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2020 HS boys soccer preview: Pandemic cuts into squad rosters

  • Hanover’s Carter Guerin, left, and Lebanon’s Griffin Gamache, right, angle for possession as Lebanon keeper Ryan Tanski, background, keeps an eye on the ball during their game in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Volunteer coach Daniel Hazlett, left, talks with Hanover midfielder Eric Ringer, right, during half time of the Marauders’ game with Lebanon in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Hazlett is a 2014 Hanover alum. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Zane Schiffman, of Hanover, crosses the ball during a game with Lebanon in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover Coach Rob Grabill, left, and Lebanon Coach Rob Johnstone thank the referees after a game in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 10/1/2020 8:02:54 AM
Modified: 10/1/2020 12:56:19 PM

Upper Valley boys soccer teams have felt the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many teams suffering from a lack of turnout, the frustration of practice restrictions and a reduced and condensed game schedule. Several teams have lower numbers than normal as everyone adjusts to the pandemic reality of wearing face masks and social distancing.

Optimism abounds for many teams despite the adversity. Hanover is defending its NHIAA Division I state championship despite graduating 17 players by doing what the Marauders do best — reloading the roster with a new batch of players from their potent feeder teams. Expect Hanover to be near the top of the standings once again.

Lebanon, Mascoma and Rivendell all made at least the semifinals of their respective tournaments a season ago, and all have plenty of reason for optimism this year despite significant graduation losses.

Coach Rob Stainton, longtime chief of the Sharon Academy boys, takes the reins in Woodstock this year. His Wasps return plenty of experience from last season’s 9-3-2 team which lost to eventual state champion Stowe in the VPA Division II quarterfinals.

A lack of players will keep Mid Vermont Christian on the sidelines.

Hanover

Coach: Rob Grabill (15 years).

Last year: 14-2-4, won state championship. Three of Marauders’ four tournament wins came on penalty-kick tiebreakers.

League: NHIAA Division I.

Returnees: Seniors — Henry Aspinwall (F), Pierce Hamlin (M), Dylan Kotlowitz (D), Jackson Lake (M), Alex Stevens (D), Nathan Subrahmanian (M), Tucker Monson (D). Juniors — Jacob Kubik-Pauw (M), Eric Ringer (M), Evan Nichols (D).

Newcomers: Seniors — Mitch Aspinwall (M), Matias Less (D), Tom Lyons (D), Charles Wheelan (G). Juniors — Luke Ives (D), Connor Hamlin (D), Murphy Hunt (M), Oscar Miller (F), Palmer Okai (D), Jack Ross (M), Zane Schiffman (M). Sophomores — Becket McCurdy (M), Ty Nolon (G). Freshmen — Carter Guerin (M), Will Guerin (M), Ryder Hayes (M).

Analysis: The Marauders graduated 17 seniors, and nine starters, from last year’s D-I state championship team. With a deep, talented program down through the youth levels, the Marauders are reloading for another run toward the top of the standings. This year’s crop of seniors features exceptional leadership in the midfield with Nathan Subrahmanian, Alex Stevens, Jackson Lake and Pierce Hamlin. Classmate Henry Aspinwall figures to be the leading goal scorer, taking the reins from the graduated Charlie Adams. Sophomore Ty Nolon will be the youngest full-time starting goalkeeper in coach Rob Grabill’s tenure and already has his sights set on playing NCAA D-I soccer.

“Our program has a great deal of talent and depth,” Grabill said. “Our weakness will be a lack of experience, but our relatively soft schedule should negate that. If we have a tournament, Hanover will be ready to defend its state title.”

Hartford

Coach: Kevin Guilbault (9).

Last year: 10-5-0, lost in first round.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Southern Vermont League (B Division).

Returnees: Seniors — Aiden Brooks (D/M), Tanner Bessette (M/F), Eddie Jeon (D), Remy Lambert (D/M), Nick Martin (M/F), Shane Miller (G), Carter Nalette (M), Ian O’Brien (D/M), Jackson Smith (D). Juniors — Tarin Prior (M/F), Simon Spaulding (M). Sophomores — Joey Beggs (D), Austin DeFelice (D/M), Brody Dillon (F), Nolan McMahon (M/F).

