Monthly Archives: November 2020

Caden Leader goal in 2nd OT gives Oyster River 1-0 D2 state title win

Oyster Rivers wins NH Division 2 state title

Celebrating Caden Leader’s game-winner begins

Zach Anderson in a crowd of Bobcats

(Durham NH) Sometimes a small strategy change can make a big difference.

It certainly did for Oyster River this afternoon.

The tweak in approach starting the 2nd overtime resulted in the only goal and a Division 2 title for the Bobcats over the Bow Falcons, 1-0, on Saturday.

“That winning goal was planned out,” explained OR head coach Akan Ekanem afterwards.  “Both teams sat back in the first OT, so we said, ‘Let’s go at them, they’re tired.’”

Enter Caden Leader.

The talented senior turned teammate Noah O’Hern’s long free kick into a header on net that ended things just twenty-seven seconds into the second OT.

“I wanted to settle Noah’s long kick, but I misjudged it,” recalled Caden.  “I turned and saw the goalie coming and decided to try and head it over him.  Luckily, it went in.”

Caden’s second OT header on it’s way to the Bow goal. ( Caden is to the left with Bow GK Kyle Martin)

“Caden has been our goal guy all year,” said OR goalkeeper John Kell.  “He’s amazing.”

Brayden Wesler and Corum Nichols

Tough loss for Bow.

“It’s one play,” lamented Bow coach George Pinkham post-game.

“I’ve been in too many of these,” he added.  “I’ve won some and lost some. Fourteen-fifteen years ago, we beat them the same way.”

“We knew that we couldn’t let (Caden) Leader get going,” said Coach Pinkham.  “He such a great athletic player.

The victory gave Oyster River (10-3-1) their thirteenth state title.

It was the first for 3rd year coach Akan Ekanem.  “We got the trophy, finally,” he said. “It took a while.”

OR’s last championship was in 2015.

Runnerup Bow

The Falcons finish 7-1-3.  They won consecutive titles in 2011-12 while in Division 3.

Henry Zent about to shoot as Colby Smith defends

The Bobcats had a 13-3 advantage in shots.

“One of the reasons we changed our strategy going into the second overtime was that we didn’t want to go to penalties,” said Coach Ekanem.  “As you saw, their goalie (Kyle Martin) was amazing.”

Sophomore Hunter Perry had excellent scoring chances for Oyster River in the second half and in the first overtime.

The win was payback for Oyster River.  “Two years ago, we thought we were going all the way,” recalled Caden Leader, “but they knocked us out in the tournament.  We got revenge back on them today.”

The weather (for November 7th) was truly amazing.  Seventies with a pleasant breeze!  Nice change for me.  I covered a Monday night game that “featured” temperatures in the mid-30’s with a strong wind.  Who can figure out New England weather??

The spectators were kept outside the fence that surrounded the field.  Everyone except the teams wore masks.

Unlike Massachusetts, there were no rules’ alterations just regular soccer.

Oyster River GK John Kell

John Kell: “We didn’t find out if we were playing until August.  We had no control over what would happen.  It could have gone anywhere from playing a full season to playing intramural games.  We were really fortunate to have a season.”

Caden Leader: “It’s a wonderful feeling to win at home.  I had only one other shot before the goal.  It was nice that it was the one that counted the most.”

Caden told me that he hopes to play soccer in college.  He hasn’t committed anywhere but is interested in Roger Williams, St. Anselm’s, Bentley, and Babson.

This story, with pictures, will appear on my McClelland Miscellanea blog.  The link to the coverage will be included on my Twitter account (@McClellandPeter).  Later I will post pictures on Instagram (McClellandMiscellanea).

All the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.

