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The York County Community College Girls Soccer Thursday Thoughts for 9/14/23

By Lance Legere & Jay Manzi, 09/14/23, 6:00AM EDT


Whitney Vailant and Concord find themselves in the Top 10 (photo by NH Sports Photography)

 Thursday Thoughts returns for our second year of girls' soccer coverage. We will take a look at all four divisions with Top 10 rankings and notes on each of those teams.

 Jay Manzi will bring you insight on Division I while Lance Legere will cover Division II, III, and IV.

As a team, we also want to announce something we came up with this summer that will get more kids exposure on the website while supporting our website.

 If you would like to have a picture on a player's profile page, you can have that done for ten dollars.

 The picture will be on their page and the statistical leader page, and $10 covers every sport we cover (basketball and baseball) this year.

 It’s a low-cost way to support the player in your home and our team.


Here is an example: Nola Fletcher of Exeter


 Email with your player name and the picture you’d like to use, and he will send you a Venmo or PayPal request and get the image on the page.


 Our column today is brought to you by our great friends at York County Community College!


Division I 

Standings & Statistical Leaders

1. Exeter: The Bluehawks stand at the top in Division I. They aren’t just undefeated but at the time of writing, they are also unchallenged. They’ve been beating everyone they’ve played by a substantial margin, as well as only allowing one goal in the past three games. Exeter proved as to why they’re a staple in Division I with a very impressive start to their season with huge contributions from Sophia Nadeau with two goals on the season, Mia Albertti with three, and Lauren Roeder with a whopping eight goals already in the first five games. 

2. Nashua South: Put some respect on South's name. A team that didn’t make my preseason Top 10 has made me eat my words. South has proved me wrong to start this season. They are undefeated at 5-0 with some larger victories and a few that were a bit closer in score. They have been led by Soraya Ross with five goals, Ella Benzerki with three, as well as Peyton Renzi, and Addison Varley tied at two. With South still having some tougher teams ahead of them this season it will be interesting to see if they can keep up this great start. 

3. Salem: Salem is not a team that I thought would be so hot right out the gate to begin the season but here we are talking about them. Salem sits with a record of 4-1-0, with their biggest win coming against Portsmouth. With just a tie to Winnacunnet their name Salem was another team that might’ve been sleeping on heading into the season for no good reason. They’ve gotten help on offense from names such as Lily Carriero, Aaliyah Hajjar, and Amelia Murray all scoring multiple goals. They also have had Ronnie Keays in goal with an impressive twenty-four saves on the season. Salem might’ve been an afterthought before but no one is underestimating them now.

4. Timberlane: With only one loss to Portsmouth Timberlane is playing great this year. They have dominant victories over teams such as North, Spaulding, and Dover. They also won a close contest against Pinkerton 1-0. Some of their key scorers are Ali Harb, and Rylee Donahue both tied at three goals, as well as Leah Morrier with four. In goal Sophia Sayers has added sixteen saves as well. Timberlane has some tough names down the road, but has shown capability in their high level competition. 

5. Bedford: Another team that is doing exactly what everyone thought they’d be doing…winning. The defending state champions Bedford Bulldogs are 4-0 this season, but something worth noting is that a lot of their games have been low-scoring. Is this by design? Are they playing at a slower pace? Or are other teams in DI finding some answers to limit their offense?

6. Goffstown: Goffstown lost their first game of the season, and didn’t like it that much. So they’ve decided to not lose a game again. Ella Lavalierre has added four goals, and Arianna Girzzone has added five on top of numerous players contributing in the scoring department; the offense hasn’t been an issue. They have also seen goalie Shannon O’Brien contribute seven saves to help defensively. This has led them to a three-game win streak by beating Spaulding, Central, and Memorial. The teams they've beaten haven’t really been thriving so far in DI. It should be interesting to see their next challenge down the road as they have Concord (in a game we cover tonight), and Bedford on their horizon.  ​​​​​​

7. Bishop Guertin: Weather has been an issue for BG making them have to reschedule two games already. They have been playing well, as they usually do, and have a 3-0 record. I wonder where they would’ve stood if they had those games under their belt. Would they still have been undefeated? Or would they have suffered their first loss? Who knows, stay tuned to when they face off with South, and Pinkerton, two teams that will give them good games.