Newcomers: Seniors — Evan Berman (D/M), Jack Hinckley (M/F), Dylan Morse (M/F). Junior — Kalem Boyton (M). Sophomores — Blaine Gour (GK), Sawyer Albrecht (D/M).

Analysis: Senior goalkeeper Shane Miller will anchor what is a talented, if somewhat inexperienced, Hartford defense. Nolan McMahon will lead the way in the midfield, with Tarin Prior, Nick Martin and Tanner Bessette all figuring to be key players in the attack.

“The defense and midfield need to get up to speed quickly, but they could be quite good by the end of the season. We’re looking for a deeper playoff run,” coach Kevin Guilbault said.

Lebanon

Coach: Rob Johnstone (27).

Last year: 16-3-0, lost to ConVal in state championship game.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Thomas Belk (M), Alex Felix (D), Preston Hewett (D), Jake Kriplin (D), Tyler St. Martin (M), Ryan Tanski (G). Juniors — Simon Amaro (M), Griffin Auch (F), Seth Carl (D), Colbie Delisle (G), Daniel Mladek (M), Ryan Oliveira (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Emmanuel Bello (F), Joey McGranahan (M), Aiden Yates (F). Juniors — John Bieszczad (D), Robert de la Cruz (F), Griffin Gamache (D), Ben Katz (M). Sophomores — Francis Calandrella (D), Duncan Green (D), Angus Hall (M), Birhanu Harriman (M), Will McGee (M), Sawyer Weale (M), Tommy Wolfe (M).

Analysis: The Raiders will be relying on plenty of new faces in the varsity lineup but will pick up a spark from London native Emmanuel Bello as well as Aiden Yates, who returns to the pitch after missing last fall due to junior ice hockey commitments.

“We have solid players throughout the lineup. There’s no substitute for experience, however, so we’ll need to learn on the fly,” Lebanon coach Rob Johnstone said.

Mascoma

Coach: Keli Green (3).

Last year: 13-5-1, lost in semifinals.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Connor Thompson (G), Isaac Rayno (D/M), Michael Steckbeck-Piper (D), Noah Lecuyer (D), Gavin Giovagnoli (M), Cameron Stebbins (F), Gabe Sperry (F). Juniors — Ben Seiler (F), Cole Moulton (M/D), Ian Moulton (D), Duncan Tuttle (swing).

Newcomers: Junior — Nik Ladue (F/M). Sophomores — Grant Suttie (M/F), Garrett Giovagnoli (D), Zach Thompson (M/F). Freshmen — Aidan Smith (M), Allan Hammond (G).

Analysis: The Royals are led by a group of nine experienced seniors, eight of whom return from last year’s starting lineup. On top of that, there’s the program’s leading all-time scorer, junior Ben Seiler, who set that mark during his sophomore season a year ago.

“We have an incredibly experienced group. We’ve changed our system of play to capitalize on this team’s strengths and hope to go deep in the tournament once again,” coach Keli Green said.

Newport

Coach: Caleb Godwin (3).

Last year: 3-11-1, missed tournament.

League: NHIAA Division IV.

Returnees: Seniors — Gavin Callow (D), Matt Gallagher (D), David Hutchinson (G). Junior — Reece Johnson (F). Sophomores — Hayden Palmer (F), Anson Ritundo (M), Jake Baltazar (M), Roman Parker (D).

Newcomers: Freshmen — Colton Godwin (M), Ben Almstrom (D), Eric Wilkinson (F). Eighth-grader: Christian Forsyth (M).

Analysis: Look for sophomore Hayden Palmer and freshman Colton Godwin to spark scoring chances for the Tigers. Senior Gavin Callow brings much-needed experience and leadership to the back line.

“Overall, I’m excited to see what this team can do during our rebuilding effort after losing nine seniors last year,” coach Caleb Godwin said.

Oxbow

Coach: Andrew Fisher (2).

Last year: 0-14-0, missed tournament.

League: VPA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Zach Kane (D/M), Carter Allen (M), Bryce Ilsley (F). Junior — Dylan Bearce (G/F).

