MANCHESTER, N.H. – Derryfield certainly has the championships, but when the defending champions came to town, they proved that they still belong in the conversation among the NHIAA Division III elite boys’ soccer teams.
The Cougars sent Campbell home with a 1-1 draw after extra time, the first non-win for Campbell so far this year.
Derryfield spent most of the contest parked in a defensive position, waiting for counterattacking opportunities that came occasionally through the contest.
However, it was Campbell that controlled the tempo for most of the game and it would be Campbell’s Sam Gomes who capitalized in the 32nd minute.
Gomes just managed to be in the right place at the right time after a cross from Joaquin Heller to David Latsha that could resulted in a scramble after Latsha’s shot was deflected into a dangerous position. Derryfield’s defenders tried to dispose of the ball, but Gomes found it instead on a ricochet and turned that into an easy score.
Derryfield had chances in the second half, most notably in the 51st minute when the ball slipped off the left post and in the 53rd minute when Campbell Goalkeeper Jack Noury joined on a corner kick and provided a few seconds where Derryfield would have had an easy goal had they kept possession and a striker ready to take advantage.
Instead, the equalizer came well into added time in the second half, with Janai Cruz providing a score that lasted throughout extra time.
“I’m really proud of how hard we worked,” said Derryfield Head Coach Jeffrey Cousineau. “I knew they were a really fast team and if we ran with them, that wouldn’t really match up with us. We just tried to keep them together tight and play hard and it was a good day today.”
The draw was also largely possible due to the efforts of Derryfield Goalkeeper Charlie Butler, who had several point-blank saves, including a deflection over the crossbar late in the second half that allowed the contest to go into a bonus frame, comparable to a save he had on opening day to Hopkinton.
“Butler is a fantastic keeper,” said Cousineau. “He’s kept us in some really good games, having a guy who can steal a goal and keep us at zeroes or one (goal), that is huge.”
Derryfield (2-1-1) plays next on Friday at Gilford. Campbell (5-0-1) now heads into a stretch against undefeated Belmont and one-loss Hopkinton.
Elsewhere in Manchester high school boys’ soccer, Manchester West (4-2-0) defeated Hollis-Brookline at home, 2-1. Trinity (6-0-0) won 1-0 at Inter-Lakes. Manchester Memorial (0-4-1) lost 9-3 to previously winless Salem, and Manchester Central (4-0-0) earned a 5-0 win against Dover.
In Manchester girls’ high school soccer, Manchester Central (4-1-0) pounded Dover, 8-0. Manchester Memorial (1-3-1) drew 1-1 with Salem. Manchester West (0-6-0) has now allowed 47 goals this year but couldn’t add to their two, falling 9-0 to Souhegan. And in Division III, Derryfield won an intra-city battle against Trinity, 2-0.