Championship as a team for the first time since 2001 with a second-place team result at last week’s regional meet. D’Agostino will go for her fifth NCAA individual title in either cross country or track when she lines up at Saturday’s national meet.