Medfield Eliminates Walpole Boys Soccer in Penalty Kick Shootout


David Moser


Sophomore Billy Porter runs onto a ball during Walpole's 2-1 loss to Medfield.
Sophomore Billy Porter runs onto a ball during Walpole’s 2-1 loss to Medfield (Photo/ Julia Adams).

 Boys Soccer ended the regular season with a 9-2-7 record that earned the team the 8 seed and a Preliminary Round bye in the MIAA South Division 2 playoffs.  In the past week, the team played in their first and last tournament games of the season.  On Friday, November 6, the Rebels faced off against the 9 seed Dartmouth Indians.  In the game, Walpole beat Dartmouth 1-0, with the lone goal from senior Belal El-Husayni.  With the win, Walpole advanced on to the second round to play 16 seed Medfield. With a tie score of 1-1 at the end of regulation, the Rebels ultimately lost in penalties 4-3.

Medfield, who won in historic fashion, eliminated top seeded Nauset in an upset victory on November 6 (2-1).  Medfield’s record was deceiving, for part of their team was ineligible for the start of their season, and upon returning, the Warriors went 8-0-2 for the remainder of the season.

“We knew they were better than they were seeded, so we were ready for a tough game,” said senior forward Ben Brownsword.

Right Brownsword was, for the Second Round matchup was indeed a tough game on many levels.  The game started off very back and forth with both sides unable to generate many offensive opportunities.

In the stands, sophomore Cam Scales said, “Both teams were playing defensively.  Each team was punting a ball out of the back field every other second.”

The Rebels were the first to capitalize, twenty minutes into the first half, when senior captain Ian Fair dribbled through the Medfield defense and sent through a shot that sailed past the goalie into the far corner of the net. The goal put Walpole up 1-0.

For the rest of the game, Walpole seemed to be in control.  The squad, however, was unable to add any insurance goals to the scoreboard, but maintained their lead until the last minute when Medfield scored to tie the game.

With the score tied, the game was sent into sudden death overtime.  In tournament games, overtime consists of one ten-minute time of play where the first to score, wins.  The first period was uneventful. This second period though is where the game got tough for Walpole.  The team was able to keep Medfield from scoring, but when senior captain Ian Fair broke past the Medfield defensive line so it was just him versus the goalie, the keeper came out strong by sliding into Fair’s legs.  Fair missed the shot, but he suffered an apparent leg injury.

The game was stopped and an ambulance was called, with coaches and trainers running onto the field.  After 20 minutes, Fair was loaded onto the ambulance and brought to Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

“After Ian [Fair] went down, the field was as quiet as I have ever heard Turco being,” said backup goalie sophomore Kevin Quinn.

The overtime period ended and the field was quiet and somber, and since no goal was scored in two overtimes, the game entered into penalty kicks. There, the noise level picked back up, because all of Walpole’s fans packed into the one space next to the net to support the Walpole shooters and goalie Dillon Knight.

“Almost everyone packed right in and in front of the first section of the stands.  It was more than loud,” said freshman James Berton during the game.

Shooting first for Walpole, junior Justin Byrnes lined up to take the shot. On his strike, the goalie dove one way, and the ball went the other. Byrnes scored to give Walpole the advantage.  Medfield then scored a penalty kick of their own, but that goal was quickly overshadowed by senior Ryan Kickham’s bomb that blasted through the net to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead in the shootout.  Next, the noise really picked up, for Medfield’s next shooter launched a shot over the net and through the uprights.  Good thing the Rebels were not playing football that night because if they were, the shot would have been good for three.

Fortunately however, it was soccer night in Walpole.  After that, sophomore Billy Porter notched one of his own that increased Walpole’s lead to 3-1.  Medfield then scored their next shot, and then their keeper saved senior captain Nick Randall’s shot, to leave the score at 3-2.  If Walpole were to score again and then save Medfield’s attempt, the game would be Walpole’s.

Junior Justin Byrnes moves past a defender during Walpole's victory over Dartmouth (1-0).
Junior Justin Byrnes moves past a defender during Walpole’s 1-0 victory over Dartmouth (Photo/ Ellie Kalemkeridis).

Heartbreakingly though, that was not the case, for Medfield scored their next, and Walpole failed to score with captain goalie (who took a penalty shot of his own) Dillon Knight’s shot stopped.  The score of the shootout was now at 3-3, and Medfield lined up to shoot.  Despite the loud and roaring crowd, the Warrior player beat keeper Dillon Knight up high to win the game.

Meanwhile, in the First Round against Dartmouth, thanks to senior forward Belal El-Husayni’s 32 minute goal, the Rebels went up by one.  After El-Husayni’s goal, both Walpole and Dartmouth had several chances to score, but momentum was slow due to the game’s officials who had tallied a total of seven offsides calls before the half was even over.  

“The calls for sure slowed the game down.  They should have just let us play,” said junior forward Dammy Ojuolape.

Dartmouth was the only team that really came the closest to scoring, for they actually put the ball in the back of the net. However, it was called back due to the Dartmouth player being offsides. Despite the lack of continuous play, the Rebels held out for the rest of the game, maintaining their lead over 9 seed Dartmouth to bring home their first tournament victory (1-0).

With the overtime loss to Medfield, Walpole was eliminated from playoff contention and sent to an untimely offseason.