Hanover wins Div. I boys soccer championship

  • Joey Perras, of Hanover, stands to celebrate after stopping a penalty kick from Bedford’s Zachary Verow to clinch the NHIAA Division I championship win at Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover goalie Joey Perras reaches to control the ball after stopping an advance from Matthew Flanagan, of Bedford, middle, who was hampered by Kyle Doucette, of Hanover, during the NHIAA Division I championship at Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Henry Aspinwall, of Hanover, takes possession of a pass before Andrew Middleton, of Bedford, during the NHIAA Division I championship at Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover Head Coach Robert Grabill talks with his team during halftime of the NHIAA Division I championship at Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Charles Adams, of Hanover, keeps the pressure on a long cross that fell into the grasp of Bedford keeper Aidan Wisherd during their NHIAA Division I championship at Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. The score was 0-0 at the half. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Kyle Doucette, of Hanover, hugs teammate William Blinkhorn, left, after their NHIAA Division I championship win at Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (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 Staff Writer
Published: 11/9/2019 10:31:33 PM

MANCHESTER — Well after the championship trophy was handed out, the chants of “Joey, Joey, Joey” rang across the turf at Manchester Memorial High School.

Joey Perras, Hanover High boys soccer goalkeeper, tallied 23 saves on Saturday night, but it was the last three that stood above the rest. The senior made three straight stops in a penalty kick tiebreaker, allowing No. 3 seed Hanover to claim its first NHIAA Division I state title since 2013.

After 80 minutes of regulation and two overtimes didn’t produce a score, Perras’ performance put the Marauders up, 3-2, over top-seeded Bedford on PKs. The win was Hanover’s third decided by a shootout in the playoffs.

“I was just taking it one minute at a time the whole game,” Perras said. “I knew that they were going to get those chances. It was all about staying calm and anticipate the best that I could. We practice PKs in every single practice.

“I just trust my team that they’ll make their shots. It’s pretty insane. We’re state champs. It’s surreal.”

Charlie Adams, Blake Palmer and Latham Allison all calmly walked to the penalty mark and converted their shots for Hanover.

Perras made three straight stops after Palmer’s shot. On the first save, he jumped to the right. He then made back-to-back sliding saves — to the left and right, respectively — to seal the win for the Marauders.

All game long, Bedford put pressure on Perras. The Bulldogs, who were undefeated entering the match, couldn’t convert on any of their six corner kicks.

Countless times Bedford had two-on-one and one-on-one chances, but Perras stood tall in net and took what the Bulldogs’ attack gave him: shots on the ground, out of his reach and right at him. The shutout was Hanover’s seventh of the season.

“We did it the hardest way possible with three penalty wins, but it’s incredible,” said Adams, who is a senior. “I can’t even explain what happened. I’m so proud of all my coaches and teammates. Bedford is so good. We knew that we’d have a hard time scoring on against them. We knew we were going to have to back.

“Our goalie had a huge game; he made some crazy saves at the end. To (stop) three out of five shots is unheard of.”

The championship is Hanover’s 19th in program history and the seventh for coach Rob Grabill.

For Perras and Adams, the state championship was a goal shared by the other 15 members of the senior class.

Not once in the previous three years did the Marauders earn a championship game berth, but in their senior years they finished the job.

It took PK wins over Winnacunnet and Manchester Central in the playoffs. On Saturday night, Hanover was without senior starters Eric Ringer and Amane Matsuoka.

“They’ve worked so long and hard. So many of them played key roles,” Grabill said. “This is no surprise; this is no shock.”

“This is what’s supposed to happen in a state championship game.”

The Marauders will lose Adams, Allison, Matsuoka, Palmer, and Perras to graduation, along with Andrew Enelow, Noah Pikielny, Kyle Doucette, Toño Correa, William Blinkhorn, Judd Alexander, Peter Burnham, Ethan Ross, David Stoffel, Patrick Osborn, Eli Stack and Brendan Brigham.

Pete Nakos can be reached at pnakos@vnews.com.

Correction

Goalkeeper Joey Perras was photogra phed in goal for Hanover. An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Hanover’s goalie.




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