Warriors rally in second half with two goals to win, 4-2
STONEHAM — When the Warrior boys’ soccer team does a good job finishing its scoring opportunities, it does so in a big way. Not surprisingly, Wakefield has won both games when it has done just that.
The Warriors tallied four goals in a contest for the second time this season and came away with a 4-2 triumph over Stoneham yesterday afternoon at Stoneham High School.
Wakefield increased its record to 2-2-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the Middlesex League Freedom division.
Senior tri-captain Neil Fitzgerald scored two goals, while senior tri-captain Ian Ritchie and junior Mo Janga each found the back of the net once.
From the get go, Wakefield controlled the game said Coach Matt Angelo. The Warriors were patient with the ball and did not force the ball forward. They played wide and stretched the Stoneham defense looking to attack gaps in the back line.
Wakefield’s hard work on the ball paid off when Ritchie volleyed a ball from the top of the 18 off a cross, finding the back of the net.
Wakefield kept the pressure on Stoneham resulting in Fitzgerald scoring after a great string of passes that started from the defense.
At halftime it was 2-0 in favor of Wakefield.
Stoneham came out strong in the second half netting two goal in 10 minutes both coming off crosses. That tied the game at 2-all and made things very interesting.
“We came out flat in the second half. We can’t do that against any team in the Middlesex League. This league is too strong,” said Angelo. “It’s definitely an area we need to address/improve. It’s a mental lapse. We played too good to let a team back in the game in that fashion.”
After a timeout, Wakefield regained its composure and finished the way it began by controlling the game in all areas.
Wakefield responded by possessing the ball wide. That’s when Mark Melanson found Fitzgerald who beat a defender and put the ball past the keeper which gave Wakefield the 3-2 lead.
With momentum on its side, Wakefield kept the ball in Stoneham’s half. Braedan Langlois stole the ball from a Stoneham defender and crossed it to Janga who headed the ball giving Wakefield its fourth goal.
“Braedan Langlois (a sophomore) was huge today. We had a couple injuries so we needed big minutes from him today. He delivered,” said Angelo. “Mark Melanson was great for us in the midfield. He really slowed the game down and chewed up the Stoneham back line. He vision and accuracy with the ball is really special.
“Neil Fitzgerald is playing phenomenal. He’s on a hot streak,” added Angelo. “When we need a goal this team looks to him. He’s giving defenders fits. He has six goals already this season.”
The Warriors return home to take on Wilmington on Monday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. at Walton Field.