Exeter decided to make us 0 for 2, with our covered games predictions, but they did make us two for two as to why the teams we did not pick would win the game. We said if Bri Petruccelli played she would make the game 50/50, and she did, she showed up, and she was in full force, performing like one of the top midfielders in the state, we know she is.
The game went into halftime 0-0, as both teams only earned one corner.
In the second half, Exeter came out strong, and put simply, just played better than Central. Five minutes into the second half Maddie Davis scored the opening goal, off a pass that came across the face of goal, as she tapped it in.
With 13 minutes to go, Abby Burns inserted to Gabby Leonard, on a corner, who ripped a shot and put it into the back of the net, to tie it at one.
However, two minutes later Davis would score on an identical play, to her first goal, as Lily Keans connected with her, to go up 2-1, and eventually win the game.
Even though Maddie Davis scored both goals, and is becoming one of the state's top forwards, she is not on the level of the top 5 yet, but she is getting there and deserves much credit for their win, Petruccelli was the difference. Exeter's team is so much different when Petruccelli is in the middle. Her ability to feed her teammates is so vital to Exeter's ball movement, but the biggest thing was her defense. Her defense was virtually flawless, stopping Central's attacks and cutting out their passes.
Exeter travels to Timberlane for their quarterfinal matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Dover 2, Keene 1
In Keene, Dover was able to pull off the upset, as they put seven shots on goal, and earning six corners. Dover goalie, Allison Duranceau, came up with 11 saves, sending her over the 100 mark, for the season. Her teammates, Holly Spriggs and Brooke Sorbello, split goals, and Sarah Williams grabbed an assist.
On Saturday, Dover will travel to Winnacunnet, whom they lost to, 1-0, during the regular season.
Salem 2, Merrimack 0
Chloe Sicard scored both goals, carrying Salem past Merrimack. Maddie Rasello and Jordyn Wakin each assisted a goal. Salem goalie Jayce Ritter made eight saves, while Merrimack's Heather Rone made 11.
Salem will travel to top-ranked Pinkerton on Saturday.
Sisson scores one and assists two, leading Holderness past New Hampton, 3-1.
Montgomery puts away two, helping Proctor grab a win, 5-0.
Phillips Exeter beats Tilton, 4-2.
Division 3 First Round Predictions.
- Mascenic v. Winnisquam - Prediction: Winnisquam. Winnisquam won the matchup between the two during the regular season, 3-1. Winnisquam's senior class is amongst the best in the state, and eventually, we think they will overpower Mascenic.
- Pembroke v. Gilford - Prediction: Gilford. Gilford beat Pembroke, 7-1 during the regular season, and should easily advance to the quarterfinals. With the scoring power of Kellie Ryan, and the passing power of Nicole Berube, who's led the state in assists for the past five weeks, Pembroke should have a tough time controlling Gilford's offense. However, if Gilford does not take them seriously, Pembroke could pull off the upset having stunned Berlin, Mascenic, and Bow during the regular season.
- Bow v. Berlin - Prediction: Berlin. When the two played each other during the regular season, it was only a one-goal game, as Berlin came out on top 1-0. The most significant difference now will be the field conditions. The game is in Berlin, and Berlin's grass is significantly thicker and higher than Bow's, which could cause Bow problems. Bow's goalie Courtney Baer could be the difference maker, she is developed into a very good goalie throughout the season, and if Bow puts one away, she could be the difference between, winning and having Berlin tie the game.
- Mascoma v. Stevens - Prediction: Mascoma. If this were to happen, this would be an upset, but Mascoma has been on fire lately, winning five of their last six games, only losing to D2 Hanover, 1-2. Alyssa Hammond has had a good season, so far for Mascoma, and has come up clutch in big moments, including scoring the game-winning goal, when they shocked Winnisquam. Stevens does have one of the best midfielders in D3, Elyse Scott, but the fact that Mascoma blanked Stevens 2-0 when they met in their regular season matchup is a concern.
- Newport v. Monadnock - Prediction: Monadnock. Monadnock won their regular season game, 4-1, and we think it will be more of the same. Monadnock's Bri Broderick, Caitlyn Boucher, and Hannah Labarre have all the capability to control the game, which they should do. Newport does have two key players, Kennedy Pysz and Kendall Hamilton. When she is at her best, Hamilton is one of the best defenders in D3, and if they want to upset Monadnock, Hamilton will have to be at that level.
- Bishop Brady v. Hopkinton - Prediction: Hopkinton. Hopkinton should be able to come out of this matchup unscathed. Katie Meserve, who has 15 goals this season, and Chloe Wood, who has 15 assists, should spearhead Hopkinton's offense, as they should be able to put at least three or four goals by Brady. Hopkinton's biggest weapon will be Amelia Thomas. Her ability to control a game, and move the ball up the field will be crucial for Hopkinton to keep Brady away from their goal.