Newcomers: Seniors — Cole Nanopoulos (F/M), Aaron Thurston (M/D). Junior — Andrew Emerson (D). Freshmen — Dakota Goodridge (G/F), Gavin Haskins (D), Jeremiah Fifield (D), Matthew Corti (D), Cameron Roy (F/M), Reece Ilsley (D/M).

Analysis: The Olympians lost seven starters due to COVID concerns and having to wear masks while playing. Last year’s team captain, Cameron Boardman, transferred to a prep school. These losses leave Oxbow depending on a number of new faces to lead this season’s team.

Rivendell

Coach: Kevin Brooker (3).

Last year: 13-4-0, lost in semifinals to eventual state champion Twin Valley.

Leagues: VPA Division IV, Southern Vermont League.

Returnees: Seniors — Owen Mansur (G), A.J. DeBois (M). Juniors — Lyle Rineheimer (D), Kyle Carter (M). Sophomores — Derek Vogelien (F), Josiah Welch (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Caleb Haehnel (D), Nathaniel Parkin (M), Sam Drummond (M). Juniors — Wyatt Underhill (F), Chris Pierce (F), Garrett Stever (M), Jamison Gilbert (D/G), Keo Hallmartel (D). Sophomores — Harry Molesworth (M), Austin Trendley (D).

Analysis: A.J DeBois returns for his senior season after scoring 16 goals last year as a potent 1-2 punch with the graduated Zach Gould. Owen Mansur is back as starting goalkeeper and brings plenty of experience to anchor the defense. The Raptors did lose 10 players to graduation or transfer, but the Rivendell junior varsity team led by coach Will Tifft has the varsity reloaded for this season.

“Will does a fantastic job developing players who slot pretty seamlessly into the varsity team,” coach Kevin Brooker said. “The boys have an upbeat attitude with regard to the COVID-19 ambiguity and whether or not we will have a full season.”

Sharon

Coach: Blake Fabrikant (2).

Last year: 6-9-0, lost in first round.

Leagues: VPA Division IV, Southern Vermont League (D division).

Returnees: Seniors — Erik Younce (D), Ian Robertson (D), Ben Rodis (G), Peter North (M), Leland Pelletier (D), Andrew Sawyer (D). Juniors — Riley Eastman (M/F), Ever Tofel (M), Daniel Henderson (M/F), Jaxon Nichols (D), Blaire Locke (M). Sophomores — Simon North (D), Caleb Benjamin (D/G), Parker Bogardus (D).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Jack Lloyd (F), Sam Simone (M). Freshmen — Maple Moore (F), Levi Mintz (D).

Analysis: The Phoenix will lean on multiple players to fill the void left by the graduation of all-time leading scorer Olly Skeet-Browning. Expect the defense, led by co-captains Ian Robertson and Erik Younce, to be a team strength. Ever Tofel, Daniel Henderson and Riley Eastman are all attacking midfielders who should carry plenty of the scoring load.

“We’ve had a really encouraging start to the season. Like everyone else, we’re eager to start playing games, mostly so we can demonstrate our improvement from last season. I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far,” coach Blake Fabrikant said.

Stevens

Coach: Jason Stone (9).

Last year: 7-10-0, lost in first round.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Brady Moote (D), Gabe Miller (M), Colby Jarvis (D). Juniors — Cooper Moote (G), Dylan Chambers (M), Austin Jones (D). Sophomores — Tristan Lane (M), Scott Campbell (M), R.J. Raymond (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Prescott Herzog (F), Caden Ferland (D). Sophomores — Sam Dalke (M), Kayden Laclair (M). Freshmen — Lucas Belisle (M), Jason Demars (D).

Analysis: The strength of the Cardinals may be in the defense, led by goalkeeper Cooper Moote and defender Brady Moote. With low numbers this season, Stevens will be relying on a number of new varsity players.

“We have a good group of guys and great team chemistry. We’re just happy to be playing and want to take advantage of each game and the learning experience we can gain,” coach Jason Stone said.

Thetford

Coach: Ray Thorburn (3).

Last year: 3-12-0, lost in first round.

Leagues: VPA Division III, Capitol Division.

