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A Dream Come True: Woodsville Senior Crosses 100-Point Mark

  • Woodsville senior Alex Enderson reacts to getting doused with ice water by his teammates at the end of their 9-0 victory over Groveton in Woodsville, N.H., on Sept. 13, 2018. Enderson reached the 100-point career mark during the game, which is a combination of goals and assists. He is the 13th student athlete all-time to score 100 career points for the Engineers and second player is as many years to do so. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodsville’s Alex Enderson shoots for the net and scores over the defense of Groveton goalkeeper Chris Corliss, center, and Zach Cooksaw. Enderson reached the high school 100-point mark — a combination of goals and assists — in the home game on Sept. 13, 2018. Woodsville won, 9-0. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • With a comfortable lead over Groveton at halftime, Woodsville’s first-year coach Matt Taylor encourages his team to keep working on fundamentals during their game in Woodsville, N.H., on Sept. 13, 2018. Taylor replaces Mike Ackerman, who led the Engineers to four championship games during his 42-year tenure. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Groveton’s Zach Cooksaw, right, is a step late to the shot on net by Woodsville’s Conner Maccini in the first half of their game in Woodsville, N.H., on Sept. 13, 2018. It sailed wide of the net, but Maccini scored three goals in the 9-0 victory. (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
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Woodsville — Alex Enderson was in middle school when he first realized he wanted to be an 100-point scorer for Woodsville High’s boys soccer team. It seemed impossible at the time for an undersized striker who was not likely to start on varsity his freshman season.

That dream came true on Thursday, as Enderson, a senior, scored four goals and added three assists in Woodsville’s 9-0 win over Groveton.

He entered the season with 81 career points and left the field with 20 points over Woodsville’s first seven games this season.

Teammate Connor Maccini wasn’t the least surprised to see him get there.

“He was always that kid that could finish it,” Maccini said. “We’d all get the assists. We watch him go sometimes.”

“We all came into this game knowing it was a possibility,” he added. “The whole team really wanted him to get it. We’ve been pushing it. We’ve been counting. We really wanted it.”

The milestone came in a second half that included three post hits by the Engineers, who peppered 29 shots on goal in the game. Enderson took possession in the box, moved to his right for a cleaner look and hit the top of the netting.

The game was stopped and Enderson was given the game ball. He was all smiles as he jogged back to the bench.

“It’s a great honor,” Enderson said. “Ever since I heard about it in sixth, seventh grade I knew I wanted to get to this moment. … It’s great to be here now and realize that I did it. I get to be on the banner with some of my closest friends.”

“Obviously, (Enderson’s) got that goal-scoring mentality,” Woodsville’s first-year head coach, Matt Taylor, said. “We were talking about it before, this is probably the toughest season to generate goals because we’ve got a ton of underclassmen. … I told him don’t force it. Stay healthy.”

Enderson is the 13th athlete all-time to score 100 career points for the Engineers and second player in as many years to do so. Adam Cataldo finished his career with 111 points as a senior last season.

Enderson said watching Cataldo, a childhood friend, reach 100 points gave him an idea of what this season — and the looming benchmark — would be like.

“Be humble,” he said. “Act like you’ve done it before.”

Maccini scored three goals — two in a 1 minute, 54 second span in the first half — and finished the game with an assist in the victory. Billy Green and Cody Burroughs added insurance goals in the seocnd half; Corey Bemis assisted on a Enderson goal in the first. Engineers’ goalkeeper Dalton Brown made one save for the shutout.

The victory and the milestone both came in a season of transition for Woodsville. Taylor, an Orford High graduate and Oxbow High boys soccer coach from 2004-10, is in his first season at the helm, taking over for 42-year veteran coach Mike Ackerman, who retired in the spring.

“It hit me hard,” Enderson said of Ackerman’s departure. “I looked up to him before I got to high school, one of those legends.”

Ackerman led the Engineers to four NHIAA championship games in, winning back-to-back Class S (now Division IV) titles in 2004-05. Woodsville — a consistent playoff team — went 10-8 last season, eventually falling in the quarterfinals.

“I know my system is a little bit different than Ackerman’s,” Taylor said. “Why wouldn’t it be? The guy was here for 40-something years. We preach team. We preach fundamentals. We show it at times and other times we revert back. It’s a work in progress.

“It’s 16 games for a reason. We’re prepping for the playoffs.”

Jon Lester succeeded Ackerman as Woodsville athletic director in July. Taylor said his first few weeks have gone smoothly, implementing new systems.

“For me, growing up in Orford in (VPA) D-IV, this feels like home,” Taylor said. “We’ve been settled up here for 16 years now, in Haverhill. Our kids are involved. It feels like home. It feels comfortable.”

For players like Maccini and Enderson, Ackerman’s absence has felt different.

“It’s different for the older kids; the freshmen, it’s always going to be a new face,” Maccini said. “It’s somewhat the same, but I think we’re passing it around a little better. I think we’re dropping it back, we’re really using our defense a lot.

“Don’t get me wrong, Mike was a great coach. (Taylor) is going to try to be as great as Mike is. But it’s new blood, he’s coming in and he’s trying to do his own thing.”

For Enderson, the milestone comes with a sigh of relief. Now he can focus on soccer, on helping his team make the postseason and win its first state title in more than a decade.

“I think we just have to settle down now,” Enderson said. “I don’t think it’s going to be in anybody’s head to force me the ball now. We have a ton of young kids that know how to play possession. I haven’t had that since I’ve been in high school.

“A third of the way through the season, I want a (championship) banner. It’s my senior year. I’d give up 100 points for that banner.”

Woodsville travels to Lisbon on Monday, the first of a four-game road trip that includes defending D-IV champion Profile. It returns home against Lisbon on Oct. 2.

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