Boy soccer team wins two games in tourney before falling in quarters
An unheralded Everett High boys soccer team, which qualified for the state tourney on the last day of the season and which was seeded 17th among the 18 teams in the Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA state soccer tournament, made a lot of noise in its tourney run, winning two games against higher-seeded opponents — including number-one ranked East Boston — before bowing to Lincoln-Sudbury, 2-0, Sunday in a quarterfinal contest.
“We showed that we belonged in the tourney,” said EHS head coach Oswaldo Constanza, whose squad had an 8-8-2 mark in the regular season. “We had played well throughout the season against strong competition, so we knew that we had a good chance of advancing in the tourney if we played to our capability.”
The Crimson Tide’s first tourney triumph was a case of sweet revenge against fellow Greater Boston League rival Somerville on the latter’s home field at Dilboy Stadium. Somerville had defeated Everett in their second meeting of the year late in the season and was riding a seven game winning streak.
The Highlanders took a 1-0 lead at the half, but EHS captain Eric Senibaldi brought Everett back to level with a goal shortly after the intermission. Somerville struck back to take a 2-1 advantage, but Cayo Morari converted a throw-in into the box from Gustavo Medeiros to make it a 2-2 deadlock with five minutes to go.
Even more drama came just minutes later when John Carlos Ruiz reached the back of the Somerville net on a superb cross from Diego Battista for what would prove to be the game-winning marker with under two minutes left in regulation.
“It was a great game,” said Constanza. “Both teams went up and down the field throughout and we were fortunate to take advantage of our chances and get the last goal.”
The win earned the Crimson Tide the right to advance to the next round against East Boston, the top seed in the D-1 North, Friday evening at Eastie’s home field at Logan Airport.
The Jets entered the tourney with a nearly-flawless 16-1 record, but proved unable to dent the Everett net through 80 minutes of play, as the teams battled to a nil-nil standoff in regulation time.
That set the stage for the drama of sudden-death overtime and the Crimson Tide would prove to have the right stuff. Alex Casey-Lockhart was taken down just outside the Eastie box, awarding Everett a free kick. Medeiros took the kick and crossed the ball to Mateus Pedro, who delivered a perfect strike for the Golden Goal.
“It was a thrilling game,” said Constanza, whose team and fans burst into jubilation when the ball reached the back of the Eastie net. “Knocking off the top team in the tourney was quite an accomplishment.”
Constanza’s weary and emotionally-drained team next trekked to Lincoln-Sudbury Sunday afternoon for their third contest in five days to face the Warriors, who were playing just their second game in four days.
The teams fought to a nil-nil deadlock through the first half and for three-quarters of the second. However, L-S finally beat EHS keeper David Rosa, who had played outstandingly throughout the tourney, with about 12 minutes remaining in the contest. The Tide then went all-out in an effort to tie the score in regulation, but got caught short on a Warrior counterattack that produced the second L-S goal for the 2-0 finale.
“We had our chances,” said Constanza, noting a shot that hit the cross-bar as among the best of Everett’s opportunities. “We gave it everything we had and left it all on the field.
“I can’t say enough about our team’s effort and how proud I am of them,” added the coach. “Everybody contributed to our success in the tourney.”