8. Portsmouth: The Clippers are 3-1 after losing a tough one to Salem. We’ve had the pleasure of covering Portsmouth already this season where we saw them beat Timberlane. They play some great fundamental soccer. The Clippers have been relying on names such as Anna Parker, Mailory Baker, Ailish Honda, and Sylvia Gurracino who have all scored on multiple occasions so far this season. They also have a fantastic keeper in Haley Coombs who has added seventeen saves. They want to remain one of the top teams in DI and are definitely trying to avenge their 1-0 loss to Salem. All I have to say is look out Pinkerton you’ve got the Clippers after their first and only loss this season.

9. Concord: A team with a record of 2-1-0 is a sleeper team this year for sure. They’ve been playing well this season, and are giving teams a good game every time they take the field. I like this Crimson Tide team and have been interested to see how they’ll look in a few week's time. Katherine Dickson is their leading scorer this year with four goals to her name, as well as Whitney Valliant who has scored twice. As for now keep your eye on Concord because they might be getting talked about more, and more as the season goes on. ​​​​​​​

10. Pinkerton:  Pinkerton is even down the middle right now with a record of 2-1-2. They have a game against Portsmouth coming up that will be a great test for them. As of now, their season has been very interesting. Either they’re winning by seven or nine goals, or losing tough but close games to teams such as Exeter and Timberlane. A win against an established team such as Portsmouth would be a great way to push them over the edge and get them on the winning track. They’re hoping for Camryn Mcnulty, Hannah Sippel, and Kathryn Beddard to keep their scoring up as well as looking for Maeve Gilligan to continue her strong start to the year in net. 


Division II

Standings & Statistical Leaders

1. Merrimack Valley: The Pride have played arguably one of the tougher schedules in the division and sit at a perfect 4-0 record to start the season. If you like consistency, Merrimack Valley has been just that, winning all four games in 2-1 fashion over Coe-Brown, Pembroke, Oyster River, and Kennett. This seems like a group that can rely on their defense and really grind you out.

2. Oyster River: A young team a season ago has returned more experienced and game-ready to start the season. The Bobcats had a big measuring stick game against Bow on Saturday and passed with flying colors. Going from a 6-0 defeat a year ago to a 1-0 win over a contender in the division is a sign things are moving in the right direction for Sabrina Rivers and company.

3. Bow: The Falcons have looked poised through four games, taking 2-1 wins over Coe-Brown and Pembroke to start the year. Lexi Insana has taken a step forward in the midfield along with Sidney Roberge being a physical force on both ends of the field. This group has experience and can compete in tight games and through four games that has remained true.

4. Hollis-Brookline: The Cavaliers have allowed just one goal through four games and continue to look like the Final Four team they were a season ago.

5. Coe-Brown: The Bears have found their way into the win column after two consecutive 2-1 losses to start the season against Merrimack Valley and Bow. The offensive trio of Bella Lapierre, Somer Loto, and Lily Wolf have looked as advertised and helped lead Coe-Brown to their most recent victory, 3-1 over Pembroke. Katie Pease has been solid for this group in net as well. Another big test comes this Saturday when they host rival Oyster River. Expect another close game between these two.

6. Pembroke: The Spartans have taken their lumps here early, playing three top-five opponents in their first five games. With a record of 2-3, they will have to win some of these rematches with Bow (in a game we will be at), and Coe-Brown down the stretch of the season. This is somewhat of a similar start Pembroke had last season. They really came on late and played their best soccer heading into the postseason. While close losses hurt, they will only help a team that has championship aspirations like this one does.

