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Friday, August 29, 2014

Local teams hope to continue success

When Dwayne Andreasen left the Souhegan High School girls soccer program late last spring, he felt he was leaving it in good hands.

He was likely correct, as longtime junior varsity coach Amy Sparks takes the helm of the defending Division II champion after Andreasen’s decade long run. The question is, can Sparks’ team have the same success that saw the Sabers win two titles in the last three years? ...

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When Dwayne Andreasen left the Souhegan High School girls soccer program late last spring, he felt he was leaving it in good hands.

He was likely correct, as longtime junior varsity coach Amy Sparks takes the helm of the defending Division II champion after Andreasen’s decade long run. The question is, can Sparks’ team have the same success that saw the Sabers win two titles in the last three years?

“After learning from two of the best coaches, Dwayne Andreasen and (assistant coach) Lisa Kent, I’m ready to get our season officially underway,” Sparks said as the 2014 campaign begins around the state on Friday. “The team is ready to work hard in defense of its state championship.”

And it has a foundation, despite needing to replace the graduated Peyton Kent, the Telegraph Player of the Year, who did it all for the Sabers. They should be tough to score on with a defense led by co-captain Alana Barretto, but they’ll have to find some scoring and that could start with senior co-captain midfielder Emma Fleuette. There’s plenty of depth with at least nine offensive players back.

Remember Division II had an upheavel last year when Hollis Brookline was forced to forfeit many of its wins at the end of the season due to using an ineligible player. The Cavs had to bite the bullet on a 2-13-1 official record, but they were actually 10-5-1 on the field and have nine starters back from that squad. Milford, which finished 6-10 in D-II, has several back also.

It could be interesting locally in Division I this fall. An area team to watch will be Nashua North, which won its first home tourney game a year ago and hopes to get past the quarterfinals this year. The Titans need to replace the scoring of the graduated Swallow twins, Katherine and Sarah, but they should be able to with several players returning to the mix, led by senior midfield-forward Laura Vincent.

“There’s a lot of opportunity,” Titans coach Dan Wyborney said, “for kids to step up and do what needs to be done.”

Don’t forget about Bishop Guertin, which was the area’s best D-I team last year, winning 13 games before bowing to Exeter in the semis. The Cards also lost their top offensive player, the graduated Jamie Sherburne, but others can fill the void, including junior forward Marie Laplante. Merrimack returns many from a team that won 10 games but lost 10 seniors, and has a new coach in noted youth soccer and Merrimack Middle School mentor Tim Field.

Alvirne, meanwhile, has moved back up to Division I after enjoying a revival in Division II. However, the Broncos reportedly lost highly regarded junior midfielder Tana Tufts to a knee injury but they still have seven starters back. Nashua South should improve under second-year coach Tom Bellen, as they have as many as nine starters back.

In Division III, Campbell has a new coach in Gary Karibian as longtime coach Bob Gannon moved over to take the boys job. The Cougars have always been a success, and last year reached the semifinals. In Division IV, keep an eye on Wilton-Lyndeborough, as head coach Bill Draper is very high on his team’s chances.

“I think we have all the pieces to have a great season,” he said.

DIVISION I

Alvirne

COACH: Lance McAdam (6th year)

2013: 13-5-1 in Division II, lost in first round

RETURNING STARTERS: Jillian Houle, so. def; Kayla Juliana, jr. mf; Erin Rosier, jr. def; Danielle Ross, jr. fd; Sarah McAdam, sr. mf; Brianna Wiggans, sr. mf; Samantha Gianelli, jr. goalie.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kristin DeCost, so. fd; Hannah Croce, jr. mf.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Olivia Bertrand, so.; Olivia Beverly, so. Jamie Calvagna, fr.; Briannah Sellingham, so.; Dagney Wilkens, so. goalie; Erin Ruigrok, jr. mf; Ashleigh Lavery, sr. mf; Samantha Matta, sr. mf; Alexa Prescott, fr. def.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We have plenty of skill to compete in Division I,” McAdam said. “There’s just a need for experience.”

Bishop Guertin

COACH: Pat Mulcahy (3rd year)

2013: 13-5-1, lost in semis to Exeter

RETURNING STARTERS: Alyssa Zajac, sr. def; Kiley Deignan, jr.goalie; Marie Laplante, jr. fd; Grace Linnehan, jr. mf; Marissa Burns, so. fb.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Meg Kerutis, sr. def; Mykayla Elliott, jr. fd.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: N/A

COACH’S COMMENTS: “I’m really excited about the returning class,” Mulcahy said, “and the solid foundation we’ve built with the BG girls soccer program teh past couple of years.”

Merrimack

COACH: Tim Field (1st year)

2013: 10-4-2, lost in first round

RETURNING STARTERS: Sierra Erickson, sr. mf; Abby Smith, sr. def; Dena Noisuex, jr. fd; Lauren Dubois, jr. mf.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Shannon Healey, sr. mf; Hannah Provencher, sr. fd; Kelly Eno, jr. def; Rachel Mack, so. mf.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Keara Venne, jr. goalie; Janelle Krehel, so. fd.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “While the team graduated 10 seniors, we were left with some solid returning players,” Field said, “with a great group of reinforcements stepping up from JV.”

Nashua South

COACH: Tom Bellen (2nd year)

2013: 3-12-1, did not qualify for tournament.

