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Mascoma boys soccer finds itself on the rise

  • G is for Gibby: Mascoma High football player Lawrence Gibbs moves field markers into the teams' storage shed after Saturday's NHIAA Division IV loss to visiting Bishop Brady. Gibbs, a senior lineman, didn't suit up for the contest but helped with ball boy duties during it. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Walt Hammond sits at a school desk a few sizes too small while tending the Mascoma High field hockey team's scorebook during its Sept. 6, 2019, defeat of visiting Berlin. Hammond, the husband of Royals coach Jenn Hammond and the school's girls basketball coach, said it was his first time keeping track of field hockey statistics. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Windsor High boys soccer coach Steve Molloy directs an Aug. 29, 2019, practice while his daughter, Emma, takes a lower perspective on the Yellowjackets' efforts. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover High junior varsity soccer player Zane Schiffman, left, clowns with teammates Teddy Ruth (14), Owen Stannard (5) and Pierce Hamlin before an Aug. 27, 2019, scrimmage vs. visiting Lebanon. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Mascoma High soccer coach Keli Green, right, oversees an Aug. 19., 2019, practice. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, September 15, 2019

Keli Green talked high expectations in the preseason, and now Mascoma boys soccer seems to be living up to them.

The Royals are on a three-game winning streak after a season-opening loss. Ben Seiler leads his team with five goals, including his hat trick in Mascoma’s 3-0 win over Laconia last Tuesday.

But Green wants more, including a home playoff game.

Still, the Royals are just a season removed from a 6-10-0 finish when they didn’t reach the NHIAA Division III playoffs.

“It’s a change to coach to win versus to coach,” said Green, who’s in her second season at the helm. “It’s the job of the JV coach to develop and the varsity coach’s to win. So there’s no equal playing time; there’s players who could sit on the bench the whole day and look at me with puppy dog eyes.

“But our job is to win. And the players are starting to get hungry for the win there. They’re taking it a little more seriously. The leadership on the team is very strong. ... Their (captains’) leadership is driving the motivation of their teammates. Sometimes I don’t have to say anything because the players are leading themselves.”

A lot of the improvement on the pitch between year one and year two has to do with Green’s efforts this summer.

She went to a Keene State team camp by herself to take notes and signed her team up to play summer ball with a roster that touted six seniors. Through learning at the camp, Green was able to use the games in the summer to test out new systems and figure out what would work for this season.

Mascoma is now in a 4-3-2-1 system, and Green thinks it’s making all the difference. The Royals are possessing the ball more this season, which is leading to control and more scoring opportunities. The one down side is only having one attacker, but Green believes that possessing the ball is critical to their success.

“We did miss them (playoffs) last year; it was incredibly disappointing,” she said. “I would say if we miss — borrowing an injury that would take one of our top players out (of) making the playoffs — that it would be devastating to the to the motivation for this team. They’re focused on playoffs. They want it. They want Mascoma fans to get a home playoff game. And I think it will be devastating if we don’t do that.”

Charlie being Charlie: Charlie Adams notched a hat trick and assisted on two goals on Friday in Hanover High boys soccer’s 6-1 thrashing of Merrimack.

The Brown University-bound senior midfielder leads the Marauders in points (10), goals (5) and assists (5), and is inching his way toward the top of several all-time program records. According to stats compiled by Hanover coach Rob Grabill, Adams is four goals away from tying Eric Jayne’s record of 50 for his career. He’s already the program’s all-time leader in points (85) and needs just two more assists to tie the assist record of 42, set by Ben Mackinnon.

Adams’ hat trick on Friday was the fourth in his career, breaking Bobby Dow’s all-time record of three.

Feeding the need: The NHIAA is entering the seventh year of its New Hampshire Tackles Hunger campaign, which has brought in 365,011 pounds of food for local food pantries around the state. Varsity football programs all over the Granite State collect peanut butter, jelly, tuna, soup, pasta and canned fruit/vegatables. Cash donations are also accepted. Products in glass will not be accepted.

Here is a list of teams in the Upper Valley participating, with the dates of their home games:

Sept. 28: Hillsboro-Deering/Hopkinton at Newport.

Oct. 11: Gilford-Belmont at Hanover; Epping-Newmarket at Lebanon.

Oct. 19: Fall Mountain at Mascoma.

Visit www.wmur.com and search for New Hampshire Tackles Hunger for more information.

Notes: Sydney Gonyea from Lebanon field hockey leads the Raiders with six goals and two assists in four games. … On Wednesday, Mascoma field hockey travels to Hanover in a local matchup. The Marauders play Division in II, the Royals D-III. Last season, Mascoma’s only loss in its state championship campaign came at Hanover, when the Royals fell 4-0. ... Hartford High football picked up its first true win of the season on Saturday. The Canes defeated Mount Mansfield, 28-8, on the road. In week one, Hartford won when Rice forfeited due to lack of numbers. Last week, the Canes lost to Burr & Burton, 48-29. They’ll host Middlebury in the annual Patriot Game on Friday.

Pete Nakos can be reached at pnakos@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.