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Mascoma 4, Fall Mountain 1: Royals ready to use full roster as season intensifies

  • Mascara's Ben Seiler (13) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the third of three penalty kicks against Fall Mountain in their Division III game in West Canaan, N.H., on Sept. 29, 2020. Mascoma won, 4-1. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Fall Mountain at Mascoma boys soccer in West Canaan, Mascoma's Gabe Sperry braces for a collision with Fall Mountain's Garrette Menter after sending the ball towards the goal in the first half of their Division III game in West Canaan, N.H., on Sept. 29, 2020. Mascoma won, 4-1. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Mascoma goalkeeper Connor Thompson easily nabs the ball ahead of the attack by Fall Mountain's Nate Town in the first half of their Division III game in West Canaan, N.H., on Sept. 29, 2020. Mascoma won, 4-1. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/29/2020 9:47:22 PM
Modified: 9/29/2020 9:47:16 PM

WEST CANAAN — Minutes after his team won Tuesday afternoon’s match, Ben Seiler stood in the rain and talked about how he and his team needed to improve.

The junior had just netted a hat trick to lead Mascoma High boys soccer to a convincing 4-1 victory over visiting Fall Mountain. He could’ve talked about his 54 career goals and how he’s one of only 39 players in state history to cross the half-century mark.

But he didn’t.

He focused on his team’s development, since there’s a lot of soccer left to be played for the Royals, who fell in last year’s New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Division III semifinals, the deepest postseason run in program history.

“I think my teammates are ready (to take the next step),” said Seiler, who knows he’s the focal point for opponent’s defensive strategy. “If other teams man mark me or put two or three guys on me, that leaves my teammates open. And my teammates are definitely good enough to handle that.”

Mascoma held a comfortable 2-0 lead entering the second half thanks to two goals from Seiler.

But only five minutes into the second half, the Wildcats found the back of the net as Nate Town made a quick move on a Mascoma defender and fired a shot to the upper right corner.

Suddenly, Mascoma’s comfortable lead stood at just one goal, and the two teams had almost an entire half left to play.

Fall Mountain (0-3) continued to control the pace of play until the 60th minute, when Mascoma’s Zach Thompson scored on a one-timer thanks to a quick pass from Cole Moulton.

Seiler took a free kick for the Royals 40 seconds later and crushed it — from more than 40 yards out — past the Wildcats’ defense into the upper left corner of the Fall Mountain net before its defense was in position, giving the Royals a 4-1 lead midway through the second half.

The last 20 minutes were physical with the rain picking up, but Ian Moulton and Noah Lecuyer held tight on defense for Mascoma.

“We came out a little flat, but the goal woke us up,” Seiler said. “It made us realize we had to play our game, and we started to pick it up from there.”

Mascoma started the contest with plenty of offensive opportunities, but missed shots bogged down momentum. The Royals were also playing their first game of the season wearing face masks, a rule instituted by Fall Mountain for all teams it plays against at home and away.

The Wildcats, however, gave the Royals two penalty kicks in the first half due to fouls inside the box.

Seiler took and made both PKs to give his team the two-goal halftime lead. The first came in the 11th minute, and the second was just six minutes later in the 17th.

“We’re playing for postseason,” said third-year coach Keli Green. “We hope to go at least as deep as we did last season. This is a squad that can handle that. We have a lot to clean up. I have a laundry list of things we need to work on, as I’m sure everybody has at this point in the season.”

Another reason why Seiler didn’t talk about his highlight reel is because he’s well aware of the Royals’ upcoming schedule. A rematch Saturday with the Wildcats, then six games, two apiece, against Hanover, Lebanon and Sunapee.

Each one of those teams made their respective division’s championship game a year ago, a place Mascoma (3-1) is working to reach this season.

Despite not knowing what the NHIAA’s D-III open tournament will look like, the Royals will face their toughest tests of the season in the final month.

Those games will be the true measuring stick for the Royals.

NOTES: Mascoma goalkeeper Connor Thompson made eight saves. The Royals took 22 shots and had eight corner kick opportunities. … Fall Mountain’s Derek Bader went down after a collision late in the second half. Wildcat coach Justin Parrot was then carded for yelling at the officials about the collision.

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




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