This weekend, Manchester Central High School came within just a few minutes of claiming the NHIAA Division I titles in both boys’ and girls’ soccer. Although Central boys’ fell short to Bedford, Central girls prevailed over the Londonderry Lancers, 5-0, for a big win.
On Saturday at Southern New Hampshire University, Central fell 3-1 in the boys’ final to Bedford, a tied game most of the way following a goal from Central’s Rahul Drukpa.
Bedford’s Zach Verow broke the deadlock in the game’s final minutes for the top-ranked Bulldogs, followed by a second goal of the contest for Bedford’s Austin Edwards.
The win marked Bedford’s first Division I boys’ soccer state championship and their first boys’ soccer state championship since their Division II title in 2011.
Bedford handed Central their only regular season defeat this year, and on the girls’ side, Londonderry gave Central one of their two defeats.
Unlike Saturday’s contest at SNHU, the girls dominated early at Stellos Stadium in Nashua, as Central easily took down the Lancers, 5-0.
Erin Flurey put Central on the board just seconds into the contest, with Paige LeBerge adding another goal just two minutes later.
Flurey and LeBerge each added another goal shortly before the end of the contest, with Gabrielle Paradis also finding the back of the net in the 53rd minute.
“What happened was we decided we were going to widen the field, because it is turf and we have some speed, and why not utilize everything we have as an advantage to us?,” said Central head coach Peter Lally.
The girls finish the season outscoring their opponents 91-6, and the boys finish their season outscoring their opponents 64-12.