Hanover falls to Central; Little Green win Division I boys' soccer title
Hanover's Daniel Hazlett, right, gets the ball from Manchester Central's Alex Carignan during the first half of Sunday night's Division I championship game at Bill Ball Stadium in Exeter. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
EXETER - Manchester Central cemented its reputation as a dynamo Division I team, securing its second straight championship with a 2-1 win over Hanover Sunday evening at Eustis Field inside Bill Ball Stadium.
Fourth-seeded Central reached the championship game the past four seasons, winning the program's first-ever title trophy 2009 and runner up plaque in 2010 before securing the 2011 crown in an overtime thriller.
The Little Green team's repeat was no easy effort. Play with Hanover, a six-time Division II champ (2005-2010) successfully petitioned to the large school division to showcase its competitive nature. Rocco Linehan's goal in the 79th minute pulled Hanover to within 2-1, but the Marauders could get no closer.
Sunday, Central's usual suspects netted a goal in the 17th minute of play. Alex Carignan added an insurance goal in the 65th minute, on a rebound off his initial corner kick serve.
Quick and decisive passes provided Hanover five scoring opportunities in the first half. Noah Edmunds made a leaping save on two shots. Dan Hazlett and Jonas Taenzer shots went just wide.
Evan Greenwald blocked LaBerge's scoring strike in the 37th minute. Teammates Ben Manning and Brendan Barth followed by clearing rebound attempts away from the open net, denying Central a chance to own a two-goal bulge at intermission.
Hanover kept building scoring chances in the second half, keeper Edmunds came out to swallow Xavier Tchana's run in the 45th minute. Semir Sandzic blockaded Hazlkett's drive from the left side.
Play got testy. Two Central players were issued yellow cards. Meanwhile Hanover kept pushing with Taezner making a run and Edmunds leaping to save a header and left-footed shot from Rocco Linehan.
Central struck back. LaBerge had a shot saved. Amar Dzelilovic had a point-blank shot cleared by Evan Greenwald. Daniel Osheyack tackled a Binogono's breakaway bid.