Tough Breaks for Boys Soccer

A+Walpole+attacker+waits+for+an+incoming+punt.

A Walpole attacker waits for an incoming punt.

Peter Hoegler

 

A Walpole attacker waits for an incoming punt.
A Walpole attacker waits for an incoming punt.

There is only so much a team can endure in the Bay State League.

After learning that they would be without senior Mo Young for the rest of the season, Boys Soccer have not been able to catch a break. First, senior Captain Bob Ivatts gets suspended; then senior Aj Chauvin breaks his wrist; and now the Rebels find themselves at 1-2-1 and just trying to tread above water.

On August 14, Young divulged that he had torn his ACL in an Irish Football game. A year ago, Young led the team with nine goals and was expected to  exemplify and lead the obdurate Rebels to a stronger regular season and a deeper playoff run. Even Coach St. Martin named Maurice as one of the Boys Basketball captains for this upcoming season. Now, unfortunately, Young will be looking on from the sidelines as his teams attempt to make up for his lost presence, leadership, and athleticism.

Trying to disregard the early, devastating news that they lost a player that was deemed “irreplaceable” by  Coach Lee Delaney, the Rebels began the pre-season with promise. On Saturday, August 31, Walpole went down to Eastham, Cape Cod to participate in the annual Nauset Clash, an excellent pre-season tournament that features some of the premier teams in the region. After tying a formidable New Bedford team, whom Walpole defeated in the second round of last year’s state tournament, and outlasting No. 15 Silver Lake, the Rebels found themselves in the championship game against their rival Nauset. After forty minutes of scoreless play, Walpole beat the host team in penalty kicks.

“The Nauset win was very big for our confidence,” said senior Captain Colin Murray. “There were some very good teams at that tournament, and we are happy to have come out on top.”

The Rebels got the season off to a solid start by edging visiting Newton North, 1-0, on Tuesday tat Turco Field. Chauvin scored the lone goal of the game seven minutes before halftime.

However, only twenty-four hours later, administration told the boys that they would be missing their captain, Bob Ivatts, for four games for violating the Chemical Health Policy. Ivatts is on ESPNBoston’s watch for “Mr. Soccer” of Massachusetts and intends to commit to a Division II or III program in the near future. Ivatts, as the team’s center-mid, controls the middle of the field and sets up many goal-scoring opportunities for the Rebels.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Ivatts. “I just got in the wrong place at the wrong time. I just can’t wait to get on the field again.”

On Tuesday, September 10, Boys Soccer played their first game in three years without Ivatts being in the center of the field, and unfortunately the Rebels were not able to come out on top, losing 3-1. And to add on to the early season woes, senior AJ Chauvin broke his wrist late in the second half when the game was already out of reach. Chauvin is out until at least next Thursday, September 27 when Walpole plays Dedham. Chauvin is the best forward on the team, so goal-scoring could pose as a serious problem for Boys Soccer in the near future.

Since the devastating news about Chauvin, Walpole is 0-1-1 with a tie against No.6 Needham and a 2-1 loss against division rival Natick. Against the Red Hawks, the Rebels yet again could not catch a break as Natick was awarded a penalty kick with 15 minutes left in the game to take the lead.

“We’re just trying to hold the fort until Ivatts and Chauvin get back,” said Murray.

In this league, one injury or suspension–or three in this case–can make or break a team’s season. But it’s still early in this 18 game season, so the ship has yet to sink; the boys are still treading water.