WLC boys hand Derryfield 1st loss
Thursday, October 3, 2013
WILTON – The Wilton-Lyndeborough High School boys soccer team knew it needed to take advantage of any opportunity it got Monday against Derryfield.
So when an opportunity arose, the Warriors took it.
James Edmunds scored on a penalty kick in the second half and the WLC defense clamped down on the Cougars – and got a little bit of luck – as the Warriors took a 1-0 win. The loss was the first of the season for Derryfield and left both teams at 8-1 in Division IV.
“You’re crossing your fingers and your toes that it’s going in,” WLC coach Steve Martus said of Edmunds’ goal. “We knew they had a very good defense because they only had two goals scored against them. It was pretty big.”
Connor Melrose was also big for the Warriors, stopping five shots, including a huge one in the final five minutes of the game. Derryfield had a throw-in from the right side of the WLC goal, and the ball bounced around before it found the foot of the Cougars’ Joe Costa.
Costa drilled a shot at the net, but it was right at Melrose. The junior goalie made the initial stop and secured the ball inches from the goal line.
“He’s not afraid out there,” Martus said of Melrose. “We do warmups before the game and I just crank it at him and he doesn’t wince. He puts his body on the line and he covers the entire goal.”
Melrose and the Warriors caught a few breaks, too. The Cougars sent a couple of free kicks over the net, but their best chance came right after Edmunds’ goal, when Ryan Stagg sent the ball across the front of the goal to Jack St. Jean. St. Jean had no one in front of him, but his shot went off the side of his foot and missed the net.
“We didn’t burry the chances we had,” Jeffery Cousineau said. “We’re still trying to find our identity. We had a little bit of success (Monday) with being able to get the ball to the sidelines and get some flank play. That was really creating bigger opportunities for us. We had some chances to get it in that way.”
The Warriors tried changing up their defense before the game, having given up nine goals in their first eight games.
“We’ve been trying something new on defense because if you look at our record before this, we had about nine goals against us in eight games,” Martus said. “We changed things up in the back. We had the same guys, but we changed the shape a little bit. I think it’s working pretty well.”
Martus has been aided by the addition of a junior varsity team, the first at WLC in a long time.
“With a new JV program, it’s giving these guys the opportunity to actually play and scrimmage and put them in more game scenarios,” he said. “We have a lot of older guys who have been working with the younger guys.”
The teams will play again at Derryfield on Oct. 18, and Cousineau wouldn’t be surprised if they meet again after that.
“We’ve gone back and forth quite a bit the last several years,” he said. “No one ever likes losing, but it’s not the championship. We’re going to go out and play our game and we’ll run into each other somewhere. They’ve still got to come to our place.”