Lebanon’s Central Supply Edges Touchline for Soccer Title
Touchline goalkeeper Connor Edson dives for a loose ball Saturday at the feet of teammate Ian Caldwell (5) and Central Supply's Julian Stott. Central Supply won the N.H. Soccer Conference Division IV victory in Henniker. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Touchline's Alice Sedgewick (24) and a Renegades opponent hit the turf during the women's Division I title game. The defending champion Renegades won, 7-1. Sedgewick was named her team's Most Valuable Player for the match. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Henniker, n.h. — A Hanover vs. Lebanon high school soccer game by any other name is still highly competitive, as proven Saturday during the squads’ meeting in the New Hampshire Soccer Conference’s Division IV title contest.
Hanover, competing as Touchline, and Lebanon, battling under the banner of Central Supply, clashed for the third time this summer and it was the de facto Raiders triumphing by a 2-1 score.
The teams tied 1-1 in Plainfield and Touchline won, 2-1, on a late goal in Norwich earlier in the season.
“You won’t find two programs that are more competitive in New Hampshire high school soccer,” said Central Supply and longtime Lebanon High coach Rob Johnstone. “But you know when we play that no one’s going to whack you across the back of the knee when the ref isn’t looking.
“The guys all know and respect each other and you’re going to get a clean, hard-played game.”
Touchline, playing with only three substitutes and without several standouts, carried play during the first half and scored its only goal in the 15th minute. Ian Caldwell burst down the right side of the Central Supply penalty area and scored inside the far post on a low shot.
After intermission, however, the game belonged to Central Supply. It forged a tie early in the second half when Will Merchant flicked in a header off Bennett Newlove’s 45-yard, indirect kick from the right side. Johnstone said the left-footed boot was designed to start out down the middle of the field before swerving in the direction of the near post.
Central Supply, which played without standout midfielder Duncan Craig, struck for the victory with 10 minutes remaining. Newlove pounced on a back line turnover and broke in alone on goalkeeper Connor Edson. A 15-yard shot from the right side of the box zipped inside the far post.
“At halftime, we talked about identifying when (Touchline) was having difficult touches and how that was when we wanted to pressure them,” Johnstone said. “Don’t run around like crazy and make yourself hot and tired, pick your spots.
“That’s what led to the winning goal. Bennett saw that their guy had trouble with the ball and, boom, we capitalized.”
Central Supply finished 8-1-2 and Touchline was 11-6-3. Twenty five teams competed in Division IV this summer. Hanover and Lebanon no longer play during the high school season, a product of the Marauders’ move up to NHIAA Division I before the 2012 campaign. However, for a third consecutive year, the rivals will meet in an anticipated preseason scrimmage, this time on Aug. 26 at 5 p.m. in Hanover.
“That gives us final preparation against the best around,” said Johnstone, whose program previously plays Hartford and Trinity during the preseason.
Renegades 7, Touchline 1
Henniker, n.h. — The New Hampshire Soccer Conference’s Division I women’s title game was a rout, with the defending champions leading, 3-1, at halftime.
Touchline, which played without a true goalkeeper, struggled mightily in the net, allowing tallies on the first shots of the first and second halves and on four shots under the crossbar. The Renegades also scored on a goalmouth scramble where the keeper mishandled the ball and on a shot from the left wing.
Touchline pulled into a 1-1 tie midway through the first half when a long shot from the right wing sailed over the fingertips of leaping goaltender Nat Giudici and under the crossbar. The Renegades contended that the shot went over the bar and down the back of the netting, but to no avail.
Touchline defender Alice Sedgewick, an administrator at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, was named her team’s Most Valuable Player and her squad finished 7-2-3. The Renegades were 6-1-2. The teams did not meet during the regular season.
Touchline V 1 Lebanon Topstitch Embroidery 0
Henniker, n.h. — Simon Kahn scored off a Sam Coyle corner kick seven minutes before halftime in a meeting between what were essentially the junior varsity squads for Hanover and Lebanon High.
Touchline finished at 9-3-2 and Lebanon at 5-6. The teams split during the regular season, each winning a matchup at home.