Boys Soccer Loses to OA After South Shore Double

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The Rebels were able to keep the shape defensively against Durfee.

Peter Hoegler

The Rebels were able to keep the shape defensively against Durfee.

 

It finally took a 15-2-3 Oliver Ames team to stop the resilient, 19th seeded boys’ soccer team from accomplishing the unthinkable—a final four appearance. The Rebels entered Tuesday night after completing the rare South Shore double, following up its preliminary round win over No. 14 Durfee with a 1-0 win over No. 3 New Bedford at McCoy Stadium. But after eighty, hard-fought minutes of soccer on Tuesday night, the Rebels came up short—losing 2-1 to the Hockomock League champions, Oliver Ames.

On Friday, after 80 minutes of regulation and two sudden-death overtimes, the fate of the Walpole and Durfee’s boys’ soccer team came down to five penalty kicks. Junior keeper Peter Hoegler guessed correctly on the first kick, stopping an attempt by Durfee Captain Derik Medeiros before senior Captain John Lochhead hit his PK in the lower left-hand corner. After Durfee’s Pedro Fernandes launched one over the crossbar, Durfee’s senior keeper Thomas Bautista came up big—saving junior Bobby Ivatts’ attempt. Although Hoegler was unable to stop the next two penalty kicks, juniors AJ Chauvin and Maurice Young buried their shots to give Walpole a 3-2 edge, meaning that Durfee senior Griffin Prescott had to score to keep the Toppers’ season alive. Hoegler stopped Prescott’s attempt and the Rebels celebrated a tournament victory for the first time since 2008 against Silver Lake.

Senior Captain Alex Sarkis said after the win: “Wow, that was a great team win. Our defense really played well in the second half, only allowing two shots on goal. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so good after a soccer game, everyone contributed. We had disappointing results in the tournament in the last two years, but this year I think we can really do something special.”

The No. 19 Rebels hastily turned it around and played yet another Big 3 school, the No. 3 New Bedford Whalers.  Coach Lee Delaney decided to take a rather defensive approach, starting five defenders that included Sarkis, senior Captain Nolan Murray, junior Matt Brownsword, junior Colin Murray, and sophomore Chris Gallivan. New Bedford was dangerous throughout the first half, holding a majority of the possession and getting quality opportunities on Hoegler, but to no avail. “Their speed gave us some trouble on the outside,” said senior Captain Nolan Murray. “They had a few good opportunities but our defense did a great job of clearing the ball out when they were on the attack.” The Rebels defense held New Bedford’s best scoring threat senior Rui Dourado without a shot on a target. His best opportunity came in the second half when he has able to turn on Murray and rip a shot from the top of the 18, missing wide-left.

The Bay State League learned quickly this year that Walpole was at its best during set pieces, and it showed Sunday night at McCoy Stadium. Senior Caleb Cofsky had a header pawed away by New Bedford keeper Johnathan DaCosta, following a corner kick from Ivatts for the Rebels best bid in the opening 40 minutes. Maurice Young had a great opportunity in the first minute of the second half, beating DaCosta on a header from a Lochhead corner, but it was cleared away by a determined New Bedford defender just before crossed the goal line.

“All season, it seems as though the ball hasn’t been bouncing our way,” said Lochhead. “But against New Bedford, the luck was on our side.” With 4:05 minutes remaining in the regulation, Chauvin buried the game winner to pull off the improbable upset. Lochhead served the ball into the box from mid-field, it was flicked in the air by a few Walpole six-footers—Young and Gallivan—and Chauvin, coming in late to the scene, stepped in and buried it under the cross bar. “I was watching the ball the whole time and I tried to be in the right place at the right time,” Chauvin said. “The goalie was on the ground after trying to out-jump Gallivan, I just had to hit it on target, and that’s what I did.”

Playing at the other field used in the Big 3 Conference, Marciano Stadium in Brockton, Walpole finally met its match on Tuesday, falling 2-1 to No. 6 Oliver Ames. Much like the game against New Bedford, Oliver Ames had the edge in possession and Walpole’s defense finally cracked. Brandon Boone put OA up 1-0 win the 67th minute, burying a shot past Hoegler after slipping through the Rebel’s proficient defense. In the 74th minute, Zachary Wyman’s cross from the right was met in the middle of the box by Christopher Goncalves, and finished a shot along the ground in a 1-on-1 with Hoegler. Walpole’s Young scored late in the game, sneaking it past the Hockmomock League MVP senior keeper David McKinnon, putting the score to 2-1. However, the referee blew the final whistle only seconds later—ending the heroic run and the careers for all eight seniors. Weymouth defeated Oliver Ames on Friday by a score of 3-2; they will face Needham in the South Sectional Championship on Sunday.

But when the boys look back on this season, they will remember pulling off some of the biggest upsets in the history of the program—coming back from 1-0 to defeat Durfee in penalty kicks and then pulling off the improbable shakeup against 3rd ranked New Bedford, scoring with only minutes remaining in regulation. Walpole won the entire Bay State League in 2010 and won the Herget Division in 2011; but both seasons ended abruptly in the first round of the tournament, losing to Braintree and Brockton respectively. Nolan Murray said, “We weren’t as talented or deep as years past, but we had the determination and the heart to win. And that’s what it ultimately comes down to at the end of the day”.