Tewksbury Boys U16-1 Stops Lowell, Claims Middlesex League Title
Tewksbury BU16-1 Team Spring 2014 Front row from left: Jeffrey Carr, Christian Lucchesi, Mohamad Yatim, Andrew Boudreau, Rafael Perez, Scott Callahan, Michael Flynn, Jashua Cardia, Nicholas McKeon, and Assistant Coach James Carr Back row from Left: Assistant Coach Brian Gallant, Eric Gallant, Johnathan Donavan, Christopher McCabe, Connor MacLean, Cody Souza, Akash Ranjit, Philip Borges, Brandon Alves, Alec DiCaccio, and Head Coach Nader Kalkhoran
The following information was submitted by the administration of the Tewksbury Youth Soccer League.
Tewksbury BU16-1 3 Lowell 1
The Tewksbury BU16-1 soccer team took home the Middlesex League Division 2 Championship on Sunday by beating Lowell 3-1.
The Redmen will now set their sights on the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC) next weekend in Lancaster. Tewksbury had defeated Lowell earlier in the season by a narrow 2-1 mark, so they knew it would be a tough game to win. Lowell certainly came out fired up, controlling the play early on. Fresh off their surprise win over powerhouse Everett the week before, Lowell had confidence and energy. They had a couple of scoring chances in the first eight minutes, but their shots went just wide.
Even with their own limited opportunities, the Redmen struck first in the tenth minute. Fullback Eric Gallant found striker Nick McKeon with a throw-in to an open space that McKeon could easily control and began his maneuvers. Nick skillfully picked his way through some traffic. Center middie Connor MacLean made a move to the front of the goal. McKeon saw MacLean open in the middle and passed over where Connor pounded the ball into the top of the net from 16 yards out. That goal seemed to tilt the field as the early pressure that the Red Raiders were able to apply seemed to evaporate while the Redmen began to carry the play for the majority of the game. Sweepers Akash Ranjit and Andrew Boudreau held the line between their 45 and midfield, always sending the ball back the their middies.
Left fullback Scott Callahan started several rushes with midfielder John Donovan that kept Lowell on their heels. Tewksbury lit the scoreboard again in the 32nd minute after Lowell committed a foul, giving the Redmen a direct kick from about 40 yards out. Lowell made sure to mark everyone, not too concerned about a direct shot on the goal from that distance. McKeon made them pay for that miscalculation by drilling a shot on goal that sailed just under the crossbar over the fingertips of the Lowell keeper. The Redmen added to their lead just four minutes later with a score by Jeff Carr. It started with a corner kick by Alec DiCaccio. He just missed scoring directly when his kick banged off the near post.
DiCaccio smartly followed his own rebound and was again turned away by the metal frame as his rebound shot hit crossbar. Carr finished what DiCaccio started by burying the rebound into the back of the net. The three goal deficit seemed to take the air out of the Lowell club and they still could not mount a consistent attack. In the second half, forward Mike Flynn and midfielders Brandon Alves, Josh Cardia, Christian Lucchesi, Chris McCabe, and Cody Souza had so much speed that Lowell cleared the ball from in front of their net any way they could. Often times, they just kicked it out of their own end line.
Forward Mohamad Yatim gave the Redmen three great scoring opportunities with perfect corner kicks that he placed right in front of the goal. It was only because Lowell packed everybody they had inside the penalty area that prevented at least one of those corners from resulting in a score. Phil Borges came off the bench in the 25th minute of the half to keep the energy high for the Redmen. A Lowell midfielder had the ball near Borges, who was able to get a change possession through two terrific slide tackles.
The Redmen quickly counter-attacked, but the frustrated Lowell defenders resorted to a foul to stop the pressure. There was a lot of emotion on both sides, so the referee stopped the game for a few minutes to maintain control and let things cool down. Once play resumed, the Red Raiders got some energy back and scored at the 30 minute mark. Lowell continued to keep the pressure on, feeling like they had new life and if they could cut the lead to one, they would have regained all the momentum.
It nearly happened with just a few minutes to go when they took a corner kick and it was right in front of the net. Tewksbury keeper Rafael Perez was able to punch the ball away where his teammates were able to clear the ball. That was the last serious threat and the Redmen ran out the clock to claim the victory and head to MTOC as Middlesex champs, playing their first game on Friday morning at 10 AM.
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