7. John Stark: It has been a terrific start for first-year head coach Edmond Marceau and the Generals. This is a team that plays as one unit and have taken care of business through four games. Their upcoming schedule will tell us a lot with games at home against ConVal and Hollis-Brookline and a trip to Merrimack Valley next Thursday.

8. ConVal: ConVal has been a great story to follow. At 3-2, they have almost totaled the amount of wins they finished last season with. Head coach Hagen Wegmuller has gotten this group to focus on possessing the ball and dictating pace for 80 minutes. Haley Matthewson has come in strong out of the gates with 5 goals on the young season. Today against Oyster River will be their biggest game of the season to date and could be a chance to prove themselves against one of the division's best so far.

9. Laconia: Year two in Division II has treated Laconia much better than last season. The Sachems are off to a 4-1 start, winning the games they need to and battling a good Bow team to a 3-1 contest. The schedule takes a competitive turn these next few weeks. If they continue to get consistent goal production from players like Renee Bergeron and Madeline Mousseau, the Sachems should be able to stay in the Top 10 mix.

10. Lebanon:  The Raiders battled back from a 1-3 start to take down Pelham 2-1 this past Thursday. The schedule does not get much easier with Bow on deck on Friday. This is always a sneaky team down the stretch, but like Coach Taber said coming into the season the big hurdle will be putting the ball in the back of the net, something that has only happened five times in five games. If that can be corrected over the next few weeks this team can find themselves staying competitive with the contenders in this division.


Division III

Standings & Statistical Leaders

1. St. Thomas: The Saints have looked like a team on a mission since the season kicked off, and they have been dominant. They had a great 1-0 win against the defending champs and have allowed just one goal in four games while putting 21 in the back of the net on their own. Maddie Karsonovich, Kate Burus, and Elizabeth Flynn have paced the high-powered Saints offense that doesn't seem to have plans of slowing down anytime soon.

2. Gilford: The Golden Eagles' lone loss is to the team ahead of them in the standings and besides that have looked calm, cool, and collected. Millie Caldon's physicality and scoring ability give this team an edge not many others have. Anna Coapland has been a great connective piece for this offense while newcomer Ariah Dewar has been solid in between the posts.

3. Hopkinton: Keegan St Cyr has been a difference-maker for this group. The senior scored a hat trick (check out the game-winner on the highlights and on Instagram) in a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Trinity. The domino effect continues in our rankings as their only loss on the season is to the Golden Eagles one spot ahead of them. Their defense has been rock solid and the scoring punch of Katie Brown and St. Cyr has been a huge plus. 

4. Stevens: It took a game or two for the Cardinals to find their footing, but this offense is once again explosive. The goal of having more scoring outside of Maddy Minckler seems to be being met so far by Stevens. Payton Ferland has burst onto the scene for this team with nine goals and five assists in six games. Kiley Bundy and Faith Norton have had their fair share of moments for this team along with a handful of other contributors for this team. The balance on that end of the field is much more evident this season.

5. Kearsarge: The Cougars picked up a marquee win over Stevens to give this team a boost of confidence. This young offense has taken the leap head coach Dave Smith was hoping for, at least early on. Ellie Wimer and Carly Grant pace Kearsarge upfront while this veteran defense has done their job to hold a 3-0-1 record to this point.

6. Campbell: This young nucleus has been competitive through four games as the Cougars once again have the makings to be a playoff spoiler down the line.

7. Trinity: The Pioneers held a lead two separate times against a sound Hopkinton team on Wednesday. Addie Bosworth has good speed and control up top while Ava Houde continues to be one of the more dominant defenders in the division. This group has shown they can compete with the best in the division and should continue to do so throughout the fall. 

8. Fall Mountain: The Wildcats have made some noise early on tying a seasoned Stevens team and holding a 2-0 lead early in that contest. This is still a young core, but their ability to compete in these games will be crucial in the long run for a group with big aspirations. Avery Ducharme, Aubrey Thomas, and Selah Fredrick have been able to put the ball in the back of the net with ease while Marielle Tsitsonis continues to orchestrate this offense.

