PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth High School boys’ soccer team defeated Chariho High School Tuesday night with a 3-0 victory on their home field. The win increased their record to 5-7-1 and propelled the team to a playoff berth.
The Patriots dominated from the very beginning of the game. Just six minutes into the first half, senior captain Will Hathaway scored with a shot from inside the 18-yard box off an assist from fellow senior Tyler Previdini.
Although the first-half shots on goal were relatively close for the two teams, Portsmouth controlled the possession for the entire half and put the pressure on the Chariho defense.
The offensive attack continued in the second half, resulting in two more PHS goals. Senior Benjamin Boahin and senior captain Brennan Tierney both added goals in the second half — a welcome sign for the Patriots since their offense had been struggling a bit lately.
Although the offense came together and put the ball in the net more effectively Tuesday, the defense was the real story. Portsmouth held its opponents to only three shots on goal for the entire game and shut down the Chariho offense. There were very few threats on Portsmouth’s goalkeeper, sophomore Chris Costa, and the defense was anchored by Hathaway.
“I think it gives us some confidence,” Hathaway said of the shutdown by the team’s defensive unit. “We have one more game and then we go into the playoffs, so hopefully we can keep the defense up.”
At halftime, 10 PHS seniors were honored in front of their fans for their four years on the team. Each player, including the team captains Hathaway, Tierney and Ryan McVicker, had their name announced, gave their mother a flower and stood with their parents for a picture.
With the playoffs right around the corner and the excitement of clinching a spot fresh on their minds, Portsmouth coach Mike Stinton does not want his team to overlook their final regular season game against Cumberland High School.
“We’ve got Cumberland on Thursday; that’s what I’m worried about,” said Mr. Stinton. “They’re a pretty good team. If we can do something up there, we could make a statement.”
The team’s last game of the regular season starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, against a Cumberland High School team that’s only two spots below them in the standings. Portsmouth is ninth in the division, while Cumberland is 11th.