Returnees: Seniors — Dylan Moody A’ness (D), Riley Burkins (F), Lucas Gilman (D), Knute Linehan (M), Ryen Wolf (G), Max Higgins (M/G). Juniors — Mack Briglin (M), Fritz Junker (D), Gordon Reo (F/M), Ethan Marshia (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Kobe Pierson (M), Logan Brinkman (M), Kodiak Shepherd (F). Junior — Alex Kim (D). Sophomores — Jacob Gilman (M), Nolan Pepe (M), Aidan Keene (M).

Analysis: The Panthers return much of the core of last season’s team and are expecting to improve their record this year. A trio of sophomores — Jacob Gilman, Nolan Pepe and Aidan Keene — will play a key role in the midfield.

“We’re looking to take advantage of the shortened season and advance deeper into the tournament,” coach Ray Thorburn said.

White River Valley

Coach: Alex Montano (7).

Last year: 9-7-0, lost in quarterfinals.

Leagues: VPA Division IV, Southern Vermont League.

Returnees: Seniors — Jacob Barry (F), Alex Lober (D), Carder Stratton (M), Jack Simack (M), Wyatt Slater (M). Juniors — Dominic Craven (F), Donovan Forcier (M).

Newcomers: Senior — Cameron Gray (G). Juniors — Elijah Kinsley (M), Mason Gauthier (D). Sophomores — Colin Lafromboise (F), Robby McShinsky (F), Zachary Armstrong (D). Freshmen— Finn Bailey (F), Cory Darling-Salls (M).

Analysis: With a roster depleted a bit due to COVID concerns, coach Alex Montano will lean on an experienced midfield of Carder Stratton, Wyatt Slater, Jack Simack and Jacob Barry to lead the Wildcats on the pitch. New starting goalkeeper Cameron Gray is showing quick improvement in the early going.

“The boys are adjusting to playing while wearing masks, but we’re happy to have a season at all this year,” Montano said.

Windsor

Coach: Steve Mulloy (3).

Last year: 4-10-1, lost in first round.

Leagues: VPA Division III, Southern Vermont League.

Returnees: Seniors — Brandon Hennessey (D), Blake Archambault (M), Vaughan Phillips (M/D), Evan Strobl (M/D), Jack Morin (D), Conner Allen (M/F), Cooper Bevis (M/D). Juniors — Adam Dufour (M/F), Jonathan Dexter (M/D), Bryce Moody (D), Jacob Singelais (G). Sophomore — Parley Burklund (D).

Newcomers: Sophomore — Taylor Merrill (M/F). Freshman — Devan Metzger (M/D).

Analysis: Windsor is among many teams fighting low turnout. Adam Dufour and Blake Archambault will key the attack. The defense returns three starters from last year — Brandon Hennessey, Bryce Moody and Conner Allen. Keeper Jacob Singelais looks to take over for the graduated Elijah Milligan.

“We’re just hoping we can go out there and be competitive in every match. We’ve had some good training sessions, and my hope is we can build confidence early to help us as the season progresses,” coach Steve Mulloy said.

Woodstock

Coach: Rob Stainton (1).

Last year: 9-3-2, lost to eventual state champion Stowe in quarterfinals.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Southern Vermont League.

Returnees: Seniors — Tom Bissaillon (F), Andrew Gubbins (M), Mason Harkins (M), Parker Kuhnert (F), Josh Mather (M/F), Taylor Plourde (M), Charles Greene (D). Juniors — Liam Brennan (D), Wyatt Napier (D). Sophomores — Alec Smail (M), Rowan Smail (D).

Newcomers: Sophomore — Seamus Shortle (G). Freshmen — Jaedon Beardsley (M), Django Farinas (F), Griffin Piconi (M), Gavyn Sammel (D), Bode Wood (F), Ben Johnsen (D), Ezra Lockhart (M).

Analysis: Coach Rob Stainton returns to the varsity pitch after a two-year break following 13 years leading the Sharon Academy boys. The Wasps are coming off a strong 2019 season and have a deep group of returning seniors and juniors.

“The shortened season and lack of scrimmages will make it tough for all teams, since we have to try and squeeze in as many games as possible once we get the OK to start. Everyone has been working hard in practice to be ready,” Stainton said.




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