Joe Duball's H.S. Soccer: Goals run in the Brummett familyBy JOE DUBALL
September 12. 2018 11:00PM
NHIAA SOCCER has seen its fair share of family fun over the years with siblings following in each other’s footsteps or succeeding together on the pitch.
The Brummett family, of Bow, is making a case to be one of the most successful families New Hampshire high school soccer has ever seen.
The Brummetts’ pedigree started with Mason and Gabi Brummett, who both starred at Derryfield School of Manchester in recent years before moving on to Division I soccer at Holy Cross and Duke. The torch has since been passed to sisters Adrienne and Sheridan Brummett, who have joined forces at Bishop Brady of Concord this fall.
The Brummett sisters are adding to the family lore these days, having accounted for 21 of Bishop Brady’s 24 goals this season. Eighteen of those Brummett goals belong to Sheridan, a freshman, while Adrienne, a junior who transferred from Derryfield over the summer, has become the tablesetter in the midfield with nine assists to go with three scores. The effort from the duo has helped the Green Giants to a 5-1 start.
“I’ve played soccer since I was 3 years old and Sheridan is pretty much the same,” Adrienne said after Bishop Brady’s 3-2 win over Hopkinton on Tuesday. “We’ve got three other siblings that play soccer and we’re all super competitive out there. It’s just something where we’ve always been around it.”
The timing of the Brummetts’ arrival at Bishop Brady could not have been better for third-year Green Giants coach Andrew Mattarazzo. Bishop Brady entered the year looking to replace 14 seniors after a trip to the D-III semifinals last season. While the Brummetts don’t make up the difference of 14 departures, Mattarazzo knew the sisters would provide a base to retooling the roster.
“It was nice to see a couple names that are soccer-minded people, but also ones that come with great skill,” Mattarazzo said. “They’re coachable players that you don’t even have to really coach. Both of them come in and work every day, which makes a coach feel good knowing you’ll have that day in and day out.”
Adrienne and Sheridan are not carbon copies of their older siblings, but they admitted that some skills and tendencies mirror those of Mason and Gabi. Sheridan’s scoring output to start her high school career will have many connecting her to Gabi, who set the NHIAA girls’ soccer scoring record with 226 tallies in her four years at Derryfield.
“Watching Gabi really has helped, but we also used to go out shooting together. She’d always yell at me a lot,” Sheridan said. “That coaching and her telling me what I should do has helped. But I watched her get the scoring record as I grew up, which has made me want to beat her.”
The freshman is still harnessing her skill at the high school level, but there are flashes of what the finished product could be. One of those flashes came Tuesday as Sheridan carried the ball 30 yards and bulldozed through three defenders for one of her two goals on the day.
“Being 14 years old and jumping right in is a tough thing to do,” Mattarazzo said. “What she’s been doing is impressive. … She has that goal scorer’s mentality, which is tough to grasp at any level. To find that scorer that has a knack for the goal takes some teaching and that’s not easy to do, but she has it already.”
While Sheridan is starring on the score sheet, Adrienne’s presence and effect is far from overshadowed. The junior is regularly at the heart of Bishop Brady’s runs at the net with top-notch ball control and technical skill. The productivity doesn’t show without the help of teammates though as Adrienne acknowledged the efforts of Sheridan, Lauren Beitler and Sarah Sponenburg on the attack.
“This is a good, hard-working team here and it’s nice to play with girls that really like the sport,” Adrienne said. “They want to win as badly as Sheridan and I do. Playing with Sheridan only makes it better because you have stuff where I assist her or she assists me and then we just run to each other. It’s fantastic.”
Aside from kick-starting the offense, Mattarazzo relies on Adrienne to be a do-it-all player. Adrienne is charged with taking corner kicks, most throw-ins and even takes goal kicks late in games in addition to being a two-way player in the midfield. Mattarazzo hands Adrienne the laundry list of duties based on her instincts, but her motor is another factor.
“You can’t coach effort,” Mattarazzo said. “You can show somebody how to trap or pass, but the effort is on them. She has it from start to finish for us, and having other girls see that mentality is making us a better team.”
Given the positive results and tireless work ethic from the Brummetts, Mattarazzo expects things to remain on the rise with his club as the sisters continue to find a level of comfort in their new surroundings.
