Sports 10-07-2015

EHS Roundup

EHS boys soccer team splits two contests

The Everett High boys soccer team split its two contests this past week by identical scores of 2-1.

The Crimson Tide emerged on the winning side of that margin in their contest with Boston Latin last Tuesday. The Crimson Tide took a 1-0 lead in the opening half on a set play on which junior Diego Battista delivered a free kick deep into the box and Gustavo Medeiros, who was crashing the Latin net, tapped the ball in for the goal.

Latin knotted matters before the end of the half, but soon after the intermission the Crimson Tide’s leading goal-scorer, senior Lens-Fedo Francois, took a nice through-ball from Carlos Alvarez and got behind the Latin defense. Lens made the most of his opportunity, beating the Latin goalie for what would prove to be the eventual game-winning tally.

Alvarez had mad the play happen when he took the ball away from a Latin player in the Everett defensive third of the field, pushed it forward on the counterattack, and then sent Francois away with a long pass.

The night before the Crimson Tide had dropped a 2-1 decision to Greater Boston League rival Malden. Everett fell behind 2-0, but pulled within a goal in the second half when Battista put one away with a superb strike to the top left corner from a fair distance. Everett made a push at the end, but could not find the back of the Malden net for the equalizer.

“The Malden game was very frustrating,” said EHS head coach Oswaldo Constanza. “We controlled the play and had numerous opportunities that we should have converted and which would have changed the entire dynamic of the game. Malden made the most of their chances, we didn’t, and the was the difference.”

The Everett lineup has been bolstered by the addition of two players, junior center back Jason Castro and sophomore keeper David Rosa, who have elected to play with their EHS team, rather than their Academy team, which would have left them unable to play for the high school.

Constanza and his crew, who now stand at 4-3 on the season, face a challenging and busy two-week period. They were set to travel to St. John’s Prep this past Monday and will host ancient rival Chelsea Wednesday evening at 7:00 under the lights at the Stadium in a contest that should draw a big crowd.

They will entertain Methuen Saturday at 2:00 and then make the short trek across the Parkway on the holiday to Chelsea’s field. Somerville comes here Wednesday evening.

EHS volleyball team  battles hard with Triton

The Everett High volleyball team dropped both matches in a rare home-and-home series with non-league opponent Triton, losing 3-1 Friday in Byfield before staging a furious rally in the rematch that came up just short on Monday in Everett.

In Friday’s contest, senior co-captain Jocelyn Portillo stepped up in Nathanny Balbino’s absence to play setter. “Jocelyn was awesome,” said head coach Mike Fineran. “That was her first game ever at setter, and that’s not a position anyone can play. She ended up setting accidentally in Thursday’s practice, but she made a number of nice passes, and when Nathanny couldn’t play, she jumped at the chance.”

The first set followed a familiar script for the Lady Crimson Tide, as they traded points early, only to see Triton get on a roll, serving and build a big lead. An ace by junior hitter Ariele Da Cunha cut the lead to 7-6, but by the time Everett served again, the Lady Tide were down 14-7. Everett served seven balls out of play, which played a key factor, as they dropped the first set, 25-16.

Everett cut down their mistakes and increased the intensity in the second set, rolling to a 25-17 win. Junior captain Sabrina Moreta was a difference-maker in the set, dropping four aces in eight serves to go along with two kills and a block. Senior outside hitter Jasmine Harding had nine kills and served an ace for the win.

The third set started like most of the other sets, but when Triton built a 16-10 lead, Everett didn’t fold. Junior Jalissa Harding had two kills and two aces, junior Naomi Dottin had two key serves, and senior Sabrina Augustin came off the bench to help Everett pull to within two, 20-18.

Down 23-19, Jasmine Harding served two aces but missed a third, making it 24-21. Everett’s defense stepped up on the next two plays, and Portillo got the serve with Everett down, 24-23, but missed it, putting Everett in a 2-1 set hole. “I really thought we were going to take that set, and I believe that if we did, we would have taken the win. But we know no one is going to hand us any victories. We need to go out and make it happen,” said Fineran. “Ultimately, we made too many mistakes and let one slip away.” Everett dropped the fourth set 25-13

However, the Lady Crimson Tide had a chance for revenge three days later on their home court. Everett seemed determined to make sure they did not have a repeat of Friday, jumping out to a 5-0 lead thanks to strong serves by Nathanny Balbino. Augustin was a force in the first set, tallying five kills and a block, while Moreta added two aces and a kill and Jalissa Harding had two kills. However, it was not enough, as Everett dropped the set 25-23.

“We were down 23-20, and Jocelyn Portillo brought us back and tied the game, but two unlucky bounces later we were down a set,” said Fineran. “We missed eight serves that set. So we can look at those two plays, or we can try to eliminate the mistakes along the way.”

