Ian Clark's Corner Kicks: Boys take to NHIAA soccer tournament stage today
FORGET the tricks, it's nothing but treats for today's full slate of Halloween NHIAA boys' soccer playoffs.
Round two of the Division III tournament takes place today at the home of the higher seeds and first round action kicks off in Division I, II and IV.
One of the top games to keep an eye on today is No. 8 Laconia hosting No. 9 Kearsarge of North Sutton in DIII action at 3 p.m.
As is to be expected with an 8-9 battle, the records are close and the game projects to be as well. Laconia (11-5-0) and Kearsarge (10-5-1) did not meet in the regular season.
In fact, due to the geographical nature of the schedule and the sheer size of Divison III itself, the teams only played three common opponents. Both Laconia and Kearsarge earned wins over Franklin, Winnisquam (twice each) and Mascoma Valley (twice each).
In Division I, the matchup of the day looks to be, once again, No. 8 hosting No. 9 as Timberlane of Plaistown hosts Winnacunnet of Hampton at 3 p.m.
Both teams are 9-7-0 and did not meet in the regular season.
No. 7 Salem (10-6-0) hostig No. 10 Londonderry (8-7-1) at 3 p.m. should also be a fun game to watch. The Lancers earned a 1-0 win over the Blue Devils in Londonderry in the regular season.
Keeping with the theme of the eighth and ninth ranked tussles lending themselves to entertaining games, in Division II, No. 8 Goffstown (8-6-2) will host No. 9 Souhegan of Amherst (8-8-0) at 3 p.m. The Sabers won 2-1 in Goffstown in the regular season meeting.
Finally in Division IV, both the 8-9 and 7-10 meetings project to be tight contests.
No. 8 Epping will host Gorham at 3 p.m. and both teams come in with 9-6-1 records. They did not square off in the regular season.
No. 7 Newmarket (10-6-0) will host No. 10 Profile (8-5-3) of Bethlehem at 3:30 p.m. Once again, this is a matchup that did not take place in the regular season. Tremblay tops 100: Goffstown senior Michele Tremblay recently passed the 100-goal mark for her career and got the playoffs started on the right foot with a goal in the Grizzlies' 3-0 win over John Stark in Division II first round action Wednesday.
Goffstown's leading scorer, Tremblay scored 25 goals this season, taking her to 102 heading into the postseason.
"It was really exciting to get my 100th goal," she said. "My teammates were so supportive. I owe it all to them because they set me up all the time."
Tremblay, who runs track in the winter and spring, said she will playing soccer at Siena College next fall. In the meantime, she and her teammates will chase the DII championship. "It would be an amazing way to end my career," she said. "We've been working so hard all year and I hope all our hard work pays off."
Ian Clark's Corner Kicks appears every Thursday in the New Hampshire Union Leader. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.