Ian Clark's Corner Kicks: No rest for No. 1 Exeter girls
ONE TEST was passed and another awaits today for the well-oiled Exeter girls' soccer machine.
Exeter, the No. 1 ranked team in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll, defeated previously unbeaten Bedford (7-1-1) by a 3-0 score on Tuesday and will play at Pinkerton Academy of Derry (8-0-0) today at 4 p.m.
The Blue Hawks are 8-0-0, winners of 32 straight games and owners of the last four Division I state championship plaques.
While Exeter has won by a comfortable span through most of its games (two goals is the lowest margin of victory), Pinkerton has powered along with efficient defense and timely scoring in close contests.
The Astros have won six of their games by a single goal and the other two were 3-0 and 2-0 results.
It all adds up to what should be an excellent matchup today in Derry between two teams that appear destined to meet again in the playoffs.
Top five girls' teams: It seems fitting to put Exeter and Pinkerton on top and let today's game sort it out. No. 1 Exeter. 2. Pinkerton. No. 3 Portsmouth (9-0-0 in Division II). 4. Windham (8-0-0 in DII). 5. Bow (8-0-0 in DIII). Honorable mentions: Derryfield (8-0-0), Woodsville (9-0-0), Bedford (7-1-1).
Top five boys' teams: Led by a trio of senior scorers in Daniel Hazlett (10 goals, four assists), Xavier Tchana (eight goals, three assists) and Rocco Linehan (six goals,three asssits), top defender Evan Greenwald and goalie Alex Bynum (eight shutouts), Hanover is the team to beat.
1. Hanover (9-0-0). 2. Hopkinton (8-0-0). 3. Concord (7-1-1). 4. Windham (8-1-0). 5. Pinkerton (6-2-0).
Honorable mentions: Manchester Central (6-2-0), Bow (9-1-0), Woodsville (8-0-1). Let's hear it: There was a lot of feedback about the top five rankings this week and the numbers have been adjusted to include more factors. Coaches are encouraged to check in via email with thoughts and input to help the top five reflect the best of the best. Big win for Manchester Memorial: The Memorial girls' team earned a 2-1 victory over Keene last week for the first win of the season. The Crusaders (1-7-2) also have two ties this season after going winless in 2012.
Ian Clark's Corner Kicks appears every Thursday in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Coaches can email stats, notes and milestones to firstname.lastname@example.org.