NHIAA D-IV Boys' Soccer: Derryfield, Lisbon advance in style
Second-ranked Derryfield of Manchester toppled sixth-ranked Littleton, 3-1, in semifinal action at Merrimack Valley of Penacook on Thursday. The Cougars meet undefeated and No. 1-ranked Lisbon in Sunday's noon championship at Southern New Hampshire University.
Lisbon outmuscled No. 4 Moultonborough in the late semifinal, 4-1, to stay unbeaten in 19 games this season.
Derryfield (17-2) has beaten northern foes Lin-Wood of Lincoln, Woodsville and Littleton in the playoffs - allowing only one goal - while proving it can handle a possession style or physical style of play.
"The way the bracket set up, we've played all teams we haven't seen before. It's pretty exciting," Derryfield coach Jeff Cousineau said. "We talked about not getting into a pushing match. Don't get pulled out of what we do. The way we played today was pretty darn good."
Derryfield gave the Crusaders a mountain to climb after eight minutes. Junior midfielder Austin Hammer assisted both goals as the Cougars took a 2-0 lead. Grant Alenson scored in the sixth minute, followed by Matt Milne's goal two minutes later. Littleton's Nick Whipple gave the Crusaders new life with a goal midway through the first half.
However, Cougars goalie Lucas McCabe (seven saves) and his defense were perfect the rest of the way.
In the second half, Simon scored a booming goal from 30 yards on a set play that started with a free kick. Milne passed the ball around a wall of Littleton defenders, and Simon struck a low laser into the bottom right corner of the net. The pro-style goal made it 3-1 and was a reflection of Derryfield's chemistry and talent.
"It's one of the best teams we've had at Derryfield in my tenure," said Cousineau, whose teams have won three titles in the past 15 years. "We have some terrific seniors and bunch of juniors who play like seniors."
Ryan Hayward made four saves for Littleton, which ended the year at 12-4-3.
Lisbon 4, Moultonborough 1
Chad Knighton drew first blood with a goal in the 24th minute, and Mike Heath's header gave Lisbon a 2-0 lead in a tightly played first half. Heath, on an arching pass from Tryston Clement, elevated off the turf and banged home a goal scorer's goal in the 29th minute.
Lisbon (19-0) came within five seconds of taking a 2-0 lead into halftime. Moultonborough sophomore Tristan Price, however, beat the buzzer with a blast from deep and over the reach of goalie Josh Deem (5 saves).
Knighton iced the game with three minutes remaining, scoring twice against the chance-taking Panthers. Knighton took a pass from Heath and made it 3-1 by slipping past the defense and beating Moultonborough goalie T.J. Marchand (8 saves). Knighton scored again in the final minute of regulation.
"We're not pretty. We're a grinder team. We try to do the right things," Lisbon coach Les Poore said. "It was a hard-fought game. I tip my hat to those (Moultonborough) guys. The score doesn't even closely reflect what type of game this was."
Lisbon and Derryfield did not meet during the regular season.
"We're glad to have a chance against Derryfield. We're undefeated but everyone says they're the team to beat," Poore said. "We'll need to play better than we did tonight."