Jack Icapino’s Sunapee Lakers boys will be headed to the championship game on Saturday on their home field after dispatching Pittsfield on Wednesday 3-2 in semifinal action and will face Littleton at 2pm.
Pittsfield came out with a vengeance scoring the first goal of the game just 6:43 into the game. Ben Stopryo scored on a cross that was mishandled by the Laker defense in near the 6-yard box.
Sunapee tied things up in the 12th minute when Parker Reed threaded the needle through a wall on a direct kick just outside the penalty box. The Laker’s second goal was scored on a strong personal effort by freshman Sam Kress in the 32nd minute. Kress received a pass on the left flank and broke around the outside of the defender then beat the defense and put the ball bottom right for the goal. The half would end with the Lakers up but they were fortunate because Pittsfield put in a great effort and had several opportunities.
The second half was similar with Pittsfield’s Parker Clark netting a goal in the 21st minute of the second half to knot things up again. Fortunately for the Lakers Parker Reed got another opportunity on a direct kick from about 35 yards out with less than three minutes left in the game. This time the keeper got his hands on it but couldn’t control it giving Sunapee a 3-2 win.
The victory sends the Laker to the Championship Game for the third year in a row. The Lakers won their first ever boys title in 2018 but lost to Newmarket last year. Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the final game will be played at Sunapee rather than a neutral site.
Here is this week’s local roundup of competitive athletics:
Green Mountain 3, Enosburg 0
Across the river in Vermont, the defending Division III champion Green Mountain Chieftains will have the chance to defend their crown Saturday at 10 a.m. as they will battle with No. 4 seed Peoples Academy in Hartford.
The No. 3 seed Green Mountain boys soccer team locked up a spot in D-III title game with a 3-0 win against No. 7 Enosburg Wednesday afternoon jn semi-final action. The Chieftains led 2-0 at the half and tacked on another goal after the break. The game winner came at 25:58 of the first half with Everett Mosher’s goal assisted Jack Boyle. Mosher scored quickly again at 23:38 for a two-goal lead. Ben Munukka scored with 36:08 left to play to cap off the victory. Green Mountain goalkeeper Skyler Klezos recorded the shutout.
Green Mountain finished the regular season with a sparkling 11-2 record with their only losses coming at the hands of Division II Woodstock in the first game of the year and to Division I Brattleboro last month. Green Mountain has notched 63 goals while limiting their opponents to only nine goals during a 13-game regular season. Peoples Academy played 10 games while winning seven and allowed eight goals while netting 32.
Sunapee 4, Portsmouth Christian 2
Myles Cooney’s Lady Lakers will step on their home field on Saturday looking to repeat as state champions after handling Portsmouth Christian Academy on Thursday. Sunapee will be looking for their fourth title in five years after beating Newmarket last year in overtime.
On a hot day in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Sunapee opened the scoring eight minutes into the game on an absolute bomb from Elizabeth Tschudin from 25 yards out only to relinquish the lead 40 seconds later. Portsmouth Christian Academy would knot things up with a rebound goal on a rocket cross and that was a sign of what was to come.
With 15 minutes remaining in the half, Brynn Smith was fouled in the box and Abby Pollari converted the penalty kick to make it 2-0 as the Laker midfield play was revving up.
In the dwindling moments of the first half the Lakers would make it 3-1 on a goal from Sophie Hubert, with an assist from Pollari on a nice effort to gain the corner and play Hubert at the top of the box with a no doubter goal off Hubert’s boot.
Sunapee came out and scored in the first minutes of the second half on a bang bang play in front of the net, the goal was awarded to Smith and assisted by Tschudin, and many would think it was a downhill run to the bus home from there. Not the case as Portsmouth Christian Academy would rally time and time again, earning a penalty kick, and covert to make it 4-2 with 17 minutes remaining. Sunapee would survive a barrage of pressure and finish with a 4-2 win and advance to their second straight championship game which will be held in Sunapee on Sunday.
“The stat line told the story: Shots went 15-11 in Sunapee’s favor and corner kicks 3-2 in Sunapee’s favor,” Cooney said. “It was a tight game and we are thrilled to advance. We can and will improve in many areas before the game on Sunday. These girls are tough and will be ready.”