Warriors come up short in thrilling 3-2 contest

ANDREW AULD, a senior captain (#25), had a strong game at his defensive midfield position and also scored goal. (Donna Larsson Photo)

ANDREW AULD, a senior captain (#25), had a strong game at his defensive midfield position and also scored goal. (Donna Larsson Photo)

Published in the September 18, 2015 edition.


WAKEFIELD — On Thursday at Walton Field the varsity boys’ soccer team of Wakefield Memorial High School took on the Spy Ponders of Arlington High School as the team looked to get into the win column in its home opener.

Head Coach Matt Angelo saw his team engage in a physical, up tempo game that featured some outstanding individual play. Angelo had to enjoy his team’s response to conceding a late first half goal and an early second half penalty kick to stay in this game the entire way.

However, the Warriors didn’t have enough to top their opponent and, when the final whistle blew, the score stood 3-2 in favor of Arlington.

“What separates this game from the other is that it was not for a lack of effort,” Coach Angelo said after the game.“It was a very hard fought game against a very good team, in Arlington.

The first half set the tone for the finale of the second half, a rough and tumble two part episode. In part one, the big man in the middle, senior captain Andrew Auld made his presence known, throwing his weight around on defense from his defensive midfield position as well as drawing the attention of the Arlington defenders on offense from set-pieces. “Mark Twenty-five!” could be heard shouted by the Spy Ponders’ defenders whenever a set play came up.

“Auld is our captain, we put him in a different role today, in the defensive mid to get him going,” Angelo said. “He was excellent, winning balls in the air, pushing up the field to score on that last drive. When we took him out of that position, you could really see the difference, so I think that’s where he’s going to be playing from now on.”

The Warriors were defending for much of the first half but when the opportunity came to hit out on the counter attack, it led to several corners and free-kicks. That allowed Wakefield to put the ball into places that were uncomfortable for the Arlington defenders to give the attacking options at the Warriors’ disposal.

“We did a lot of things well, we corrected a lot of mistakes and unfortunately we broke down a couple times. Despite the score, overall I’m very happy with the performance of these guys,” Coach Angelo said.

The Warriors had a lapse defensively late in the first half that allowed Arlington to go in front at halftime 1-0 on a goal by Dylan Braveman.

When the teams switched sides and play resumed, the visitors were applying pressure to Zack Dascoli in the Wakefield goal.

With just two minutes gone in the second half, an Arlington player took a shot from just inside the edge of the 18 yard box. With a defender not two feet away, the shot looked like it hit the Warrior player off the face but actually he got his arms up to block it. The ref on the other side of the penalty area, on the backside of the defender, called for a penalty kick for the hand ball.

James Bauer stepped up to the spot for Arlington and squared off with Dascoli in the Wakefield net. Bauer did everything right, putting a textbook hard low shot to the corner, but Dascoli was not to be beaten. The senior goalie for the Warriors made a sprawling dive to just touch the ball away and behind for a corner that was dealt with and cleared by the Wakefield defense.

“Our keeper has been phenomenal this year, he had a huge penalty save. That fired us up, I think that was the turning point of the game. He was our spark that we needed,” Angelo said about his senior goalkeeper.

It was two minutes later up the other end of the field that Wakefield was awarded a free kick from just inside its own half. The free kick was again delivered into dangerous territory but at first nobody from Wakefield got a hold of the ball. A fortunate bounce found junior Juan Maysonet’s foot and he followed through putting the equalizing goal on the board for the Warriors.

Play resumed with the score at 1-1, and Wakefield got back to its physical play.

“Sophomore Dan Kerrigan in the back was outstanding for us,” Angelo said when talking about his team’s strong, tough defense.  “He’s been playing so great every game. Today was the best I’ve ever seen him play.”

For the next 10 minutes the score was even, until another breakdown saw Arlington break in 2-on-1 with the Wakefield goalie. Dascoli went for the ball, but Arlington’s Carl Conti calmly dished it off to Peter Clifford who didn’t miss the open net to make it 2-1 Arlington.

Arlington added another goal 20  minutes later on a shot from Nick Curevo-Torello to make it 3-1 with about five minutes to go.

Wakefield didn’t lie down and hit back with Auld breaking free from his midfield position in alone on goal with Arlington goalie Austin Flajnik. Auld got the better of Flajnik and cut the lead to 3-2.

Wakefield had to hurry if it was to come back to tie it again but on its last push offensively the ref flagged a Warrior player for being offside. Moments later the final whistle came and the score held at 3-2 in favor of Arlington.

“We have to tighten up defensively, we had a couple breakdowns our keeper bailed us out on,” the coach said after his team’s most recent loss. “They’re all correctable mistakes but we’re at the point in the season now that those mistakes can’t be happening.”

Angelo’s squad will be back in action again on Saturday morning as the team takes on Stoneham.

“That’s a game we’re hoping to get off the losing streak and back on the winning track.”


At Walton Field

Arlington…………1  2 — 3

WAKEFIELD…….0  2 — 2


First Half — Arl, Braveman (un.) 39:00.

Second Half — Wak, Maysonet (un.) 6:00. Arl, Clifford, (Conti) 16:00. Arl, Cuervo-Torello (un.) 35:00. Wak, Auld (un.) 39:00.

Saves — Wak, Dascoli (7). Arl, Flajnik (6).