High school roundup: Lebanon girls goalie officially hitting the pitch at UNH

  • Lebanon High goalkeeper Sally Rainey (1) directs a wall of teammates Catherine Cole (10), Elizabeth Kourbatski (8) and Delaney DeShane (9) prior to a first-half Bow High free kick during an NHIAA Division II girls soccer quarterfinal match in Bow, N.H., on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Rainey recently secured her college playing future by signing a national letter of intent to join the University of New Hampshire women's soccer program. (Valley News - Greg Fennell) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Greg Fennell—

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    Hartford High boys soccer coach Kevin Guilbault, left, confers with assistant Bill Elberty, who consults his wristwatch during an Aug. 22, 2019, scrimmage at Lebanon High. "I had a bus to catch," Elberty later joked. "Chased that thing for two hours." (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permissions@vnews.com

Valley News Sports Editor
Published: 11/19/2020 2:41:20 AM
Modified: 11/19/2020 2:41:10 AM

LEBANON — Breck Taber’s Lebanon High girls soccer team was in the closing minutes of a 5-0 loss to next-door neighbor Hanover in an NHIAA Division II tournament match three years ago when the Raiders coach decided to give freshman goalkeeper Sally Rainey a break. But the substitution never came about.

“I was going to throw our backup goalie out there, and she was frozen solid on the bench,” Taber recalled on Tuesday. “She didn’t go in.”

Not that Rainey ever gave Taber a reason to shelve her. Now a senior, Rainey’s college future with the UNH women’s soccer program was confirmed last week when the Wildcats announced their five-player recruiting class on Twitter. Rainey’s choice of UNH had been known for some time, but it didn’t become official until she signed her national letter of intent.

The New Hampshire Soccer Coaches Association hasn’t released its all-state teams for this fall yet, but it’ll take quite the argument not to lavish all sorts of recognition upon Rainey. She started every game of her four-year varsity career and backstopped teams that owned a 0.97 goals-against average with 31 shutouts over that time. The United Soccer coaches named her an all-New England honoree last year.

Rainey would have played every available minute of her varsity career had the coronavirus pandemic not come along, Taber said. Without the pressure of needing to qualify for the NHIAA playoffs this season, Rainey started all 10 Lebanon games but occasional left the penalty area for playing time elsewhere on the pitch while sophomore understudy Maddy Newton got her first taste of goalkeeping action.

“Obviously, her skill set is unmatched,” Taber said of Rainey. “Her reactions and ability to make really hard saves kind of look routine, I’ve never seen it in a high school goalie at that level. She’s 100% fearless. She will come out for a ball and challenge in the air like any really good goalkeeper would do.”

The middle of Dartmouth College women’s soccer coach Ron Rainey’s three children, Sally Rainey will have plenty of competition for playing time with UNH next fall, and that’s before taking any ramifications of the Wildcats’ COVID-19-canceled 2019 season into account. New Hampshire already had four keepers on its roster, one in each class, when the school canceled the fall sports season in July because of the pandemic.

If nothing else, Rainey can be assured of having at least one fan in her corner when her next challenge arrives.

“On a selfish note, I’m psyched,” Taber confessed. “I have a daughter at UNH. Sally’s schedule will be more local, so hopefully I’ll see her play at the next level.”

Hartford’s Guilbault tabbed by peers

Hartford High boys soccer coach Kevin Guilbault is the Southern Vermont League’s B Division coach of the year, thanks to a vote of his peers.

The former Hurricane earned the honor in his seventh season at the helm of his alma mater. Hartford went 3-6-1 in the pandemic-shortened VPA Division II slate, one in which Guilbault put four of his players — Ian O’Brien, Nick Martin, Aiden Brooks and Tarin Prior — on the all-league team, joined by Woodstock’s Tom Bissaillon and Taylor Plourde. Guilbault is 45-53-7 as a varsity coach following a 15-year run as JV assistant to Steve Sass.

The rest of the Upper Valley crew chosen all-SVL:

C Division boys: Rivendell’s A.J. DeBois and Kyle Carter; White River Valley’s Carder Stratton, Jack Simack and Jacob Barry.

D Division boys: Sharon’s Erik Younce, Riley Eastman, Ian Robertson and Daniel Henderson.

B Division girls: Hartford’s Katie Blood, Eleanor Hinckley and Sarah Howe; Woodstock’s Celia Burrington.

C Division girls: Windsor’s Elliot Rupp, Evelyn Page and Adi Prior; White River Valley’s Blake Southworth and Fiona Vaillancourt; Rivendell’s Cora Day and Kylie Taylor.

D Division girls: Sharon’s Lydia Eastman and Abigail Gross.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.

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