EPPING--The Gorham boys soccer team got all five of their players to score on penalty kicks and earned a 2-1 victory over the Epping Blue Devils in Epping recently. The win advances Gorham 10-6-1 to take on top seeded Woodsville on Sunday. The loss ended the season for Epping at 9-7-1.
The Huskies got on the scoreboard first at 26:32. Jarred Stewart notched his fifth goal of the season from team mate Kyle Boisselle. A great run was made by Boisselle through middle, and then making a nice pass to split the defenders where Stewart crushed a low hard shot from the left side which hit the far post and deflected in for a 1-0 lead. That was all of the scoring in the first half.
Epping tied the game in the second half at 64:56. Blue Devil, Cooper Garrow scored from Azize Zerguine and it came about in almost identical fashion as the earlier Huskie goal. A good through pass from Zerguine and a Garrow shot that was low off the far post tying the game 1-1.
Huskie sophomore defender, Doug Levesque, came to the Huskies' rescue making a game saving deflection off a Zerguine move that had beat goalie, Tyler Sanschagrin. Levesque cleared the ball from the goal mouth with about eight minutes left in regulation.
At the sound of the final whistle it was a tie and the two teams went into 10 minute overtimes. There were however, some decent chances by both teams in the overtime sessions. For the Epping team, a header off a corner by Jake West in the second overtime just missed wide. Gorham's chances came on a low skipping shot by Boisselle which the Blue Devil keeper, Jackson Rivers, made a nice save on and a high lofting shot by Huskie senior Chris DesFosses. The shot looked to be heading over the keepers head and was saved by Rivers at the last possible moment.
At the end of the two overtime sessions, the fate of a season hinged on five players taking penalty kicks. The team that led after the penalty kicks would be deemed the winner.
"In my 30 plus seasons of coaching, it was the first for me," said head coach Billy Goodrich. "We went first and Tyler made his and so did Epping's Chris Cormeau for 1-1 score. Next Brady Fauteux made his and so did Blue Devil Cooper Garrow for a 2-2 score. We chose Tristan Buber and he was successful and they went with Azize Zerguine making it 3-3. Tony Bolash kept us perfect converting his shot. Epping chose their keeper Jackson Rivers and Tyler made the save to put us on top 4-3. All we needed was for Kyle Boisselle to make his and we would win. Kyle did and it didn't matter that Jake West shot. This was a classic 8 vs 9 seed tournament played against two very evenly pair teams. The game had great defensive plays, good scoring chances by both team and outstanding goal tending by both keepers. Our kids play very hard and with a tremendous amount of heart. I could not have been more proud of their effort. In addition to our team play, Doug Levesque played one of the best defensive games I have seen in a long time. He marked up Epping’s leading scorer Jake West and shut him down for 100 minutes. Along with the great team play, the composure of our penalty kick takers and the goal tending of Tyler was done with so much confidence it made for a great finish. Hopefully we can continue at Woodsville."
If Gorham defeats Woodsville, the Huskies will advance to the semi-finals slated for Thursday.