EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 2, 2012

Windham rolls into state semis

By Hector Longo hlongo@eagle-tribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — NASHUA, N.H. — Windham High’s golfing seniors put together back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons.

The football team makes its second postseason trip in a row after reaching the Division 5 finals a year ago.

And don’t you dare think the opportunity to make history has passed by the Jaguar boys soccer team for one half a second.

“Being the first four-year class here, the seniors knew we had a unique chance to set the precedent,” said captain Alex Whitehead, after he and the Jaguars knocked off John Stark High, 2-0, to gain a spot in the state finals Saturday (4:30) at Southern New Hampshire University against top-seeded Hollis-Brookline.

“We’ve played soccer together, these seniors, for the past 10 years. And this is a special opportunity, to know we were the first. Not everybody gets the chance to do that.”

Whitehead and the Jaguars played an almost flawless 80 minutes of soccer here on the fast, new Stellos Stadium FieldTurf, so much to the point keeper Andrew Pacy (0 saves) looked a bit lonely.

“In the preseason nobody picked us, so it’s nice to be noticed,” said Windham coach Mike Hachey.

“This senior class knows each other so well, and they really want it for the group. Saturday, they have 80 minutes to try and get it.”

Ironically, it was the pain of being ousted in the state quarterfinals a year ago that continues to drive this bunch.

“I think we were all disappointed last year, losing early,” said Whitehead. “The goal all along since then has been to get here.”

Senior Chris Ulbrich, who simply dictated play in the midfield all evening long, scored the Jaguar goal in the first half.

Whitehead had the insurance eight minutes into the second, simply busting through a couple layers of Stark defenders and refusing to be denied on a powerful rush.

“To me, that goal is kind of a blur right now,” said Whitehead.

“I see bits and pieces of it, but all I really know is it ended up in the back of the net.”

Windham, now 16-3, is faced with tackling H-B, which pounded St. Thomas in the other semifinal last night.

Hollis took the regular season meeting between the teams, 1-0.

Windham 2, John Stark 0

Division 2 Semifinals

agateText:Goals: Chris Ulbrich, Alex Whitehead

Saves: W — Andrew Pacy 0; JS — 11

Windham (16-3): 1 1 — 2

John Stark (15-1-3): 0 0 — 0