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2020 HS girls soccer preview: There’s a new face on the field

  • Mia Madden, right, challenges teammate Riley McGuire, left, for the ball during a scrimmage at Hanover High School girls soccer practice in Hanover, N.H., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 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 High School girls soccer coach Doug Kennedy reviews strategy with his team during a water break at practice in Hanover, N.H., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Goalie Emma Kleber reaches to block a shot during Hanover High School girls soccer practice in Hanover, N.H., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • A lost face mask sits at center field during Hanover High School girls soccer practice in Hanover, N.H., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 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 8:01:24 AM
Modified: 10/1/2020 12:55:53 PM

Mascoma is the new girls soccer team on the scene this fall in the Upper Valley.

Girls have played on Mascoma’s boys team in recent years but finally have a squad to call their own in West Canaan. Coach Denver Greene will lead the Royals’ inaugural charge into competition, including a few tough matchups against bigger schools in the region.

Over in Hanover, the Marauders have moved up to Division I following back-to-back D-II state titles. Veteran coach Doug Kennedy’s group dominated last year’s opponents, amassing an undefeated record that included 16 shutouts in 19 outings. A mere four goals were allowed during the entire campaign.

Thetford Academy has established a stronghold on its side of the river by winning three consecutive titles in VPA D-III. The Panthers graduated a slew of standout players but retain plenty of experience and talent among their ranks. Fifth-year coach Dave Williams once again has a full cupboard to work with.

Hanover

Coach: Doug Kennedy (13).

Last Year: 18-0-1, won second consecutive NHIAA D-II state championship.

League: NHIAA Division I.

Roster: Seniors — Charlotte Johnson (F), Kira Smith (F), Sage McGinley-Smith (F), Rebekah Rudd (G), Casey McGuire (M), Sonja Lippman (M), Katie Stannard (D). Juniors — Izzy Kachikas (F), Emma Kleber (G), Caroline Adams (M), Noor van Aalst (M), Skouly Kachikas (M), Danielle Rudd (D), Eliza Daigle (D), Ingrid Pekala (D), Elsa Bolinger (D). Sophomores — Emilia Torresani (F), Mia Madden (M). Freshmen — Maeve Lee (F), Sydney McLaughlin (F).

Analysis: The Marauders will have their work cut out for them navigating the D-I landscape, but coach Doug Kennedy’s side is certainly up for the challenge. Charlotte Johnson, who led Hanover with 36 points (second among UV girls) a year ago, is back as a senior. Said Kennedy: “We have a significant number of newcomers and, with a short preseason, remain in early-season form. We’ll be looking to get comfortable with teammates and our style of play.”

Hartford

Coach: Jeff Acker (15).

Last year: 8-7-0, lost in first round.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Southern Vermont League.

Roster: Seniors — Cassidy Beisler (M), Eleanor Hinckley (F), Gretchen Josselyn (F), Regan Mock (F), Naveah Murphy (D), Reilly Slusser (F). Juniors — Katie Blood (M), Madisyn D’Amico (D), Beth Dobrich (M), Sarah Howe (F), Sophie Howe (F), Jenna Jasmin (D), Nora Knudsen (M), Grace Pfenning (M), Erin Thompson (G), Madison Withington (M). Sophomore — Bella Boeri (D).

Analysis: The Hurricanes are athletic and possess offensive firepower, according to their coach, Jeff Acker. Hartford’s roster includes 14 returning letterwinners from last year.

“We need to settle things down on the defensive side of the ball,” Acker said. “That’s a typical, annual challenge, made even harder this year because of the lack of preseason scrimmages and practices. I think we will be a very dangerous team to play against.”

Lebanon

Coach: Breck Taber (5).