RETURNING STARTERS: Emily Durette, sr. fd; Abbey McIntosh, sr. def; Adaeze Obinelo, sr. goalie; Kennedy Dowling, sr. mf; Victoria Ziolek, sr. fd; Sarah Allison, sr. mf; Christine Tringali, jr. def; Kate Stewart, so. def; Jesi Dukeshire, so. mf.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Tina Ta, sr. fd; Carson Dowling, so. def.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Julissa Quintana, so. fd; Laura Galvez, fr. mf.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “South continues to rebuild the girls program,” Bellen said. “Underclassmen participation is up, which is a good start. We lost some key defensive players so defensive organization will be a top priority for us to succeed.”

Nashua North

COACH: Dan Wyborney (4th year)

2013: 8-6-4, lost to Pinkerton in quarterfinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Ali Nelson, jr. goalie; Bailey Ruhn, jr. def; Nicole DeAlmeida, jr. def; Diana Subron, sr. def; Darby O’Neill, jr. def; Abi Pike, jr. mf-fd; Emily Dion, sr. mf; Laura Vincent, sr. mf-fd; Shannon Miller, sr. mf.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kristina Sulfaro, sr. mf; Rachel Sullivan, sr. fb; Sierra Mullin, jr. mf; Isabela Dunning, so. mf-goalie.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Marisa Gaudette, fr. fd; Keegan Burch, jr. mf.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “Everybody is working hard and understands the steps we’re taking,” Wyborney said. “Obviously, we’re a very soccer solid group, and we still have a lot of the pieces of the puzzle there, and we’ll move some around (to get scoring).”

DIVISION II

Hollis Brookline

COACH: Peter Clarke (4th year)

2013: 2-13-1, did not qualify for tournament

RETURNING STARTERS: Hanna Modelski, sr. fd; Celeste marsan, sr. def; Megan Olson, jr. mf; Erin Stowell, jr. mf; Courtney Ulrich, jr. mf; Taylor Cook, so. def; Magnolia Moskun, so. mf; Ryan Philbrook, so. goalie.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Holly Eisenberg, jr. fd; Torry Cook, so. fd; Kenzie Day, so. def.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Michele Philpot, so. mf; Maddie McCann, fr. mf.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We return with a good core of experienced players from last year,” Clarke said, “and hop to find our pace quickly.”

Milford

COACH: Russ Matthews (2nd year)

2013: 6-10, lost in first round.

RETURNING STARTERS: Devany Pitsas, so. fb; Andi Sindi, sr. f; Geene Ciardelli, so. fb; Lauren Nay, so. fb; Adelle Pitsas, sr. mf; Morgan Gril, jr. mf; Alyza Sayward, jr. mf; Erin McGuire, so. mf; Anna Norford, jr. mf; Morgan Stephens, sr. mf.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kaitlyn Matthews, sr. fd; Becca Cleary, sr. fd-mf; Alex Matsis, so. mf; Emily Wood, jr. mf-def; Mikayla Rush, so. fd; Casey Phelps, sr. goalie.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Nicole Blake, sr. fb; Ariana Devine, so. mf.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We have some injured players that missed all of last season back and that will make a big difference,” Matthews said. “If we can keep injuries to a minimum and play together, we’ll be very competitive.”

Souhegan

COACH: Amy Sparks (1st year)

2013: 16-3-1, won state title

RETURNING STARTERS: Alana Barretto, jr. def; Emma Fleuette, sr.mf; Meghan Camello, sr.fd;Caitlin Dix, sr. mf; Kathleen Foley, sr. mf; Sarah Lefleur, sr. mf; Gabi Sellars, sr. def; Anna Sparks, sr. fd; Hannah Chick, jr. fd; Abbey Christensen, jr. def; Rachel, jr. mf; Anna Farrow, jr. def; Hailey Johnson, jr. mf; Elizabeth Silvia-Chandley, jr. goalie; Emma Estabrook, so. fd; Casey Johnson, so. def.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: N/A.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Grace Angulas, fr. mf; Christa Vordenberg, fr. mf.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “The team is ready to work hard in defense of its state championship,” Sparks said.

DIVISION III

Campbell

COACH: Gary Karibian (1st year)

2013: 11-4-1, lost to Hopkinton in semis.

RETURNING STARTERS: Hannah Neild, sr. def-fd; Savannah Reinitzer, jr. fb; Kali Trunca, sr. mf; Emily Moreau, sr. mf-def; Olivia Crema, jr. mf; Nikki Golden, jr. fd.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Natasha Abelson, jr. fd-mf; Jamie Jutras, so. mf-goalie; Jill Kohm, so. def; Alissa Picard, so. fd.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: N/A

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We have a great mix of new and returning players who will lead to great successes on the field,” Karibian said.

DIVISION IV

Wilton-Lyndeborough

COACH: Bill Draper (12th year)

2013: 12-6, lost to Sunapee in quarterfinals.

RETURNING STARTERS: Jenna Bragdon, sr. def; Kelsey Randlett, sr.mf; Ally Schwab, jr. fd; Tesa Simpson, jr.def; Cori Balam, jr. goalie; Emily Yurcak, sr.def; Chelsea Barnes, sr. fd; Lorrie Blais, sr. fd; Maddy Bacon, jr. mf; Krystin Green, jr. def; Olivia McGettigan, jr. def.

OTHER RETUIRNING LETTERWINNERS: Suzie Lemire, jr. fd; Alex Schoen, sr.fd; Dani Bird, so. fd; Grace Wight so. mf; Naomi Wight, so. mf.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Charlotte Bailey, jr. mf; Jaida Silamba, jr. fd.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “I think we have all the pieces to have a great season,” Draper said. “With a lot of hard work and effort on our part, I think we can surprise some people.”