MANCHESTER, N.H. – Just because a scoreboard says that one team has won and another team last lost doesn’t necessarily mean that both teams didn’t leave with another type of victory.
Trinity fell 5-1 in boys’ soccer action at Deerfield Park on Thursday night, but gained experience against one of the state’s top teams that will likely come to good use against future Division III opponents.
Unlike their far more evenly matched cross-town contest last week, Trinity struggled to find scoring opportunities in open play and had poor aim on their limited number of free kicks as well, including an indirect kick from inside the box after an absentminded Central pass back foul five minutes into the contest.
Only Nathan Meeker’s successful penalty kick just before the end of the first half prevented a clean sheet for the Little Green.
Central opened scoring with a converted penalty kick of their own from Sam Latona in the seventh minute, with Latona taking his second goal of the match nine minutes after that.
Samuel Assantha made it 3-0 in the 29th minute thanks to a gentle arcing shot and a defensive miscue that resulted in a wide-open net. Rahul Drupka added Central’s fourth goal in stoppage time shortly before Meeker’s score.
Dino Hurtic added the final goal for Central 24 minutes into the second half, finding a loose ball in the crease and slamming it into the bottom of the crossbar with the ball caroming into the net.
Following the game, Central Head Coach Chris LaBerge had nothing but praise for his squad’s opponents.
“Trinity’s a good program. They were fighting up a couple of levels. I think they’d do well against many Division I opponents, they can really play,” said LaBerge. “We’re a little bit more used to an up-tempo style, but I am certainly impressed with their program.”
Trinity Head Coach Chris Morgan felt his squad regressed somewhat from their 5-2 loss to Central on Tuesday, particular in terms of passing. However, he believes both games have served as a good test for what lies next in their schedule.
“We’re lucky to play them, just the experience, it was great,” he said. “We did some things tonight that I thought were not at the level we were the other night. For whatever reason, we have to figure that out, but they had a great experience playing against some really talented kids.”
Central concludes their regular season with a home-and-home matchup against Goffstown next week and another home-and-home against Concord after that. They remain as one of five teams in Division I with at least four games played with an undefeated record and would have a perfect record if not for a draw at Gill Stadium against Bedford on Oct. 1.
Excluding this week’s losses to Central, Trinity is also undefeated so far this year. They’ll seek to bounce back with a home-and-home against Bishop Guertin next week followed by a pair of contests against Division IV powerhouse Derryfield and Division I foe Timberlane a week later.