“They’re still learning about everything with our school and the program,” Mattarazzo said. “They’re bringing in this caliber and mentality that raises the bar, but they’re meshing so well with everybody here as well. I think everyone will keep learning from each other and picking each other up as we go, which is going to be big for us.”
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VERSATILITY IS valued in sports. Nowadays you can look to Boston Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt, who’s played six of nine positions this season. Then there’s past instances with the New England Patriots with players like Troy Brown and Mike Vrabel playing — and contributing — on both sides of the ball because of their skill and a team necessity.
It’s a easier to be versatile in soccer, but you can’t help but marvel at the adaptability of Pinkerton boys’ soccer’s Alex Rust displayed last Friday. The senior played all 11 positions in a 5-0 win against Spaulding of Rochester, scoring three goals and even making a pair of saves in goal.
“It was an idea we had earlier in the season and he asked if a player had ever done it,” Pinkerton coach Kerry Boles said. “I had a kid 10 or 12 years ago that did all that moving around, but it was more due to injuries. Before we knew it, the kid had played seven positions. We just decided to give it a shot.”
Rust completed his hat trick in the first half against Spaulding, which opened the door to moving him around the field with the big lead.
“We decided we were going to be done scoring goals and I looked at him and said ‘Today is the day,’” Boles said. “The saves he made in goal were ones that just made it into the box, but they’re in the box score. It was a lot of fun. Alex is a great kid and a great leader.”
Rust came up with a legitimate, big-time save in Pinkerton’s 3-0 loss to Bedford on Monday. The Bulldogs got Astros goalie Max Fairbank off his line and whistled a 15-yard shot at the net that Rust knocked away with a header over the crossbar, keeping the game scoreless at the time.
Through four games for this season, Rust has five goals and one assist to go with his three saves.
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THE NHIAA realignment has resulted in peaks for some teams and valleys for others thus far in 2018. Count the Trinity High girls’ soccer team among those peaking with a fourth of their first Division III season in the books.
Despite their first loss of the season in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Derryfield, the Pioneers are in great standing at 4-1 through its early slate. The strong start has Trinity two wins better than its total for all of last season and one win shy of matching its wins for all of 2016.
The crux of Trinity’s success out of the gate is a veteran defense, which hadn’t allowed a goal to an opponent until Tuesday. Senior keeper Taylor Frenette has been exceptional through the early slate, showing she is the real deal with 10 saves in last Thursday’s 1-0 win over defending D-III champion Raymond. Fellow seniors Ashley Savage and Hannah Jaworski have provided stability out back with Frenette.
Trinity coach Mike Martinez has an ace in the hole offensively with Keeley Francis. The junior has a team-high eight goals so far this season and can score in bunches, posting two hat tricks and a two-goal game across Trinity’s first three games this season. Sarah Gagne, who scored the winning goal against Raymond, has proven to be a solid complement and running mate for Francis within the offense.
While the early success is welcomed, the tests are coming in Trinity’s schedule. The Pioneers travel to undefeated Campbell of Litchfield (4-0) today and then host the Cougars next Friday. In between that home-and-home set with Campbell is another meeting with Raymond on Tuesday.
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FIVE UNDEFEATED teams remain in the Division I boys’ ranks, and all are perennial powers that are used to being unblemished this time of year.
Keene had been unbeaten before it suffered its first loss Wednesday, 2-0, in a battle with undefeated Hanover.
The Blackbirds, now 4-1-0, are playing like a top team thus far as they’ve outscored opponents 19-5 in five games. Keene was 5-10-1 last season and didn’t have the blowout wins they’ve posted thus far, which may be a sign of turning a corner. If the lopsided wins weren’t inspiring enough, Ben Pierce’s Blackbirds have a signature win to hang their hat on with a 2-0 blanking of Exeter, which is always in the D-I title conversation.
The big offense is keyed by senior striker Owen Fauth, who has scored 13 of Keene’s goals thus far. Fauth scored six times in last Friday’s win over Merrimack and posted hat tricks in two other contests.
Keene’s defense hasn’t been too shabby either with sophomore keeper Charlie Zwierzchowski showing big strides after starting every game as a freshman last year. Zwierzchowski is also benefiting from a veteran back line that features seniors Aiden Bartlett, David Erunski and Jack Thorp and junior Cam Tattersall.
High School Soccer appears Thursdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader during the season. To reach Joe Duball, e-mail email@example.com.