The next two sets had a familiar feel to them, as Everett missed six serves and dropped set two, 25-23, and faced a 17-11 deficit midway through set three. “It certainly felt like, ‘Here we go again’,” said Fineran. “We were watching balls drop on the court, we were standing still, and we weren’t being aggressive enough on offense.”

But, as if someone hit the proverbial switch, the story started to change for Everett. Augustin got the serve, with Everett trailing 19-12, and dropped two aces in five serves to make it 19-16. Jasmine Harding scored a kill on the next play, then served three in a row to give Everett a 20-19 lead.

Down 24-22, the captain, Sabrina Moreta, hit four aces in a row to take game three, 26-24. “That was an impressive comeback, and I’m happy they showed themselves that they can do it,” said Fineran.

There was no letdown in the next set, as Moreta had three kills and three aces, Jalissa Harding had four kills, and Jasmine Harding served three aces in a row to push Everett’s lead to 19-11 before Dottin served the last five points in the set.

“I’m proud of the way they fought back and brought themselves back,” said Fineran. “I wish I could say I told them some secret that turned the game around. The simple fact is they just started playing better. The more points they got, the harder they hustled and the more they tried to hit and block. And when they play like that, they’re a pretty good team.”

In the fifth set, which is a first-to-15 sprint, Everett could not build any momentum early on. “Nathanny has been awesome for us serving all year. She opened the set with an ace, then hit the second one wide. I know she would like to have that toss back, and I wish she could have it, because she easily could have given us a six or seven point lead.”

Everett missed three of their first seven serves, then fell behind 10-7. But it was Nyomi Dottin’s turn to step up, and she hit five in a row to give Everett a 12-10 lead. Moreta had three kills in the short set, and got the serve with Everett up, 13-11. Unfortunately, the Lady Crimson Tide could not capitalize on the serve and the next three points — and the match — went to Triton. “I learned a lot about my team today,” said Fineran. “I love the way we competed to the end. It’s my job to try to fix the mistakes that we make, and I’m confident that we can do it. I hope this game showed the players that they can do it. I hope we look back on this as the turning point of our season.”

Everett travels to Lowell Thursday and then to Methuen for a Columbus Day matinee.

Central defeats Everett, 24-0, in Homecoming Game

By Cary Shuman

The Everett High football team will begin its Greater Boston League schedule Friday night versus Medford after finishing its non-league campaign with a 1-3 record.

Central Catholic became the third team in the state’s top five to defeat Everett, handing the Tide a 24-0 defeat in the Homecoming Game at Everett Veterans Memorial Stadium. Undefeated teams Xaverian (4-0) and St. John’s Prep (4-0) earlier bested Everett (1-3) while the Tide’s lone victory came against New Bedford (2-2).

The Tide was unable to generate any scoring against the Raiders’ defense while Steven Jackson (six receptions for 91 yards) dented the Everett ‘D’ for two touchdowns.

Following an Everett fumble on the opening kickoff, Jackson caught a 14-yard touchdown pass in the end zone with no defensive backs in the vicinity. He later took a reverse handoff and looked to pass the ball but instead raced 42 yards down the sidelines for a score and a 24-0 halftime lead.

“The touchdown at the end of the half was huge on the reverse,” said Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “I thought the defense came up big for us. We did a great job with field position and we got turnovers when we needed them.”

Everett quarterback Jordan McAfee led the Tide on a long drive in the third quarter but Central’s Johandy Gonzlez halted the Tide’s comeback with an interception at the 13-yard line.

Central’s defense was effective in hurrying McAfee and forcing the junior signal caller out of the pocket while also containing the Tide’s running game.

Adamopoulos said beating Everett at home is a difficult task.

“We have a lot of respect for Everett,” said Adamopoulos. “We kind of embraced it [the challenge of beating Everett in its home stadium]. I’m a traditionalist. I enjoy coming here because they have tradition here and this is one of the few places in Massachusetts where the whole community gets behind football and it’s a city that’s still proud of their team. I like coming here.”

The Central coach said that Steve Jackson was a difference maker in the game.

“Steve has been doing that all season and he did it last year, too,” said Adamopoulos. “He’s a playmaker. He has great speed. He’s tough to tackle and he makes plays.”

DiBiaso and the Tide are entering the GBL portion of their schedule with upcoming games against Medford, Somerville, and Malden.

Ideally Everett can go on and secure the GBL crown and garner momentum heading in to the Division 1 North sectional playoffs. At some point in the playoffs, though, the Tide will have to step up and topple Central Catholic or St. John’s Prep or possibly both squads. Xaverian  appears to be the team to beat in the Division 1 South sectionals although BC High and Brockton loom as tough tests in the postseason.

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