Hanover girls soccer unbeaten and unbowed

  • Hanover girls celebrate their NHIAA Division II championship win at Manchester’s Memorial High School on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover girls celebrate their NHIAA Division II championship win at Manchester’s Memorial High School on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover girls celebrate their NHIAA Division II championship win at Manchester’s Memorial High School on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover girls celebrate their NHIAA Division II championship win at Manchester’s Memorial High School on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover's Abigail Wilson watches as her game winning goal passes out of reach of Bow goalie Emma Wilke in the NHIAA Division II championship at Manchester Memorial High School on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover goalie Isabella Bardalas leaps to capture the ball during the NHIAA Division II soccer championship in Manchester on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover v Bow NHIAA Division II girls soccer championship at Manchester Memorial High School on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • A spirited Hanover team gets fired up for overtime periods in the NHIAA Division II soccer championship game against Bow on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover junior Sage McGinley-Smith tries to head the ball into the goal during the NHIAA Division II soccer championship in Manchester on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover senior Pepper Joseph clears the ball away from Bow sophomore Alexandra Boone during the NHIAA Division II soccer championship in Manchester on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

  • Hanover junior Sonja Lippman collides with Bow junior Jocelynn Anderson during the NHIAA Division II soccer championship in Manchester on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Alan MacRae/Valley News)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/10/2019 10:18:00 PM

MANCHESTER — Pepper Joseph sprinted across the turf of Manchester Memorial’s Chabot-McDonough Field on Sunday afternoon with the NHIAA Division II championship trophy. Her Hanover High girls soccer teammates chased after her.

She twirled, kissed the plaque and held it aloft moments after the top-seeded Marauders beat No. 3 Bow, 4-2 on penalty kicks, after 100 minutes of play resulted in a scoreless tie.

The state title win capped off a 19-0-0 season for Hanover, along with back-to-back championships. The last time the Marauders did so was in 2014-15.

And if that wasn’t enough, the win came less than 24 hours after the boys soccer team upset Bedford on penalty kicks as well. It is the first time since 2008 that both varsity teams have won state titles in the same season.

“It really doesn’t feel real,” Joseph said. “We won every single game, which I never thought would happen. This group of girls, in particular, is really amazing; we have so much grit and drive.”

Added Hanover coach Doug Kennedy: “I’m still not certain I can say that word (undefeated) because I’ve spent so long not talking about it. I’ve never even come close to it; it’s pretty special. We clearly had a very good team, but there’s luck involved in soccer. There’s games when you’re not on. To do it for 19 games is stunning.”

In the shootout, Casey McGuire, Riley Craft, Charlotte Johnson and Abigail Wilson all converted on their kicks.

Bow made its first penalty, but then the Falcons sputtered. Chloe Binder missed the second attempt high, and Hanover goalie Bella Bardales (12 saves) knocked down Bow’s fourth shot to deliver the Marauders the win.

“I’ve been the starting goalkeeper since my sophomore year, and we’ve gone into PKs in a lot of playoff games,” Bardales said. “I’ve learned to be very composed during them and to calm down. It is what it is, and I just gave it my all.”

The Marauders almost won the game two minutes into the first overtime. A Bow player was called for a handball inside the box, setting up a penalty kick. McGuire stepped up to take the shot but hit the right post.

Hanover had its opportunities to score in regulation as well. With four minutes left in the first half, Joseph served a corner kick and Johnson was able to get her foot on it, but the shot went over the net. Joseph had a shot that hit the crossbar of the football goal post with 22 minutes to play.

The back line play of Elsa Bollinger, Ellie Stannard, Eva Schiffman and Wilson was crucial in the second half for Hanover.

Every time Bow and Hanover have met recently, the two have produced memorable games. Earlier this season, the Marauders pulled out at 3-2 win at Bow. Last season, Hanover beat the Falcons, 1-0, in the semifinals.

“Both really good teams that play good soccer. Both very competitive with a high desire to win. I enjoy it,” said Bow coach Jay Vogt.

There has been no question since the season started that Hanover was the best team in Division II, at least on paper. The Marauders finished the season outscoring opponents, 81-4, and recorded 16 shutouts. The only time they allowed two goals in a game was against Bow on Oct. 22.

Hanover will lose nine seniors: Bardales, Craft, Lilli Hall, Lauren Ilsley, Joseph, Faith Marshall, Arabella Meacham-Snyder, Schiffman and Wilson. But the Marauders will also return players such as Johnson and Sage McGinley-Smith, who combined for 34 goals and 23 assists on the season.

“That senior class is one we’ll never replace,” Kennedy said. “Incredibly knowledgeable and experienced soccer players who really led this team by their experience and drive. Yet, at the same time, they’re really emotional kids. When something happens, they’ll let it go. They’re not afraid to show how great it all was.”

 

Notes: Bow outshot the Marauders, 12-9. … The Hanover boys soccer team played a key role on Sunday in the Marauders’ student section. Coach Rob Grabill made it for the second half after church duties on Sunday morning. … Kennedy has now won five state titles.

Pete Nakos can be  reached at pnako s @vnews.com.

Correction

Hanover High senior Abigail Wilson was photographed scoring on a penalty kick in the Marauders' victory over Bow on Sunday. An earlier photo caption with this story incorrectly named another player.




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