The Newport varsity boys soccer team hosted Sunapee on Monday afternoon for their season opener, and the visiting Lakers were able to cruise comfortably to victory, scoring three times each half for a 6-0 road-win in NHIAA Division 4 play.
Although the score may make it seem so, the game was not entirely in Sunapee’s favor. Newport started out the game aggressive, but had nothing to show for it besides an early three shots on goal. Sunapee started slow, but when they started to feel it, all the wheels came off.
“I thought we started out slow and we started passing the ball to Newport players a little too much,” said Sunapee head coach Jack Iacopino. “It’s a game that we know we should win so we kind of got sucked in to that attitude… which is not a healthy attitude to have out here.”
“The goal is to try to go out and do our best and have some energy… which we lacked that at the beginning,” said Iacopino. “…But we started to find some seams in their defense and exploit where we could.”
Michael Mullen scored the first Laker goal 29 minutes into the first half. 29 minutes into the first half, the Lakers scored their first goal. Michael Mullen got the ball on the right side after a nice tackle by Darren Hulton to gain possession. Mullen then made a nice move toward the middle and struck the back of the net with a left-footed kick.
Sunapee’s Hulton scored twice over the next ten minutes to put the Lakers up 3-0 heading into the half.
Newport’s defense held up for the majority of the second half. Goalkeeper Garrett Harold and defenseman Jared Meyette were working their tails off trying to keep the Sunapee attack at ease, and it was effective until late in the game.
In the final 15 minutes, the Lakers scored three goals. Parker Reed scored off of a rebound from a Jackson Cooney shot that hit the crossbar. Then, Lane Smith scored back-to-back goals in the final moments to run away with the game.
Despite the 6-0 loss, Newport head coach Caleb Godwin was proud of his team. Newport had just two players on the bench in what was a very humid game that required water-breaks every twenty minutes.
On his team, Godwin said, “For a newer team, they are doing a fantastic job. They are trying to build on what skills they had from last year… and changing up some of the positions they are not used to playing.”
“Sunapee’s a good team… they outplayed us… there’s no question about that,” said Godwin. “They wore our guys out… but overall… I’m still happy.”
The Sunapee boys improve to 2-0 after beating Woodsville 8-2 on Friday. Sunapee returns to action at Moultonborough (0-1) on September 5.
As for Newport, the Tigers travel to Pittsfield (1-0) on Thursday.
-- KAMERON TOWLE