EHS boys soccer team qualifies for state tourney
The Everett High boys soccer team enjoyed a successful week, earning five of a possible six points in their three games, to improve their record to an outstanding 8-2-4 and qualify for the post-season state tournament.
Gabriel Meireles was the offensive star for coach Oswaldo Constanza’s Crimson Tide, scoring a goal in all three games.
In a 1-1 deadlock with Brockton last Tuesday evening under the lights at Everett Stadium, the left-footed Meireles fired a cannon shot from just outside the box while taking on two defenders, drilling the ball into the top left corner.
The goal gave the Tide a 1-0 lead 25 minutes into the game, but Brockton evened the count 10 minutes later with a well-placed shot on a free kick from just outside the box on which the Everett players took a little too long to set up their wall.
The teams then battled to a scoreless duel for the remaining 45 minutes.
Two nights later Everett hosted Malden under the lights and rolled to a 3-0 victory. After a scoreless first half in which the Crimson Tide controlled the play but could not find the finishing touch, Everett quickly asserted control after the intermission with Jan Carlos-Ruiz finding the back of the Malden net at the 50 minute mark (10 minutes into the second half).
Meireles made it a 2-0 Everett lead 10 minutes later with a blast from just outside the box and then Jason Castro, the Tide’s top defender, moved up into the box for a corner kick which he headed into the back of the Malden net for the 3-0 finale.
“We had lots of pressure all night in their half of the field, but their goalie did a great job,” noted Constanza. “It took us a while to get on the board, but we never let up and our hard work paid off.”
Everett traveled to Methuen Saturday and made the long trek a worthwhile one, returning home with a 4-0 victory.
Brian Hernandez, who has been seeing more and more playing time each week, gave the Crimson Tide a 1-0 lead at the 15 minute mark with a quick turn-and-shoot from the top of the box.
Ten minutes later, Meireles took on a pair of Methuen defenders and let fly a ball that beat the Methuen keeper to make it a 2-0 contest before the half.
Midway through the second half, Meireles was taken down in the box, resulting in a penalty shot for Everett. Caio Morare took the PK and delivered it into the back of the Methuen net for a 3-0 EHS advantage. Noah Ireung applied the coup de grace with his first goal for the 4-0 finale.
“The team has been playing well and it’s nice to have qualified for the tourney this early in the season,” said Constanza of his team’s accomplishment in punching their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney. “Now we’ll be looking to improve our seeding in the tourney bracket in order to have a home game or two.”
Constanza and his crew were set to face Chelsea this past Monday and then are off until this coming Monday when they will journey to St. John’s Prep. The Tide will host Somerville, which has been ranked in the top 20 in the state, next Wednesday under the lights at the Stadium at 7:00.
EHS volleyball team wins two more matches
The Everett High volleyball team got closer to a berth in the state tournament with two more wins this past week, defeating Triton, 3-2, on a Columbus Day matinee, and then beating Greater Boston League rival Malden for the second time this season, 3-1 last Thursday.
The Lady Crimson Tide now have seven victories on the season and need to win three of their final five matches to punch their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.
“It’s definitely in our hands,” said EHS head coach Mike Fineran. “We control our fate. We know we need to play our best volleyball these next two weeks, but I think we can handle the pressure.”
Everett’s ability to handle pressure was on display in both of their recent wins, as they dropped the opening set before emerging victorious in both matches.
“I’m proud of this team’s resilience,” said Fineran. “We don’t have a lot of easy wins, but we fight hard and keep fighting.”
Everett had to fight to pull out a five-set win at Triton, their fifth five-set triumph of the year. They dropped the opening set 25-20, after missing four serves and making eight hitting errors. Middle hitters Ariele Da Cunha and Isabella Lyles were strong up front once again, combining for nine kills, on assists from Yasmeen Guerrier and Nyomi Dottin.
Everett’s outside hitters asserted themselves in the second set, as Jalissa Harding and Sabrina Moreta each earned a pair of kills to complement five more from Lyles and Da Cunha. Strong defense from Guerrier and Brennan Moore helped the Tide take the set, 25-17.
Senior Danielle Burge chipped in hitting and serving in the third set, which Everett won 25-21. Da Cunha had two more kills plus two aces late in the set.
However, missed serves and miscues in the passing game led to a 25-20 loss in the fourth set, setting the stage for the dramatic and decisive fifth set.
In that fifth-set tie breaker, Lyles and Da Cunha led the way. Lyles served two aces to put Everett up, 5-2, then added two kills before serving the final two points with Everett up 13-10. Da Cunha smacked three kills in the deciding set.
“In the past few years, those games haven’t been going our way,” said Fineran. “But this year we’ve been able to step up.”
Everett would have to step up again three days later, especially after starting slowly in a must-win game against Malden, the reigning GBL champions. “We have finished the last three years in last place, and Malden has been on top for the past two years. If we lost, we might have been fighting the rest of the season just to stay out of the basement, never mind getting into the tournament,” said Fineran. “So I was concerned when we missed six serves in the first set. At one point we were down 16-8, and we were playing really tight, nowhere near what we’re capable of. I remember asking the bench who is going to step up, because that’s what we needed: someone to step up and take charge.”
That player was senior setter Nathanny Balbino, who subbed into the third game and rattled off 14 serves in a row — nine of them aces — turning a 5-5 tie into a 19-5 rout.
“Nathanny was the star of the game, no question about it. She was basically untouchable,” said Fineran. “She had five aces in six serves that turned around the final set as well, turning an 10-7 deficit into a 13-10 lead.” Fineran also lauded Balbino’s contributions on defense and her assists on kills by Lyles, Da Cunha, and Moreta.
Senior Danniela Duperier picked up where Balbino left off, serving the next five points to put Everett ahead 19-12. Mia LaRosa, Yasmim Silveira, and Mariah Matos helped Everett seal the win. Matos made four key defensive plays in the fourth set, and a kill from LaRosa gave Everett a 23-16 lead, before serving to put Everett one point away from victory. Everett won the set, 25-19, and the match, 3-1.
“I’m proud of these girls, especially the players who came off the bench. We have a very deep team, and we needed it. Our bench earned that win,” said Fineran.
The Lady Crimson Tide were set to play at Pope John this past Monday before heading to Methuen today (Wednesday) and hosting Somerville Friday. The regular season ends with a trip to Brockton October 24 and then Senior Night against Saugus October 25.