Trinity loses state soccer championship on penalty kicks

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A tackle from Campbell’s Zachary Rousseau takes out Trinity’s Nathaniel Meeker.

HOOKSETT, NH – The Trinity Pioneers boys’ soccer team did not have a single loss in 2018, at least not until Saturday.

It came down to penalty kicks, but the Pioneers left Southern New Hampshire University as the NHIAA Division III Soccer Tournament runners up, falling to the Cougars of Campbell High School.

Strong winds persisted throughout the contest, as the weather progressed beyond early torrential rain after approximately the eighth minute while maintaining a biting cold after things became drier. Campbell found itself offside twice before the rain concluded, exemplifying a first half where both teams had opportunities without much success.

In the second half, Trinity was content to hold back and allow Campbell possession in the hopes of opening a blistering counter attack. The tactic proved inconclusive as Campbell followed their first half chances with a series of chances in the second half, interspersed by nail-biting breakaways performed by Trinity’s lone striker, Ethan Frenette.

Just as each of Campbell’s attempts on goal fell short, the Cougars managed to keep Frenette and Trinity’s midfielders at bay, ending regulation without a goal.

A pair of extra time periods provided the same result, despite a Trinity shot from Nathanial Meeker that ricocheted off the post just moments before the final whistle.

Trinity’s Nathaniel Meeker prepares for his kick during the penalty shootout.

Campbell took an early 3-1 lead in the penalty kick shootout, but a miss from Campbell’s Justin Furlong in the fourth round of kicks kept the game alive, with a shot from Meeker caroming into the net off the crossbar to give Trinity hope.

After Trinity goalkeeper Anthony DiZillo found himself straight in the path of a shot from Campbell’s Zach Kirby in the subsequent attempt, the Pioneers needed a goal from Frenette to avoid conceding the championship.

Frenette struck the ball to his right, but Campbell goalkeeper Brendan Douglas anticipated the shot, making a save that gave Campbell its first boys’ soccer state championship in school history.

Campbell also had one only loss on the season, coming at the hands of Trinity in late October.

About this Author


Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.