A number of high school sports teams and individuals from the south suburbs won state championships in 2013.
The top girls’ soccer players from the past week in Eastern Massachusetts.
WORCESTER — The final state title game of the soccer season required a few extra minutes to determine a winner and with a full push into the Medway box, a bounding ball was knocked home by Cameron Messier to give Belchertown a 2-1 victory and the Division 3 state championship, its first in school history. “As soon as I scored it was just a huge rush of adrenaline,” said Messier. “It feels like a dream right now.” The Orioles dialed up the pressure in the sixth minute of overtime and after Billy Aldrich missed in front of the net, Jonathan Ingram shot from the left side. Although the initial bid was stopped, it landed on Messier’s foot for the golden goal opportunity. “It’s been a long time coming for us,” said Belchertown coach Tony Almeida, whose team lost to Stoneham in their last finals appearance in 2005. “It’s great to pull one off.”
WORCESTER — In the Division 4 state championship, Cohasset posed little threat to Sutton, which won its third consecutive state title, 4-0, Saturday afternoon. Sophomore forward Cole Acocelli scored twice for Sutton. In the 20th minute, Sutton forward Logan Nellis found himself one-on-one with John Chamberlain and tried to sneak a shot past the Cohasset ’ goalkeeper at the near post. Chamberlain was up to the challenge, though, and made a strong kick save to keep Sutton of the scoreboard. For the time being. Moments later, Chamberlain saved another shot from Nellis from close range. But Sutton piled on the pressure, as Cohasset struggled to get into an offensive rhythm in the half.
WORCESTER — The Newburyport girls’ soccer team capped an undefeated season Saturday with its first state championship since the Clippers won back- to-back titles in 2007 and 2008. Senior captain Jaycie Triandafilou’s goal in the sixth minute was all the Clippers (21-0-2) needed to defeat Granby, 1-0, and capture the Division 3 state championship. “Jaycie, she’s a motor up front,” said Newburyport co-coach Kevin Sheridan. “When you’re separating from the defender [while] carrying the ball, that’s a statement.” The Clippers dominated the game on both ends of the field, barely allowing Granby to get a touch on the ball. They were most dangerous on crosses and corner kicks.
WORCESTER — Taking advantage of the few scoring opportunities a team might get is often the difference in tournament soccer, and that was a big emphasis for the Sutton girls Saturday. It paid off as Sutton got a pair of goals from star forward Eve Goulet to capture the Division 4 state title with a 2-1 win over Austin Prep. “I knew if we came into the game with the right mentality and took advantage of every opportunity we would score,” said Goulet. “That’s what we have been doing all season is take advantage of the mistakes and punish them for it.”
Jason Mastrodonato presents his Players of the Week and Top 10 boys’ and girls’ soccer teams from high school programs west of Boston.
They were exhausted before overtime even started. Even for the Newton North girls’ soccer team, which finished the season ranked fourth in the country, 80 minutes of a physical, pressure-packed game against Minnechaug Regional in the Division 1 state final was a lot to handle. Many of the starters were never substituted. And then they played 30 more grueling minutes until the 0-0 deadlock went to penalty kicks. In sudden death, coach James Hamblin turned to junior Katie Nugent, who had not scored a goal all season. Bottom left corner, the right-footed Nugent told herself. And then she sunk it. Before she could turn around, Shannon Fitzgerald had tackled her. Newton North, which had won four state titles from 1989-’99 and hadn’t won one since, was back on top.
Peter Cappiello presents his Players of the Week and the Top 10 boys’ and girls’ soccer teams from high school programs south of Boston.
Taylor Snow presents his Players of the Week and Top 10 boys’ and girls’ soccer teams from high school programs north of Boston.
