Hanover title bid falls short in NHIAA D-I boys soccer final

  • Hanover’s Jack Gardner keeps the ball away from Nashua South’s Samuel Paintsil during the NHIAA Division I boys soccer championship game against Nashua High School South at Stellos Stadium in Nashua, N.H., on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news / report for america — Alex Driehaus

  • Hanover’s Ty Nolon reacts after a final penalty kick during the NHIAA Division I boys soccer championship game against Nashua High School South at Stellos Stadium in Nashua, N.H., on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Nashua South won, 3-2. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

  • Hanover’s Zach Tracy heads the ball over Nashua South’s Caua De Freitas during the NHIAA Division I boys soccer championship game against Nashua High School South at Stellos Stadium in Nashua, N.H., on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Nashua South won, 3-2. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/5/2021 11:55:53 PM
Modified: 11/5/2021 11:56:03 PM

NASHUA, N.H. — The Hanover High boys soccer team did its best to keep the game from going to penalties.

With the NHIAA Division I final between No. 3 seed HHS and No. 1 Nashua South in extra time tied at 2-2, Hanover pushed forward hard in search of a golden goal.

But the score never came, and the match went to a seemingly endless shootout. The Panthers (18-0-1) ultimately prevailed, 9-8, in the 11th round, a heartbreaking finish for Hanover (15-4-1).

“Clearly, we weren’t playing for PKs in the overtimes,” Hanover coach Rob Grabill said. “We were going for the win. I was happy with the way that we played in the two overtimes.”

Hanover took the lead in the ninth minute on a goal from senior midfielder Murphy Hunt, and the early score held up until halftime. But the Panthers exploded out of the intermission with two quick goals.

The equalizer was a brilliant strike from Jadiel Bomfim just 21 seconds into the second half. Sammy Hadouche gave Nashua South the lead five minutes later, forcing Hanover to go on the offensive again.

HHS did just that, earning a penalty kick in the 67th minute. Senior Eric Ringer’s shot was saved, but Panthers goalkeeper Leo Kopicko came off his line early, giving Hanover another attempt. This time senior Jacob Kubik-Pauw took the shot, and he calmly slotted it into the net to tie the score.

“That was all their choice,” Grabill said. “I assume Ringer said, ‘Jacob, you take it.’ ”

Grabill pointed out the irony of Kubik-Pauw being at the penalty spot in what turned out to be the final round of the shootout, after each team had gone through their 10 field players. Kopicko saved Kubik-Pauw’s shot this time, and then Hrishikesh Dwaraka put home his attempt to give his team the championship.

Nashua South became the first team in Division I to complete an undefeated season since Hanover did so in 2013.

“I’m clearly very happy with the kids,” Grabill said. “The emotion is very tough. The seniors, once they know the season is over and their career is over, they’re just absolutely gutted.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.




Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784
603-298-8711

 

© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy