Goffstown gets by Sanborn; moves on to 3rd playoff round
Then, they won their first-round matchup 5-0 over Plymouth Regional on Wednesday, Oct. 24.
But they almost watched that success swirl down the drain Saturday, Oct. 27, in their second-round playoff game against Sanborn Regional.
Sanborn scored first, less than 10 minutes into the game. The Grizzlies saw chance after chance go just wide, high or into the grip of the Sanborn goaltender for the next 57 minutes.
But with 13 minutes to play, a Goffstown corner kick turned into a mad scramble in front of the net. Junior forward Lexi Foster put the ball in the back of the Sanborn goal to even the score at 1-1.
Goffstown scored on another corner and held onto the lead to escape with a 2-1 victory.
“It was just the most amazing thing I’ve been a part of,” an emotional head coach Eric Romein said. “I’ve been here 14 years and this is the greatest day ever in Goffstown soccer.”
The Grizzlies normally ride Michele Tremblay, their top scorer, on the offensive end, but it was sophomore back Nicole Nanof who put away the game winner. With Tremblay constantly receiving the focused attention of multiple defenders, other players had to step into scoring roles.
“Today, she wasn’t the player,” Romein said. “Other players stepped up.”
The Goffstown defense also had an impressive performance. After allowing a goal early in the contest, goalie Leandra Nault kept her team within striking distance.
“They scored four minutes into the game and we never gave one up the other 76 minutes,” said Romein. “When we scored the first one to tie it up, we all looked at each other and said, ‘let’s go for the win,’ and the girls pulled it out.”
The victory propelled the Grizzlies further into the playoffs than they made it a year earlier.
After going 9-7 during the regular season in 2011, Goffstown entered the playoffs as the No. 12 seed. They lost on the road before making it to the semifinals, but played this season with a different mindset.
“We went into the playoffs last year like we had nothing to lose,” Romein said. “We lost in the quarterfinals in overtime to Bedford, but this year, there’s a lot more pressure on us.”
Goffstown’s two losses this year came against Souhegan and Lebanon. Both defeats were on the road and by a single goal.
The Grizzlies high-powered offense scored 66 goals in the 16 games. They scored seven goals on two separate occasions early in the season, and launched into the playoffs with their most lopsided win, 9-0, over Kennett.
“We had a pretty special effort,” Romein said. “Both our defense and our offense was outstanding, and we knew we had something to prove in the playoffs.”
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