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Hanover Boys Go Deep Against Bedford in 2OT

  • Hanover's Blake Palmer pumps his fist as he and his teammates celebrates Charlie Adams game winning goal to defeat Bedford, 2-1, in a game that went into overtime at Hanover High School on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Liam Collins stops the ball to kick downfield as Bedford's Nathan Statires chases after him. Hanover defeated Bedford 2-1 in a game that went into overtime. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Charlie Adams cools his face off with ice at halftime during Hanover's game against Bedford at Hanover High School on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. Hanover defeated Bedford 2-1 in a game that went into overtime. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Charlie Adams runs the ball in for the game winning goal against Bedford at Hanover High School on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. Hanover defeated Bedford 2-1 in a overtime. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, September 07, 2018

Hanover — It took Hanover High’s boys soccer team most of the first half to find its game against shifty foe Bedford on Friday afternoon. A deep bench and Charlie Adams helped the Marauders find a victory.

Adams won it in double overtime for Hanover, scoring his second goal of the game with 4 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second overtime to top the Bulldogs, 2-1, at Merriman-Branch Field.

“I saw the keep come out and I thought, ‘OK, maybe I’ll chip it over him?’ ” Adams said on his game-winning goal. “But I got it around him with my left foot, my off foot, and going to goal, I was right on the line. I was worried I was going to miss it. I shot it and I thought it was going a little wide, but it hugged the post.”

Adams’ first goal, which came 11 seconds into the second half, tied the game at 1 after a penalty kick put Bedford ahead just before halftime. His OT game-winner was his fourth goal in Hanover’s first two games.

“It took us a full 30 minutes to even wake up and realize we were playing the best team in the state,” said Hanover head coach Rob Grabill, who is in his 13th season at the helm. “I give full credit to the defense and especially to Hans (Williams, Hanover’s goalkeeper).”

What made the biggest difference, according to Grabill, was depth.

“I used 20 kids in the game,” Grabill said. “I have a lot of faith in the kids I’m putting in. They’re not going in just to kill time. That really helped us get our legs. We had fresh legs.”

Bedford played most of the first half deep in Hanover territory, outshooting the Marauders, 6-0, in the first 40 minutes. But Hanover’s defense held strong, backstopped by Williams. The Bulldogs’ only goal came on senior captain Ryan Sledjeski’s penalty kick in the 36th minute.

Adams took almost no time to answer after halftime, taking advantage of a turnover caused by Hanover senior forward Christo Dragnev in the midfield. Adams took two touches and fired a shot over the head and outstretched hands of Bedford goalkeeper Jacob Statires — who entered the game in the second half in place of starting keeper Aidan Wisherd — to tie the game.

The goal was Hanover’s first shot on target.

“Charlie is Charlie,” Grabill said. “He’ll score against anyone. He’s always looking to pass the ball. He’s going to be our career assist leader at the end of this year.”

Adams was responsible for six of Hanover’s seven shots on Statires in the second half and overtime. Bedford outshot the Marauders, 2-0, and held a 5-0 advantage on corners in extra time. Williams made 15 saves in Hanover’s net.

“I think we pressed more when we got higher,” Adams said of his team’s surge in the second half. “I also think they backed up a little more because they had the lead. We were able to get a little higher, press the ball a little more. When we got the first goal, then it was kind of an open game.”

Hanover finished the 2017 season with a 13-4-1 record, eventually falling to Pinkerton in the NHIAA Division I quarterfinals on penalty kicks. But Grabill’s offense remains largely the same — led by scorers such as Adams, Liam Collins and tempo-controlling midfielder Matty Gardner.

The coach likes what he’s seen thus far.

“We will try to get better with each game,” Grabill said. “I think we can be better than we are now. I don’t want to be at our best right now. I want to be at our best in November.”

Hanover (2-0-0) next travels to undefeated Keene (3-0-0) on Wednesday.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.