Last Year: 3-9-4, missed playoffs.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Roster: Seniors — Sally Rainey (G), Rachel Harrington (M/D), Kiera Hines (D), Klaleh Punni (D). Juniors — Olivia Simione (M), Courtney Brown (F), Catherine Cole (M), Alyssa Graber (F/M), Makayla Finnell (F), Ella Longacre (M/D), Paige Susco (M), Kayla Taber (M/D). Sophomores — Claire Falcone (M), Elizabeth Kourbatski (M), Delaney DeShane (F), Mary Rainey (M/D), Maddy Newton (G). Freshmen — Sophie Longacre (M), Sydney DeShane (F), Maddie Jewell (D).

Analysis: The Raiders will aim to improve on last year’s win total. The defense will be bolstered by UNH-bound goalie Sally Rainey, who is among the best at her position in New Hampshire. “Our four seniors are our team leaders (and captains),” said Lebanon coach Breck Taber. “But success will depend on getting contributions from the younger players (five sophomores, three freshmen).”

Mascoma

Coach: Denver Greene (1).

Last year: N/A.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Roster: Senior — Mara Isham (M). Juniors — Liberti LaCasse (D), Peyton Morley (M), Meghan Clough (M/F). Sophomores — Rhiannon Stone (M), Kayli Stapelfeld (M/D), Madisun LaCasse (F), Emma Bill (G), Montana Aremburg (F). Freshmen — Emily Seiler (M), Sophia Taylor (D), Alexis Patterson (M), Sara Conkey (F), Isabella Adams (D).

Analysis: Mara Isham, who spent the last three seasons playing on the Mascoma boys team, is the lone senior on the Royals’ inaugural girls roster. The sky is the limit for this first-year program.

“We are a young team, but we are eager to learn, improve and grow,” said coach Denver Greene. “We are excited to lay the foundations of a proud girls soccer program at Mascoma for years to come.”

Newport

Coach: Gary McCall (2).

Last year: 1-15-0, missed playoffs.

League: NHIAA Division IV.

Roster: Senior — Paige Greenhalgh (D). Juniors — Riley Skarin (F), Bella Coffin (F), Alicia Urista (F), Zeta Morris (M), Annalee Hall (M). Sophomores — Aura Parker (D), Maddie Aldrich (D). Freshmen — Emma O’Connor (G/D), Kaiva Coleman (D), Denali Thorson (M). Eighth-graders — Cheyanne Hunnum (D), Cassie Sanborn (M), Torrance Williams (M), Maddie Wilke (G/D).

Analysis: Paige Greenhalgh is the lone senior for Newport, which is led by second-year coach Gary McCall. “We’re very young, so were looking to build team chemistry, learn and grow together,” McCall said. “Our goal is to go out and be competitive every game.”

Oxbow

Coach: Dan Thomas (2).

Last Year: 9-5-1, lost in first round.

Leagues: VPA Division III, Mountain League.

Roster: Seniors — Emma DeGoosh (D), Arianna Bolles (D), Ellyn Hart (M/A), Aspen Longmoore (A), Rachel Spear (M), Leia White (M/A). Juniors — Maddie Fredella (M/D), Emma Parker (D), Taylor Bean (M), Darcy O’Connell (M/G). Sophomores — Laila Ellsworth (M/D), Makenna Simmons (G), Mckenna Smith (M/A), Meredith Young (M). Freshmen — Hadlee Allen (D/M), Lillian DeGoosh (D/M), Hazel Fahey (D/M), Kylie Gregoropolous (M), Cali Sullivan (M).

Analysis: Thomas, the program’s third coach in the last five years, played for Hartford High and later coached the Hurricanes’ JV boys squad. “This is the second year in a row that we have lost our two top goal scorers,” Thomas said. “Although this will prove a challenging factor this season, we still have a lot of promise. Defensively, we are looking very solid since we kept the same defensive line-up we had last year, and they have done nothing but improve. Our team will be able to build off of that strength, and we are hoping it will translate to new offensive opportunities.”

Rivendell

Coach: Tim Goodwin (9).

Last year: 11-7-0, lost in state finals.

