Marauders Rule Rematch
Hanover Dominates Londonderry to Continue Strong Start
Hanover High's Xavier Tchana keeps the ball in bounds while chased by Londonderry's Cody Woods during the first half of Tuesday's game in Hanover. The Marauders won, 4-0. Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover's Joshua Wallace falls toward the ball in the last few minutes of the Londonderry at Hanover boys soccer game in Hanover, N.H., on September 10, 2013. Hanover won, 4-0.
Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »
Londonderry goalkeeper Jeff Baroody prevents Hanover's Rocco Linehan from heading the ball into the goal on Tuesday in Hanover. Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — Possession and passing oriented, the Hanover High boys soccer team can rarely be accused of playing impatiently.
Unfortunately for the Marauders’ opponents, that doesn’t mean they waste any time getting on the scoreboard.
Senior Daniel Hazlett scored four minutes, eight seconds into Tuesday’s game against Londonderry — the third time in as many games Hanover has scored in the first seven minutes of play — and the Marauders won 4-0 at Merriman-Branch Field in a rematch of a 2012 NHIAA Division I semifinal.
Eight players earned a goal or an assist for Hanover (3-0), which is outscoring its opponents 9-0 as it embarks on its second season in D-I, where it petitioned to join prior to last season. The Marauders reached the final before a 2-1 loss to Manchester Central.
The Lancers, who returned only a pair of starters from last year’s semifinalists and have a new coach in Todd Ellis, fell to 0-2-1.
Hazlett’s goal was one of two Hanover tallies off rebounds in the first half, and the Marauders also scored off a free kick as they seized a 3-0 halftime lead.
Hazlett was well positioned to knock in the rebound of Xavier Tchana’s shot for the early goal. It came on the left side following an initial stop by Londonderry goalie Jeff Baroody (six saves).
“Ever since freshman year, (Hanover coach Rob) Grabill has talked about following the shot and staying in position,” said Hazlett, who was tops on the team with 13 goals and 10 assists a year ago. “Usually I get caught offsides, which is something he’s always teased me about. But this time I stayed behind the defender and it paid off.”
The Marauders needed just 6:44 to net their first goal of the year against in a 2-0 revenge win over Central on Sept. 3. Then at Nashua North on Saturday, the Panthers didn’t touch the ball before Hanover sophomore Asa Berolzheimer netted his first varsity goal just 2:10 into an eventual 3-0 decision.
“It’s always big to score first, just to get that confidence that comes with it,” added Hazlett. “Especially in a big game, it puts you in position to have the other team back on their heels.”
Less than 10 minutes after Hazlett’s strike, the Marauders made it 2-0 on a picture-perfect restart. Launching a free kick from about 40 yards out, Evan Greenwald’s parabola found teammate Sam Carey’s noggin in stride for a one-hop header past Baroody at the left post.
“I thought I might have jumped a little early, but I was onsides,” Carey said. “I had a good two seconds to watch the ball come down and time it out.”
With restarts a point of emphasis for the team in practice, Carey has been drilling them home with aplomb — except during games.
“I’ve been telling the guys, we need more (production with) restarts,” Grabill said. “Whether it’s free kicks or corner kicks, we do them a lot in practice. So I was thrilled to see such a beautiful ball by Evan. Carey has been converting a lot of headers (in practice), so it was only a matter of time before we would saw it in a game.”
Persistence bore fruit once more for the Marauders in the 19th minute as Berolzheimer stuffed in the fourth consecutive shot in a Hanover barrage.
Berolzheimer’s initial offering on a one-timer zinged off the crossbar and plunked straight down before Hazlett and Rocco Linehan had close-range follow-up bids. Both were stopped by Baroody, but Berolzheimer was there for his second goal and team-leading fourth point (goals plus assists) of the year.
“We have a practice drill that’s all about close quarters, and that’s what you saw there,” said Grabill. “That first shot by Asa was so close, it was only just that he got the goal.”
Having outshot Londonderry 12-2 in the first half, with Marauder keeper Alex Bynum needed for just one save, Hanover scaled back on its attack and focused on protecting their lead while substituting freely in the second half. It still controlled the run of play and made it 4-0 when Ian Caldwell set up fellow sophomore Tim Alibozek down the right side. Alibozek converted while drifting away into the far corner.
Caldwell and Alibozek are two of five sophomores on Hanover’s roster, all of whom played yesterday. Two of them — Berolzheimer and Jonah Levine — started at midfield, an area where Hanover expected to have back would-be returning starters Jonas Taezner (nine goals, 12 assists in 2012) and Ethan Kable, both juniors.
Taenzer — who is slated to join the reserve team for professional German outfit Werder Bremen next summer — is playing this fall for Seacoast United, the Hampton, N.H.-based U.S. Soccer Development Academy team. Kable, meanwhile, is leaving Saturday to spend the school year in Italy.
The Marauders also lost would-be goalie Brendan Rhim, a senior who competes on the Killington Mountain School cycling team.
The holes they left have helped make room for 13 varsity newcomers, many of whom have already been contributing.
“If you watch how far Bynum kicks and handles the ball, you know we’re going to fine (at goalie),” said Grabill. “For the sophomores and first-year (varsity) juniors, so can see that they have no problem with their roles being expanded. It doesn’t bother them to give up a few inches or a few pounds. It’s not the size of the player that counts, it’s the intensity and the character of the player.”
Getting on the scoreboard quickly helps, too.
Jared Pendak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3306.
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