EHS boys soccer team needs two more wins
The Everett High boys soccer team split its two contests this past week, leaving its record at 6-7-2 with three matches remaining. The Crimson Tide now must win two — or win one and tie two — of those contests in order to attain the required .500 record that is necessary to qualify for the post-season state tournament.
Everett dropped a 1-0 decision last Monday to Greater Boston League rival Medford, a team that is ranked among the top-10 high school soccer clubs in the state.
“It was a great game,” said EHS head coach Oswaldo Constanza. “It was a very frustrating game for us, because we outpossessed them and outshot them, but we could not put one in the net. However, despite the loss the game was a great confidence booster for us because we proved to ourselves that we can play with, and beat, anybody.”
The Crimson Tide had the next three days off, allowing them both to work on their game and to heal the usual bumps and bruises that are standard at this stage of the season.
Friday evening the Crimson Tide took on Randolph, a team to whom Everett had dropped a 4-3 decision earlier in the year, and the result was a 3-1 victory which the rejuvenated Crimson Tide controlled from the start to the final three toots of the ref’s whistle.
Diogo Battista, who had been among the Crimson Tide players who were a little banged up to start the week, turned in an MVP-of-the-game performance, reaching the back of the Randolph net for all three of the Everett goals. Carlo Alvarez assisted on the first and third tallies. Diogo scored the middle goal on a penalty kick which was awarded to Everett in the second half when Eric Senibaldi’s shot, which had cleanly beat the Randolph keeper, intentionally was knocked down by a Randolph defender with his hand. Not only was Everett awarded the PK, but the Randolph player earned a red card that sent him off for the rest of the evening and provided the Crimson Tide with a man-advantage for the remainder of the contest.
Everett will conclude its season this week. The Tide took on Malden Monday and will host Watertown this evening (Wednesday). They will travel to Dracut Friday for the season finale.
“We know we need four points to reach the tourney and that our fate is in our hands,” said Constanza. “But we also know we are capable of beating anybody if we play up to our capabilities.”
EHS volleyball team plays well in five-set loss
The Everett High volleyball team fought valiantly at Pope John Monday, but dropped a five-set match, with the final set being decided by the slimmest of margins, 16-14.
“That was a great match,” said EHS head coach Mike Fineran. “The crowd was into it, every play felt like the game was on the line. We had our opportunities, but it didn’t go our way.”
The first set did go Everett’s way, thanks in part to junior Nathanny Balbino’s nine straight serves to open the match, with five aces in the mix. Sabrina Augustin had two kills and a block and Ariele da Cunha had two kills as Everett kept the lead and closed out the set, 25-20.
”It was really important for us to start strong,” said Fineran. “We played so well last Wednesday (in a loss at Medford), but then came out so flat on Friday in Lynn. We were eager to get out and play again and put that behind us.”
The second set would not be as smooth as the first, as Everett missed their first two serves and found themselves in an early 10-2 hole. A block by Nyomi Dottin and two kills by Jasmine Harding brought Everett to within four, 17-13. Two aces from da Cunha made it 21-18, but that’s as close as they’d get, losing set two 25-19.
“We knew we’d be in for a fight,” said Fineran. “Pope John is never an easy team to beat, and you’ve got to play well because they make you earn it. We hit too many hits out and not enough serves in, and ultimately that did us in.”
The missed serves were apparent in the third set, as Pope John seized the momentum. Three early Everett aces were followed by three missed serves, and an 8-7 game turned into an 18-10 lead for the Tigers, and an eventual 25-18 win.
But the Lady Crimson Tide would not fold. “I’m very proud of the way the team responded when their backs were to the wall,” said Fineran. “I thought that in the third set we were outplayed. Pope John’s players simply wanted it more than we did. But we fought back, and they showed a lot of heart doing so.”
Fineran lauded the play of Jasmine Harding, whose constant hustle kept alive a number of rallies, and whose serving brought Everett back from a 20-18 deficit to a 23-20 lead. “Jasmine was a star. Her motor never turned off. She was fun to watch,” said Fineran, who also noted the defensive contributions of junior Lisa Quang.
Captain Sabrina Moreta had three kills in the set, but most importantly, with the set tied 26-26, hit in two serves, including an ace that clinched the set 28-26.
The fifth set started well for the Tide, with Balbino serving to a 3-0 lead and an Augustin kill made it 5-2. The teams traded points until Pope John took the lead 11-10, but a Harding kill tied it up. The back and forth continued, with neither team able to make consecutive points until the last point.
“We had the game set up the way we wanted it. We had the serve when it was 12-12 and 13-13, and both times we hit it out,” said Fineran. “We’ve talked all year about taking advantage of the opportunities when we have them and not letting them slip away. Monday, they slipped away.”
Everett will host Malden tonight (Wednesday) that will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities. Everett’s final game of the season will be Friday when Fineran and his squad travel to Dracut.