Oyster River captains John Kell, Caden Leader, and Aidan Kelley

Aidan Kelley defended by Noah Leuchtenberger

Noah Leuchtenberger eyes a header chased by Hunter Perry

Caden Leader in the open

Bow builds a wall

Battle for control

Ethan Wilson heads

Hunter Perry (19) in close

Kyle Martin leaps for incoming shot

Zach Anderson defended by Andres Alcocer

Corum Nichols and Brayden Wesler

Alden Swiez over GK Kyle Martin

Ty Dorow out front

Caleb Leader and Corum Nichols celebrate winning goal

Coach Akan Ekanem with three captains

Connor Wachsmuth

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Ipswich finds enough defense to hold Newburyport to 0-0 tie in Cape Ann League girls soccer

Allie Waters and Lauryn Whynott battle for control.

Maddy Farris was busy in the Ipswich net

(Newburyport MA) I don’t know the last time Ipswich girls soccer tied or won a game against Newburyport.

I do know from Mascores that the last time the Tigers scored a goal against the Clippers was in 2012.

Ipswich didn’t end the scoring drought tonight, but they did play enough defense to earn a 0-0 tie with Newburyport.

“Newburyport is a good team,” said Ipswich coach Dave Wood afterwards, “and this is a great result for us.”

Dana Farardeau defends Anna Affolter

Things weren’t so upbeat on the Newburyport side post-game.

“We had plenty of chances especially early, but we just didn’t finish,” said NHS coach Kevin Sheridan.

Just three minutes into the game the Clippers (4-2-3) had a sequence with four quality shots and no return.  Credit Ipswich goalie Maddy Farris for being where she needed to be during the barrage of NHS shots.

“Their goalie was very good,” said Coach Sheridan.  “She stopped some crosses and she also was able to hold onto some long-range high shots.”

Over and over senior Allie Waters facilitated Newburyport setups by getting by Ipswich defenders and finding teammates for good looks.  She also had several quality shots on net.

Allie Waters and Carter King

But that first goal never came for the home team.

And because the Tigers (3-4-2) survived the first half they gained confidence and did a better job of limiting the NHS scoring chances in the second half.

“We could have gone into the second half up 2-0,” explained Coach Sheridan.  “It would have been a different game in the second half if that had happened.”

But it didn’t happen, and the Tigers were able to put some shots on Newburyport’s second-half goalie Gabby Loughran.  Lauren Waters and Carter King had the best chances.

The Clippers never stopped having chances but on this extremely cold (30’s & windy) Monday evening they couldn’t finish.

Izzy Kirby and Colby Filosa

“We did have some chances in the second half,” recalled Coach Wood.  “We finally started working the ball to the outside and then across.  We just didn’t get on the end of any of them.”

Some of that Ipswich offense was generated by senior Lauren Waters.  “It was a great last away game for her.”

Ipswich will close with Amesbury at home on Wednesday.

Coach Wood cited the defense of Lauryn Whynott: “It was her best game all year.  She was aggressive and she was willing to carry the ball out of the back which she’s not always willing to do.  She had faith in her first touch.  They gave her space, and she took advantage of it.”

This was a game in which there appeared to be plenty of open space in the middle of the field.  Allie Waters, Deidre McElhinney, and Carter King found opportunities to flash some nifty dribbling skills in those spaces.

Deidre McElhinney

Coach Sheridan: “We had some quality play tonight.  It just didn’t result in a goal.  We have a great group and I’m super proud of them.  I want them to finish the season on a high note on Wednesday against Lynnfield.”

Junior Katie Gallagher may have had the best Clippers scoring opportunity early in the second quarter.  The strong-footed defender blasted a long kick just under the crossbar, but Ipswich GK Maddy Farris jumped to snag it.

The cold in this game was real.  Add a steady wind to the low temps and only the truly committed lasted the whole game.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

This story will appear on my McClelland Miscellanea blog and the link will be on my Twitter account (McClellandPeter).  Individual pictures will show up on Instagram (McClellandMiscellanea).

Carter King chased by Allie Waters

Lucy Harmon and Shannon Harrington

Katie Gallagher between Lauren Waters and Olivia Novello

Allie Waters chased by Dana Falardeau and Jennie Tarr

Lauryn Whynott

Allie Waters defended by Jennie Tarr

Lauren Waters chased by Anna Affolter

Katie Gallagher and Colby Filosa

Carter King






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