NHIAA Boys' Soccer: Bedford gets double-overtime winner
BEDFORD — Bedford’s James Heald scored the game winning goal in the eighth minute of the second overtime to defeat Merrimack, 1-0, in Division I boys’ soccer play Friday.
Minutes earlier, Heald had a chance to end the game on a penalty kick but Merrimack goalkeeper Mike Guest dove to his left to stop the shot.
“It was my worst nightmare,” said Heald of missing the penalty. “Fortunately I had the chance to win it later.”
The match was evenly played with neither team was able to generate much offense.
The best scoring chance during regulation came off the foot of Bedford junior forward Brett Squires, who rang a shot off the post at the 20-minute mark.
Both goalkeepers were sharp stopping the shots that did get through.
Merrimack’s best scoring chance came with about 19 minutes left in the second from James Oswald.
After taking a looping over-the-shoulder pass, Oswald broke in on net but Bedford defender Joshua Leary was able to harass him enough for his shot to miss the goal.
Bedford had one more opportunity late when Chris Briggs was able to get around Merrimack’s Michael Conlin.
Briggs squared a pass to Brett Squires at the top of the 18-yard box that was deflected over the net with less than nine minutes to go.
After Heald’s stymied penalty in the first overtime, Bedford struck in the second. Michael Kitsis was able to feed Heald with a pass between Tomahawk defenders. Heald’s shot beat Guest to his left to end it
Merrimack coach Ryan Farnsworth said his team, now 1-2, played well but couldn’t find the net.
“Both teams had their chances” said Farnsworth.
“It’s a relief” said Bedford (2-1) coach Stewart Pepper. “After the letdown of that penalty kick our guys found a way to finish.”