Gabby Kenyon can remember standing on the track at Notre Dame Academy that surrounds the soccer field when she was 12, ball at the ready. The team’s volunteer ball girl—for five seasons until the eighth grade—she was in awe of the NDA players in their clean white jerseys, specifically her oldest sister Ari, now a senior midfielder at Dartmouth College. “I was like wow, this is going to be me in a couple of years,” recalled Kenyon. “This is too good to be true.” The 5-foot-7 striker ended up carving out a legacy of her own, scoring the penalty kick shootout goal that clinched NDA’s first Division 2 state title in a 3-2 win over Wilmington
As a sophomore midfielder, Jeff Panella was on the field when Masconomet Regional lost the Division 1 state title to Ludlow, 2-1. And he wanted nothing more than an opportunity at redemption. But the game took an unexpected turn for the senior captain in this year’s Division 2 state final against Walpole. Two minutes into the second half of a 1-1 game, Panella knocked heads with a Walpole player while attempting to field a throw-in, and he was forced to sit the rest of the game. The Chieftains responded, scoring three goals over the next six minutes for a 4-1 victory. Masco joined the undefeated Newburyport girls (Division 3) as area teams to capture state soccer titles.
West Springfield defeated Somerville, 4-3, in penalty kicks to win the boys’ Division 1 state soccer championship after the teams went scoreless through regulation and two overtimes.
In her first season as the Central Catholic varsity girls’ soccer coach, Casey Grange decided to insert a freshman defender into the starting lineup.
WORCESTER — The Newton North girls’ soccer team took its 20-game unbeaten streak to Worcester State on Friday night to take on Minnechaug for the Division 1 state championship.Make it 21.The Tigers eked out a 1-0 win, ending the deadlock in the sixth round of penalty kicks as junior Katie Nugent placed her shot inside the right post for the winner. It was her first goal of the season.“She saved it for a great time,” said Newton North coach James Hamblin. “She has been great all season. She’s one of those unsung hero type players. She just goes and does her work.”
The fate of the Notre Dame (Hingham) girls’ soccer team was at the feet of senior Gabby Kenyon in Thursday’s Division 2 state final. The Cougars were tied with Wilmington 2-2 after 110 minutes of play and even 3-3 in the penalty shootout after four and a half rounds. Kenyon’s shot was for the state championship. And she nailed it. Her shot hit the inside of the right post and ricocheted into the net. The Cougars took a 3-2 victory at Manning Field in Lynn. “Gabby has been a rock for us all season,” said seven-year Notre Dame coach Liz Lima. “She always scores when the team needs her most. It takes a lot to step up and be that confident.”
Richard Barton says the mark of a team en route to a state championship is that it can stand on its own. “When the team is having a meeting before a game and I go into it and they tell me they don’t need me and go away, that’s a winning quality,” said the Newton North girls’ volleyball coach. And it’s showing. The Tigers swept Concord-Carlisle in the Division 1 state semifinal Wednesday at Canton High School to move on to face defending champion Barnstable on Saturday at Algonquin Regional.“We stayed positive the whole time and had a lot of confidence in each other,” said Alana King, “and swing hard so they didn’t have a lot of time to get back in.”
TAUNTON — Somerville and Silver Lake met on a frigid night at Taunton High School to battle for a spot in the Division 1 State tournament championship game. The top two teams in Eastern Massachusetts provided a show for everyone in attendance, with Somerville’s quality in midfield topping Silver Lake, 2-1. While Somerville’s top scorer senior is Thayrone Miranda, it was midfielder Francisco Fernandes Neto who created Miranda’s opening goal. In the 16th minute, Neto controlled a pass upfield from a teammate. He skillfully lobbed it over a charging Lakers defender’s head.
QUINCY — The Cohasset boys’ soccer team is now sailing in uncharted waters, going farther into postseason than any previous Skippers team.The Skippers defeated Georgetown, 2-0, at Veterans Stadium in Quincy on Tuesday night in the Division 4 EMass final.Cohasset (17-4-2) got on the scoreboard with just over one minute left before the half. Sophomore Matt Legge, the hero in the South sectional final with two second-half goals, scored again, this time off of a corner kick from senior Joe Buckley.
LYNN — After moving to Division 3 this fall the Medway boys’ soccer team was unable to defend its Division 2 EMass title from a year ago, so the Mustangs did the next best thing by taking the crown from Watertown, 1-0, at Manning Field on Tuesday. With both teams vying to return to a state title game, the Mustangs made adjustments to their formation after a scoreless first half that opened up the field and led to the game’s lone goal.“We were getting beat in the midfield,” said Medway coach Jeff Hallenbeck. “We made an adjustment just to move to five midfielders. We dominated the midfield and got plenty of scoring opportunities.” “Our final goal is states,” said senior captain Justin Kaplan.
