Concord had lost too many of the big games, the ones against the other top boys’ soccer teams in Division I. The latest high-profile loss came just a few days ago when Bedford beat the Crimson Tide at home on Tuesday.
That trend changed on Friday, however, when the Tide (7-3) defended its home turf and beat the top team in the state, Manchester Central, 1-0.
“We definitely needed this,” Concord Coach Scott Dunlop said. “It was by far our best effort of the season, by far the best level of play this season.”
It was the first loss of the year for the Little Green (9-1-1), a team that was ranked No. 8 nationally in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll.
“We were very motivated to play the number one team in the state,” Dunlop said. “We’ve been taking slow steps forward this season, but we definitely hit a stride today.”
Concord senior captain Taylor Silverstein scored the game’s lone goal in the 23rd minute. Silverstein lined up a free kick from 22 yards out and drilled it just inside the far post.
“He placed it perfectly,” Dunlop said.
As good as Silverstein’s shot was, Dunlop was more impressed with his team’s overall defensive effort. Central is a potent offensive team that was averaging 3.7 goals per game coming into the match, but Concord held the Little Green to just three shots on Friday.
Dunlop had just adjusted his team’s back four before the Bedford match, moving Josh Adams to left back. Even though the Tide lost to the Bulldogs, 2-0, Adams helped solidify the defense and that was once again evident on Friday. Center backs Liam Bennett and Cole Gorham covered up everything in the middle while Adams and right back Grant Rienstra took care of the wings.
The defensive effort definitely extended to the midfield, where holding midfielder Josh Weinberg, “played his best game of the season,” according to Dunlop.
Keeper Liam Devanny didn’t have to face many shots, but he was tested in the dying moments of the match. With less than two…