Woodsville Employs Long Memories to Reach Semifinals

Woodsville — The guy who once declared that elephants never forget must have confused mentally acute pachyderms with another eight-lettered creature beginning with E.

An Engineer — the Woodsville High boys soccer variety — also doesn’t easily forget. Armed with memories from its only loss of the season, top-ranked Woodsville used a Mike Dennis goal late in the second half to eliminate No. 9 Gorham, 1-0, in an NHIAA Division IV boys soccer quarterfinal at Woodsville High School.

The 4-1 home loss to the Huskies (10-7-1) served as the nadir on an otherwise superior season for the Engineers (16-1-1). But veteran coach Mike Ackerman was only happy to use the loss as motivation when Sunday’s rematch rolled around.

“It (reminded me) that we had to play really well,” Ackerman said. “It helped my guys get keyed up for it. After that game, they (Gorham) ran around hollering, ‘Who’s undefeated now?’ We reminded our players of that the last couple of days.”

Regardless, Gorham remained primed for another upset through the length of a windy afternoon.

Dennis scored the match’s only goal at 35:30. David Bazzell lofted a left-side cross to Dennis on the right wing, and Dennis chested the ball down before left-footing a 12-yard drive home.

Gorham gave Woodsville goalkeeper Tom D’Angelo plenty of attention on a 12-save effort. D’Angelo made “three or four really good stops in the second half” when the Huskies had the benefit of the wind at their backs, Ackerman said.

The defensive contingent of sweeper Skyler Clough, stopper Mike Lloyd and wing backs Jason Fullerton and Jared Mitchell combined with center midfielder Derek Maccini in preventing Gorham from hitting the scoreboard. “There were coming and pushing more guys up, and it was furious with the wind blowing toward our goal,” Ackerman added. “Our fullbacks bent a little bit, but they didn’t break.”

Woodsville gets a date against No. 5 Sunapee in Thursday’s semifinals at Laconia High School. The Lakers blasted No. 4 Colebrook, 7-1, in their quarterfinal on Sunday.

Oyster River 2, Lebanon 1

Durham, n.h. — Goalkeeper Jon Dutka put up a one-man wall in denying the fifth-ranked Raiders (13-4-1) from a trip to the NHIAA Division II semifinals.

Dutka made 10 saves for the fourth-seeded Bobcats (14-2-2), highlighted by quality stops on Lebanon’s Austin Whaley and Martin Gradijan in the first half followed by denials of the Raiders’ Tanner Singleton and Jeff Purdy in the second. Lebanon owned an 11-3 edge in shots on goal and a 6-4 edge in corner kicks, but both couldn’t produce a victory.

Oyster River’s Bryce Shultz had a 23-yard bomb slapped away by diving Raider goalkeeper Kenny Weitzman in the Bobcats’ only solid chance from the run of play. Both OR goals came on restarts, a 37th-minute Neil Thomas header on a 40-yard indirect free kick and a 65th-minute Thomas one-timer following a corner kick.

Kuda Muhlauri hammered home a chest pass from Gradijan 90 seconds after Thomas’ first strike to tie the match for Lebanon. Center back Chris Morse also earned an assist on the play with a long curling pass from midfield that found Gradijan on the run to the left of the Oyster River net.

Gradijan nearly sent the match to overtime with three minutes to play. The senior midfielder solved Dutka at the left post and sent a bid to the vacated net only to have an Oyster River back slide across the goal line and clear the shot away for a corner kick.

In addition to Gradijan, Lebanon coach Rob Johnstone loses Weitzman, Singleton, Purdy, GW Wells-Bogue, Nathaniel Morgan and Mo Woodcock to graduation.

Girls Volleyball

St. Thomas 3, Hanover 1

Dover, n.h. — After rolling to an opening 25-6 set win, the sixth-ranked Marauders (12-6) surrendered three straight games — 26-24, 25-13, 25-20 — and saw their NHIAA Division II tournament trip end in the quarterfinals to the third-seeded Saints (15-3) on Saturday night.

Hanover picked up big defensive games from sophomores Nora Anderson and Leia Barrowes, who combined to record 65 digs over the four-set match. Seniors Elisabeth Pillsbury (seven kills) and Holly Schlosser (four kills) led the attack, which also picked up a kill and a block from senior Sara Aavlik and a 13-for-14 night at the service line from senior Darby Phillips. A newcomer to the varsity, sophomore Hollis Westing contributed quality minutes at middle hitter, coach Amy Carney said.

“(We were) slow to get going, but Hanover played three competitive final sets,” Carney added in an email. “Long rallies. Fun to watch. Nice finish for a very solid season.”

College Field Hockey

UNH 2, Dartmouth 1

Hanover — A late goal from New Hampshire’s Casey Pohlmeyer halted a second-half Dartmouth comeback bid on Sunday at Chase AstroTurf Field.

Senior Maggie Scanlon scored the Big Green’s lone goal against 20th-ranked UNH, snapping the visitors’ stretch of more than five games, dating back to Oct. 13, without allowing a goal.

The Wildcats’ Meg Flatly scored just 4:53 into the game to give the visitors the lead. Scanlon tied it in the 50th minutes, and Pohlmeyer won it in the 63rd.

Ellen Meyer finished with 11 saves for the Big Green (7-9) which closes its season on Saturday at home against Cornell.

Men’s Basketball

VTC 80, NMCC 30

Lewiston, Maine — South Royalton High graduate Ryan Follensbee netted 17 points as Vermont Tech won its season and Yankee Small College Conference opener, beating Northern Maine Community College.

Jamal Hughes led VTC with 18 points. Nick Ryan followed up with 12, and Andrew Scott contributed seven points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

Vermont Tech visits Fisher College on Wednesday.