EHS boys soccer earns win, two ties
The Everett High boys soccer team enjoyed a successful week against a trio of strong, non-league opponents with a win and two ties.
In a 2-0 triumph over Methuen Saturday, the Crimson Tide overcame a slow start to score two goals in the second half, breaking the nil-nil deadlock that had existed at halftime.
Senior Luderson Murat, who was assisted on a nice pass from Raul Ramos, gave Everett a 1-0 lead 10 minutes after the intermission. Then with 10 minutes to go, Diego Battista gave the Tide an insurance goal after taking a through-ball from Caio Morarri that sent Diego in alone on the Methuen keeper.
“It was not our best game,” said EHS head coach Oswaldo Constanza. “We were a bit sloppy, especially in the first half, but we did what we had to do to secure the win.”
Senior Leonardo Zumpano earned the shutout in goal for Everett.
The Crimson Tide opened their week with a 1-1 tie at Division 1 power St. John’s Prep Monday. After a scoreless first half (a recurring theme for Everett in all three contests), Carlos Alvarez headed a crossing pass from Ramos into the back of the Prep net for a 1-0 Tide lead with 25 minutes to play.
However, the Prep got that back with 10 minutes remaining to earn the tie.
“It would have been great to get a win, but this game was a great confidence-booster for us,” said Constanza. “Everybody played well and contributed to what truly was a total team effort.”
Wednesday evening the Crimson Tide hosted Chelsea, Everett’s ancient foe whose sports rivalry is just a distant memory for long-time residents of both cities (and not even a memory for newcomers to both communities).
However, in the past few years the schools have resumed their former feelings of competitiveness and intensity on the soccer pitch. Although Chelsea plays in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, its program is widely-regarded as one of the best in the state and Everett likewise has a soccer program that is acknowledged as top-notch.
Chelsea came into the matchup with a 10-0 record and brought a legion of fans across the Parkway to Everett Stadium. Together with the large following from Everett, the contest brought an atmosphere more akin to an international football match than is customary for an American high school soccer game.
“The fans on both sides were really into it,” noted Constanza, “It was the biggest crowd we’ve had in quite a while and made it feel like a state tourney game.”
The teams battled fiercely through a hard-fought and scoreless first half, with EHS keeper David Rosa making some superb saves for the Crimson Tide. “David was immense for us,” noted Constanza.
Chelsea struck first after the intermission, but Everett came right back within a minute to knot matters at 1-1 when Alex Casey-Lockhart reached the back of the Chelsea net, assisted by Morare. Everett then took the lead with another marker from Battista, assisted by Lens-Fedo Francois, but the Red Devils scored again before the final whistle to earn the tie.
“It was a great game, with both teams going up and down the field,” said Constanza. “Both teams have players who’ve known each other for a long time and they have a lot of respect for each other. We fought hard, but afterwards we shook hands and congratulated each other on a well-played game.”
Constanza and his crew were set to play at Chelsea this past Monday in a rematch. They host Somerville tonight (Wednesday) and trek to Lowell Saturday morning.
EHS volleyball team looks to finish strong
The Everett High girls volleyball team has entered crunch time, said head coach Mike Fineran. With one win on the season, and only seven more games to go, Fineran said the next three weeks are crucial. “The way we play from here out will determine how these young ladies look back on this year, this team. If we win three or four matches, that’s a very different feeling than we’ll have if we continue to make the same mistakes,” said Fineran, whose team dropped matches against Lowell and Methuen this past week.
The wins have eluded the Lady Crimson Tide, but that’s not because of a shortage of talent, said Fineran. “We have great servers. Nathanny Balbino and Jasmine Harding hit the ball as hard as anyone. Sabrina Moreta and Jocelyn Portillo put a spin on their serves that make them difficult for the other team to handle.”
The bad news, according to the coach, is consistency. “We’ve hit more than 20% of our serves into the net or out,” said Fineran. “We work on serving every practice. We stress how important it is to serve strong. Everyone who gets put in to serve is capable of going on a roll of six, seven, eight in a row. But too many times, we hit one in and the next out,” Fineran said.
The remaining games on the schedule are all against teams Everett has played already this season. “We know what every team is capable of, and we know that when we play well, we are capable of hanging with all of them.” Fineran said that the remaining games will measure the team’s grit and determination. “We’re playing for pride, and that’s no small thing. We don’t want to be a one-win team, we don’t want to go winless in the GBL. We’ve got to dig deep, and the good news is, we’ve got nothing to lose,” said Fineran. “We’ve got seven games to get it right.”