Windham defends its Div. II boys' soccer crown
EXETER — First-half goals by Tucker Lippold and James Baiguy 84 seconds apart guided defending state champion and top-seeded Windham to a 2-0 win over No. 2 Hollis/Brookline in the state Division II boys' soccer final Sunday at Exeter High's Bill Ball Stadium.
In a rematch of last year's title game, the Jaguars completed their second straight championship season with a 17-2 record. Windham defeated Hollis/Brookline 3-2 last year for the state title.
"We made it clear to our team that this wasn't a rematch from our end," said Windham head coach Michael Hachey. "We didn't want to pull old emotions into this game."
Added Hachey: "I knew after last year we could win it again. We knew we had a lot more talent and experience coming back. It's a great testament to our team to have stayed focused all season."
The Cavaliers, seeking the program's first state title since 2004, ended their campaign at 16-3.
Windham, a 4-2 winner over Hollis/Brookline during the regular season, held a territorial edge in the first half, but the game remained scoreless through the first 15 minutes.
Things changed in a hurry when Lippold was awarded a penalty kick after officials ruled a hand ball violation by a Hollis/Brookline player during a scramble for possession in front of the net.
Lippold, a senior midfielder, made a nifty move to score his goal. He forced Hollis/Brookline goalie Michael Pattelena into thinking he was going to shoot the ball to the right, but at the last second reversed direction and kicked the ball to the open left side for the 1-0 lead.
Hollis/Brookline coach Richard Carvalho said the hand ball caught him by surprise.
"I didn't see any immediate reaction from the Windham players when it was called," said Carvalho. "But we didn't help ourselves over the way we handled their pressure leading up to that call."
Before the Cavaliers could recover from Lippold's goal, Windham struck again 84 seconds later.
Senior midfielder Baiguy made the most of an 18-yard direct kick, booting a dart past Pattelena top shelf.
Hollis/Brookline entered the second half determined and started applying pressure on Windham goalie Tim Erdlen. In the first 10 minutes, the Cavaliers created two solid scoring chances.
Senior midfielder Harrison Fetter barreled through the heart of the Windham defense and unloaded a hard liner from 20 yards out that hit the right post.
The second chance came minutes later when in a scramble, Erdlen jumped up and controlled a shot. As he fell down hard, the ball squirted loose and rolled into the cage behind him. But the ruling on the field was that Erdlen was hit by a Hollis/Brookline defender when the goalie had possession of the ball.