Goffstown, Memorial play to scoreless tie.
GOFFSTOWN — Neither Manchester Memorial coach Joe Burrows nor Goffstown High coach Randy Lovering walked away with a win when their Division I boys’ soccer teams met Tuesday. Instead, both left with a handful of areas to work on next practice.
The Grizzlies and Memorial played to a scoreless draw over 100 minutes of soccer at Goffstown High.
Lovering said at least it wasn’t a loss. “A tie. It’s not a win, but it sure feels like a loss.”
Memorial (0-2-1) had the possession edge for most of regulation and throughout both 10-minute overtime periods but suffered from the same ailment its opponent did. Neither team could connect that final pass to create a dangerous scoring opportunity.
Arguably the Crusaders’ best chance to score came in the 66th minute, when senior Koffi Kadjo had possession inside the Goffstown penalty box. Grizzlies senior goalkeeper Myles Green (four saves) came off his line to challenge Kadjo and made the save on the latter’s low contested shot. Memorial’s Gerson Mejia and Emir Kurtovic also fired promising shots inside the final two minutes of regulation but both went just wide of the Goffstown net.
Memorial is still looking to score its first goal of the season after three games.
“Obviously, we have a lot to work on in the final third and I think that’s our big thing,” Burrows said. “I think our defense is stellar, I think our midfield is getting there but I think our final third needs a little improvement.”
Goffstown (1-1-1) found some offensive rhythm and tipped the possession battle back toward an even split midway through the second half but failed to build on that momentum in overtime. The Grizzlies recorded each of their nine shots on goal and four of their six corner kicks in the second half.
Few of Goffstown’s shots on goal tested Memorial senior goalkeeper Eldin Husanovic, though. Almost all Husanovic’s saves were routine.
One of Goffstown’s better scoring chances came in the 54th minute. Junior Josh Ewing-Simone had possession near the top of the box with some space and passed to teammate Ronnie Morgan, who saw his low shot easily scooped up by Husanovic.
Lovering said the Grizzlies’ attack was not creative enough throughout the contest.
“We’re definitely better than that,” Lovering said. “We were just playing so direct, so direct. Even the other day when we played (Manchester) Central, at least we tried to connect some things. Not (Tuesday). We just kept trying to go over the top, go over the top. I’ll take partial responsibility for that, too.”
Both teams dealt with tired legs in the overtime periods but Memorial carried the play in both frames.
Burrows said toward the end of overtime, his Crusaders slowed down the pace and got back to their style but could not create opportunities.
Lovering said fitness has been an issue for his Grizzlies since the preseason, which is an area they will work to improve. Tuesday was Goffstown’s second overtime game this season.
“Going 1-1-1, after last year, I’m OK sitting here right now being there but there’s a lot of work to do,” Lovering said.