Leagues: VPA Division IV, Southern Vermont League.

Roster: Seniors — Lauren Hair (D), Emily Smith (M), Cora Day (G/D), Adele Tilden (F). Juniors — Alex McFate (D), Iris Fukushima (D), Shyanne Cleek (F), Kylie Taylor (M). Sophomores — Ryleigh Butler (M/G), Sierra Flint (F). Freshmen — Elisia Sonsalla (F), Colleen Underhill (D), Lexa Smith (D), Lauren Smith (M). Eighth-grader — Erin Ricker (D).

Analysis: The Raptors will look to follow up on their run to the D-IV title game last fall. “We have low numbers this year and will be working with a strong core of players,” said coach Tim Goodwin. “The new players are working hard at finding their roles.”

Sharon

Co-coaches: Andy Ruddell (2) and Rachel Milito (2).

Last year: 6-10-0, lost in quarterfinals.

Leagues: VPA Division IV, Southern Vermont League.

Roster: Seniors — Lydia Eastman (D), Isabella Amadeo (F), Abigail Gross (D), Molly Kinnarney (M), Finley Lord (M), Tia Kendall (GK), Addison Hadlock (M). Juniors — Mary Gage Donohue (F), Alix Livingston (M), Brandy Lewis (F), Hattie Byrne (D). Sophomores — Maeve Miller (M), Phoebe Quackenbos (D), Lily Welch (GK), Kailey Ekegren (M), Freya Abbey (M), Audri Pettirossi (M). Freshman — Dallas Kelly (D).

Analysis: The Phoenix are led by the coaching tandem of Andy Ruddell and Rachel Milito. “We have a strong core of returning players after only graduating three players last year,” Ruddell said. “Our back line remains almost the same, and we will look to build off of that strong defensive base. We have a fairly shallow bench this year and a first-year keeper. We hope to further establish the culture and system that we put in place last year. Having a returning coach for the first time in four years should help to stabilize the team.”

Stevens

Coach: Tim St. Pierre (1).

Last Year: 14-3-1, lost in D-III semifinals.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Roster: Seniors — Angelina LaClair (M), Annika Ratcliffe (D), Gabriell LaBounty (G), Caidence Verrill (M). Juniors — Zahna Rice (D), Jenna Bonneau (M), Hannah Miller (F), Molly Derosier (F), Jillian Williams (M), Mackenzie Murray-Brown (M), Brynn Murphy (D), Riley Murphy (M), Lauren Fellows (D), Amaya Eitapence (M). Sophomores — Stella Lavertue (M), Aidan Antonivich (D), Hailey Knight (G), Tori Dalke (M), Haley Belaire (D). Freshmen — Kiley Bundy (M), Madelyne LaVarnway (D).

Analysis: Tim St. Pierre is the only first-year head coach who will be roaming the Upper Valley sidelines this fall. He steps in for Tom Belaire, who took the Cardinals to the playoffs eight consecutive years. “The program is taking a huge leap forward and playing as one of the smallest Division II programs in N.H. for the first time in a long time,” St. Pierre said. “COVID-19 hasn’t affected our attitudes, but it has affected our ability to fully understand or evaluate where we are as a program. We are literally seeking to improve every game, every day and, honestly, every touch. We have great kids who are working hard at all the right things. We are eager to get into game play and better understand our strengths and weaknesses.”

Thetford

Coach: Dave Williams (5).

Last year: 15-2-1, won third straight championship.

Leagues: VPA Division III, Capital League.

Roster: Seniors — Emi Vaughn (M), Gevie Horster (F), Emma Berard (G/D), Namya Benjamin (F), Emma Colby (G/D), Kelsey Smith (M), Becca Wells (F), Maddie Hatch (D), Crystal Parshley (D), Autumn Horniak (F). Juniors — Madi Powers (M), Kiran Black (F), Sam Spelman (D), Taylor Bricker (D), Taylor Farrell (M), Sophie Prescott (M). Sophomores — Maddie Mousley (M), Kathy Darrah (F), Liv Hastings (D). Freshmen — Addy Cadwell (M), Mason Fahey (D).

