Wakefield blanks Burlington after loss to Lexington
BURLINGTON — The Warrior boys’ soccer team continued a recurring pattern of win one, lose one as it rebounded with a win over Burlington after suffering a setback against Lexington.
Wakefield blanked Burlington by a 3-0 score on Tuesday night at Varsity Field. The win came after the Warriors dropped a 3-1 game to Lexington last Saturday in the Kicks For Cancer Tournament held at Concord-Carlisle High School.
That pattern continued yesterday afternoon as the Warriors were edged by Arlington by a 3-2 tally at Pierce Field. Details of that contest were unavailable at presstime.
Wakefield is now 4-5-1 overall and 3-5-1 in the Middlesex League Freedom division.
Senior MJ Urbano scored two goals, while Cam Yasi, a senior, had one tally as the Warriors blanked the Red Devils.
Senior tri-captains Neil Fitzgerald and Ian Ritchie each earned an assist.
Wakefield bounced back from a tough loss against Lexington as Coach Matt Angelo envisioned. The Warriors dominated them for 80 straight minutes.
Wakefield opened up strong and was clearly the more intense team winning every ball in the air and playing at a college level pace. Pressuring Burlington early, Fitzgerald played a ball to Yasi in front of Burlington’s goal and Yasi placed the ball in the back of the net for the 1-0 lead within the first three minutes.
The Warriors kept the pressure with Ritchie playing a ball forward. It looked as though the Burlington keeper would easily catch the ball. However, Urbano cut him off in mid-air and headed the ball for the 2-0 lead.
“MJ was outstanding for us today. He’s so physically dominating,” said Angelo. “That goal was exactly what we worked on at Monday’s practice. Crash the net hard and be the first to the ball. (It was a) Great goal.”
Wakefield kept the pressure all first half controlling the game. The second half started the same as the first.
Wakefield pressured Burlington, not allowing the Red Devils to connect on more than two to three passes maximum. This caused many turnovers that allowed the Warriors to attack. Mo Janga, a junior, forced a defender to make a poor pass back to his keeper. The ball got by the keeper and Urbano was there to score the empty netter for the 3-0 lead.
“Tonight’s game was outstanding. What a great response from this team after a disappointing performance again Lexington. They played to their potential. We need to play this way every game. Mo Janga was phenomenal. He made Burlington’s back line work tonight. (He had a) Great, gritty performance.
“Ian Ritchie again displayed his excellence. He does a lot of dirty work — the things people who don’t understand soccer don’t appreciate. He plays 80 minutes at a sprint pace.
“Our defense again was great. They didn’t let Burlington get comfortable and won almost every ball in the air. Our outside backs did good stuff in the offensive end. Joe Hurton’s consistent forward runs really caused problems for Burlington.
“Overall it was a great effort from every player on this team,” concluded Angelo. “Tonight they proved how strong they are. We need to take this mentality into the rest of our games this season.”
The Warriors suffered a 3-1 setback against M.L. Liberty division power Lexington.
The Wakefield goal was by Braedan Langlois, a sophomore.
The game was stuck in the midfield. Lexington did a great job frustrating Wakefield with a high pressure/high tempo pace. That fast paced play kept the Warriors on their heels and forced them to defend often early on. It also disrupted their game plan of possessing the ball wide and attacking from crosses.
Lexington scored midway through the first half and kept the pressure up. Wakefield counterattacked Lexington after a nice defensive play and sent sophomore forward Langlois on a breakaway to even the game. The momentum swing after that goal gave Wakefield a burst of energy and the Warriors ended the half strong.
The second half started off in Wakefield’s favor as it came very close to taking the lead multiple times. Joe Hurton, a senior, ripped the ball from the 18. It looked like a sure goal but the Lexington keeper made a great save.
Lexington countered by scoring a goal off a corner kick to take the lead. Wakefield generated much more offense in the second half and had its chances but could not capitalize. With just minutes remaining, Lexington broke free and scored its third goal.
“Lexington is a very strong team. I thought we did certain things well but only in spurts,” said Angelo. “We can play better than we did today. Lexington’s style definitely caused some frustration. They had a good game plan.”
Wakefield takes on Winchester on Tuesday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. at Walton Field.