TAUNTON — The Newton North Tigers and Franklin Panthers battled Tuesday night for the right to be named top cat in Eastern Mass. girls’ soccer.Senior forward Shannon Fitzgerald provided the claws for the North sectional champions, breaking a late tie in the Tigers’ 2-1 victory in the Division 1 state semifinal at Taunton High School.Tied at 1-all with the clock winding down, it was clear that Newton North’s strength and speed was wearing on the Panthers. With less than nine minutes to go, Angela Ward received the ball just beyond midfield with a defender tight on her back. She turned and passed to Fitzgerald, who shook her defender and scored. The goal was Fitzgerald’s seventh in this postseason.
QUINCY — It was only a matter of time.After controlling the possession and outshooting Ursuline in a strong second-half effort, Austin Prep finally broke through in the 63d minute when senior defender Jaclyn Paul tucked home a loose ball off a corner kick.Paul’s goal broke a 0-0 stalemate and gave way to the Cougars’ 2-0 win in the Division 4 girls’ soccer EMass championship at Veterans Stadium.“I could tell in the end we were going to score,” Paul said. “The ball came across and I just saw it and poked it.” Austin Prep (18-1-3) advanced to the state final against Sutton on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Foley Stadium in Worcester.Sophomore Meghan Braciska added an insurance goal in the 75th minute.
LYNN — Carly Brand’s right ankle had been a burden for the majority of the season, but Tuesday night at Manning Field it was a much-needed spark in Newburyport’s 3-0 win over Cardinal Spellman in the Division 3 EMass title game.In the final minute of the first half, the senior midfield, who missed nearly half the season due to a high ankle sprain, delivered on a penalty kick for the game’s first score.After teammate Abbie Bresnahan was pushed to the ground inside the opposing 18, Brand went to the line, approached the ball, hesitated, then fired a shot to the right side of the net, glancing it off the fingertips of Cardinal goalie Julia Schneider.
Tournament soccer games often come down to penalty kicks but they are usually a last resort after a scoreless regulation and overtime. In Monday’s Division 2 South girls’ soccer final between Scituate and Notre Dame (Hingham), however, there were two penalty shots in the second half. The Cougars came up big both times, goalie Maggie Elliott rejecting Erika Badger’s bid early in the half before Gabby Kenyon connected on her opportunity with three minutes in regulation to send Scituate away with a 1-0 win.
Walpole coach Lee Delaney watched as his Rebels stormed toward goalkeeper Peter Hobler, with the Division 2 South boys’ soccer title all theirs after a 2-0 blanking of Oliver Ames Monday at Braintree High School.And after being presented the trophy for the sectional crown, Delaney and the Rebels, who entered the tournament at 5-7-2 and seeded 13th, were truly speechless.“Don’t wake us up,” Delaney said. “We had said before, ‘Don’t let us in. We could be dangerous.’” His Rebels knocked off the previously unbeaten Tigers thanks to a pair of goals in the first half and a strong defensive performance in which they held Oliver Ames at bay despite its 19-1 shot advantage in the second half.
LYNN — Top-ranked Wilmington and sixth-seeded Concord-Carlisle battled it out in the Division 2 South girls’ soccer final at Manning Field on Monday. Wilmington won, 2-1, but it took 100 minutes of soccer and 14 penalty shots before a champion was crowned.In penalty kicks, both Concord-Carlisle and Wilmington (19-2-1) missed their first attempts. The next four shooters on both teams hit their marks, making it 4-4 after the mandatory five rounds. After that came sudden death. Concord-Carlisle’s Kellie Souza and Wilmington’s Angela DeBruzzi made saves on the next two attempts. After a Patriots shot missed her shot over the net, Wilmington had a chance to win it all. Sophomore Devyn Malatesta buried her shot with ease and gave Wilmington the victory.