Analysis: “We have a very good leadership group who likes to work hard and have fun doing it,” said Panthers coach Dave Williams. “Also, some younger girls are ready to step up and fill in the spaces left from last year’s group. We expect to be very competitive and are looking forward to the challenges of playing a Capital League schedule.”

Williams has added Jolene Cadwell, a former TA athlete and current teacher, to the coaching staff.

White River Valley

Coach: Kim Prestridge (2).

Last Year: 8-7-0, lost in first round.

Leagues: VPA Division III, Southern Vermont League.

Roster: Seniors — Lilly Hudson (D), Stella Jones (D), Maddie McShinsky (F), Blake Southworth (M), Fiona Vaillancourt (G/M). Juniors — Emily Bean (D), Julia Morse (G/F), Wynter Simack (F). Sophomores — Claire Allen (M), Jillian Barry (F/M), Ella Perreault (D/M), Ellie Prestridge (G/F). Freshmen — Tanner Drury (F), Sadie Kinsley (F), Amara Calhum-Flowers (M), Anita Miller (D), Aliyah Ensminger (F), Anna Stratton (F).

Analysis: Kim Prestridge is optimistic about her second head coaching campaign in South Royalton. “We are working hard and working together,” Prestridge said. “We will look to capitalize with our very experienced central players: Blake Southworth, Jillian Barry and Ella Perreault. We have added a generous helping of freshmen talent to our solid defense anchored by returning goalkeepers Fiona Vaillancourt and Ellie Prestridge.”

Windsor

Coach: Jeff Bachey (4).

Last year: 8-7-1, lost in second round.

Leagues: <sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>VPA Division III, Southern Vermont League.

Roster: Seniors — Emily Fielder (M/F), Rachel Temple-McCabe (M), Kansas Marsh (D), Evelyn Page (M/F), Adi Prior (G/F), Kate Murphy (D/M), Morgan McKeen (M/F). Juniors — Elliot Rupp (M/F), Holly Putnam (M), Sarah DeSchamp (D), Ember Pikramenos (D). Sophomores — Ellynor Connolly (D), Estella Attwood (D), Skylar Thibodeau (M/F), Sydney LaVanway (D/G), Olivia Kelly (M/D). Freshmen — Miah McCallister (M/D), Olivia MacLeay (M/F), Meranda Johnson (M/D).

Analysis: “We are returning almost a full roster of varsity starters, so we have plenty of experience playing at the varsity level,” said Yellowjackets coach Jeff Bachey. “Most of my seniors have been varsity players for their whole high school career, which is a great core of girls to have as leaders. … Everyone has high energy, great attitudes and things seem to mixing nicely. These girls are working hard and seem like they are ready to make a deep run in the playoffs.”

Woodstock

Coach: Greg LaBella (21).

Last year: 5-9-1, lost in first round.

Leagues: VPA Division II, Southern Vermont League.

Roster: Seniors — Taylor Crompton (M), Novah Conway (F), Celia Burrington (D), Ava Dotson (M), Eliza Dotson (M), Lea Sperber (D), Megan Lacroix (M), Savannah Sheehan (F). Juniors — Hannah Reed (F), Kelly Jackson (M), Emma Tarleton (G), Lara Tarleton (M), Hannah Lockhart (D), Skylar Haley (D), Kellan Johannesen (M), Zoe Wood (F), Kiera Zayak (D), Meridian Joy-Piper (G), Abi Masillo (F). Sophomores — Dillon Moss (D), Bella Crowe (D).

Outlook: In his 21st campaign, Wasps coach Greg LaBella is the longest-tenured girls varsity coach in the region. “We are starting with a good foundation and adding several players from last season’s JV team that won 11 games,” he said.




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