The Hollis/Brookline girls’ soccer team’s playoff hopes were dashed last week when it was forced to forfeit 10 Division II regular season games for competing with an ineligible player.
“Hollis/Brookline self-reported the fact they discovered a player on their team who was ineligible,” said Pat Corbin, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association. “It appears the ineligibility stemmed from residency or lack thereof.”
Corbin said the school violated By-Law Article II Eligibility Section 20: Schools Using Ineligible Contestants & Coaches. It reads: “Schools using ineligible coaches or contestants shall forfeit all games and contests in which the ineligible coach or student participates.”
Corbin said “It’s my understanding Hollis/Brookline has removed the student-athlete from the team to not make the matter worse.”
The ineligible player competed in the team’s first 13 games.
The Cavaliers lost on the field to Portsmouth (3-2) on Sept. 6, Alvirne (2-1) of Hudson on Sept. 17 and, Souhegan (2-0) of Amherst on Sept. 27. The other 10 games, which resulted in either wins and ties, were all forfeited.
After removing the ineligible player on Oct. 19, Hollis/Brookline defeated Oyster River of Durham and Sanborn of Kingston before closing its season with a 4-4 tie against Merrimack Valley of Penacook. Those last three games counted in the standings.
Instead of preparing for the upcoming state tournament, the Cavaliers ended their regular season 2-13-1, good for 19th place among 21 teams in Division II. The top 16 teams qualify for the state tournament.
Corbin commended Hollis/Brookline, saying “we don’t have the staff or ability to enforce all the rules. We rely on the integrity of our member schools to enforce our by-laws. Hollis/Brookline certainly did a thorough job and reported their findings to us.”