By Chris Paul
The Londonderry High School Boys’ Soccer team only played one game last week, and the time off helped them secure the schools only win against Pinkerton Academy during the Mack Plaque competition last weekend.
The Lancers moved to 7-1 by battling for another shutout victory on Friday afternoon, Sept. 22, when they traveled to Derry and beat the Astros 2-0.
The strong LHS defense helped lead to the team’s sixth shutout victory of the season.
Both rivals came onto the field with the usual amount of aggression fans are used to seeing during Mack Plaque contests and much of the first half play was relatively penalty free.
The Lancers first goal came at 6:35 in the first period on a great pass by junior forward, Brett McKinnon, to a wide-open, senior forward, Jackson Lewis, who put the ball past the PA tender, Cam Kuncik.
Londonderry controlled possession of the ball for much of the first half, but in the second period, the Astros showed why they were undefeated to this point in the season.
Despite that, LHS had two close attempts early in the second.
First, McKinnon clanked one off the cross bar at 37:18, two-minutes later, senior Jake Nussdorf made a bid from the left side with a shot that went just over the net.
Late in the second half, in the 78th minute, Nussdorf was able to give the Lancers an insurance goal, assisted by the good instincts of McKinnon.
Senior LHS goaltender, Jason Reilly, had five saves in the battle with Pinkerton’s tender making two saves.
Head coach, Todd Ellis, was happy to have the game go his team’s way, commenting after the game, “The team really competed well today under difficult situations and in a tough environment. I look forward to Mack Plaque because it is a great midseason test to judge where we are at and what we need to work on for potential future tournament game situations. Jason and the defense did a great job in earning the shutout. The goals we scored were well orchestrated.”
Astros head coach, Kerry Boles, saw things differently, “This was an incredibly physical game, as evidenced by the numerous fouls and multiple yellow cards. We didn’t handle the situation well at times and it impacted our ability to play our game. We still created scoring opportunities today, but failed to cash in.”
Londonderry was scheduled to play two home games this week.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, they will face the Alvirne Broncos (1-6) and on Friday, Sept. 29, the Lancers will play Nashua North (3-5), starting at 6 p.m.