9. Derryfield: After an 0-2 start Derryfield has rattled off four straight wins to get back above .500. Two shutouts against quality opponents in Bishop Brady (game called after one half) and Raymond is a welcomed site for the Cougars. It has been a different contributor every game with Sam Chappell, Chlore Larson, Abby Steward, and Teagan Peabody all getting in the mix offensively. Bre McCabe has started to look more comfortable in net which will be big as the season goes on.

10. Raymond: Offense has been hit or miss for the new-look Rams, but the experience from the upperclassmen has been valuable. The schedule gets favorable within the coming weeks, and the hope is this team can find a rhythm that will carry them down the stretch.


Division IV

Standings & Statistical Leaders

1. Newmarket: The defending champs have been a force through four games, scoring 19 goals and allowing just three. The chemistry and experience have been noticeable, and things seem to have picked up where they left off. Olivia Blackadar has taken a leap as a sophomore, leading the Mules in goals and assists. 

2. Sunapee: The Lakers are one of a handful of undefeated teams in Division IV currently and have been finding their footing through four games. Just one goal has been put by them while scoring 17 of their own through four games. A big stretch awaits with back-to-back games against Concord Christian on Friday (in a game we are covering) and Monday. A rematch of an epic quarterfinal game from a season ago will be one to keep an eye on. Clare Tuhoy is off to a strong start along with Sophie Borque who has been a consistent contributor.

3. Concord Christian: The Kingsmen get home-field advantage to start their two-game series with Sunapee. Concord Christian hasn't played since 8/31 so rust may play a factor in Friday's contest. Nonetheless, this is a confident team whose lone loss so far is to Newmarket. This group has athleticism all over the pitch and that is something that will be on full display on Friday afternoon. 

4. Woodsville: Woodsville is off to a blistering 6-0 start and seems to be improving with each game. Kate Vasconcelos has been terrific for the Engineers with 10 gals and 5 assists, which leads the team in each category. Eliza Wagstaff has let just one goal by her so far and will be a tough force to get by for opposing offenses. 

5. Profile: The Patriots have scored a division-best 39 goals in four games. This offense has a multitude of options, which makes them hard to gameplan for. It can be a different option with every run they make. This team can beat you from far out and also has the ability to crash the net hard. Not to mention this team has not allowed a goal yet either. The schedule will ramp up over the next few weeks, but this team is dangerous.

6. Portsmouth Christian: PCA battled with Newmarket and a 6-3 deficit shows they have the ability to hang with the best team in the division. Jaela Stockbower has made a huge jump up top along with Tatum Smith, who have scored 13 and 10 goals respectively. Ella Walsh continues to give this team a chance every game with her play in net and Tatiana Stockbower has been a calming presence in the midfield with seven goals and seven assists.

7. Littleton: It is crazy to have an undefeated team at the seven spot, but with how the top of this division has performed early on has made it a crowded Top 10. The Crusaders have taken care of business through four games. Addison Hadlock, Kiera Charest, JuJu Bromley, and Lauryn Corrigan have all connected for multiple scoring opportunities and Taytum Adams has been solid in net for Littleton.

8. Lin-Wood: The Lumberjacks have hit the ground running with just one loss coming to the hands of Woodsville 3-2. A hard-fought game on a tough field to play on is a great sign for a Lin-Wood team that has real playoff aspirations.  Destiny Ciarleglio has been impactful in goal while the Lumberjack offense has been fueled by Abishai Corey and Mackenna Mack. This team is for real.

9. Groveton: The Eagles have won two straight and have a big game with Gorham on the slate this afternoon. At .500, these games with potential North Country playoff teams become important even this early in the season. Delaney Whiting and Aspen Clermont have been vital offensive weapons for Groveton through six games.

10. Gorham: The Huskies have struggled a bit out of the gate offensively, but the talent this group possesses on that end of the field should give them hope of turning their fortunes around. The schedule doesn't get much easier, but still plenty of chances to climb back up the standings.

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