Blanks Tewksbury, 2-0, to advance to sectional final

ANDREW AULD, a senior captain, led the Warrior defense which put the clamps on Tewksbury’s offense yesterday in the Div. 3 North semifinals. Wakefield won by a 2-0 score. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

ANDREW AULD, a senior captain, led the Warrior defense which put the clamps on Tewksbury’s offense yesterday in the Div. 3 North semifinals. Wakefield won by a 2-0 score. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

Published in the November 12, 2015 edition.


LYNN — As the 11th-seeded and lowest ranked team in the Div. 3 North Tournament, the Wakefield Memorial High boys’ soccer team’s run can easily be called a Cinderella one. Right now, the Warriors are sure having a good time at the ball.

Wakefield gained a berth in the Div. 3 North final for the first time since 1997 as it blanked Tewksbury by a 2-0 tally yesterday afternoon in a semifinal contest played at Manning Field in Lynn.

The Warriors increased their record to 9-8-4 on the season as they defeated two Cape Ann League teams, Triton and Pentucket, prior to defeating the 10th-ranked Redmen (9-9-3). Tewksbury gained entrance into the state tournament due to the Sullivan Rule which counts only the regular contests against Div. 3 opponents. Tewksbury plays in the Merrimack Valley Conference which has mostly Div. 1 and Div. 2 schools.

As a result of the victory, Wakefield has gained a berth in the Div. 3 North final which will be played on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Manning Field in Lynn. The Warriors will face Swampscott which upset top-seeded Wayland by a 3-1 score in the other semifinal contest. Wakefield has faced the Big Blue twice in non-league competition with the home team winning each time.

Wakefield controlled play against Tewksbury throughout yesterday’s contest. The Warriors limited the Redmen’s scoring chances while scoring a goal in each half themselves. Wakefield outshot Tewksbury, 12-8, but most of Tewksbury’s shots were on the target but weren’t high quality ones.

“It’s never easy dealing with the wind and it certainly isn’t easy going against the wind,” said Coach Matt Angelo. “As for the game, we saw some game film on Tewksbury and we knew who a couple of their key players were. Number 15 (Connor MacLean) is a good player but their best player is number 10 (Ameen Kalkhoran) who is unbelievable. Our game plan was to take away their firepower and we moved the ball the best we have all year for all 80 minutes.”

The Warrior defense in front of senior keeper Zack Dascoli has played extremely well all tournament as Wakefield has given up just one goal in three games. Senior Andrew Auld, senior Andrew DeCecca, junior TJ Sellers, sophomore Dan Kerrigan, and sophomore Cole Krauss played in the back and did a fantastic job stopping Tewksbury’s offensive opportunities in the final third of the field.

While the defense did its job, Wakefield’s goals were scored by junior forward Juan Maysonet and senior Mo Janga.

The first goal came at 9:24 of the first half and was the result of a free kick awarded to Wakefield from just outside the box. Maysonet took the free kick and buried a shot into the right corner past junior keeper Rafael Perez to give Wakefield a 1-0 advantage.

Jon Ingalls, a senior, had a nice cross off a corner later in the half which Perez made a nice grab of before another Warrior could put the ball in the net.

Tewksbury’s best chance to score came late in the first half as senior forward Nick McKeon took a shot from the left side and had a shot go off the post. McKeon had a fine game for the Redmen and clearly was their best player on the field yesterday afternoon.

Wakefield held a 1-0 lead at halftime after having gone against the wind in the first half. The Warriors had the wind in the second half and added another goal for insurance later in the half.

Janga had a bid early and junior Alejando Winsor took a long range shot which forced Perez to make a diving save. Junior Jay Parece had a shot on a rebound of a shot by Mike Leven, a junior as well, during a flurry of Warrior shots. But Perez came up big during that stretch as did a Tewksbury defender to keep the score at 1-0 at the time.

“Mike (Leven) played outstanding today. He really got us going offensively. He was the spark we needed,” said Angelo. “Defensively he marked one of their best players. He shut him down all game. Mike was a huge reason we won today. He’s also been a big part of the success of this team this postseason.”

McKeon had Tewksbury’s best chance to score a goal in the second half as well. McKeon took a shot from about 25 yards out that bounced just wide of the left post.

“We played well but there was a lull there in the second half. But with the strong teams in the tournament, they are all good on the counterattack,” said Angelo. “We did an excellent job defensively against their firepower. They have so many players that can score. We gave them fits.

“I thought the game was really physical but the referees let us play for the most part,” added Angelo.

There were a couple of yellow cards issued during the contest, one to each side. There was also a couple of incidents of some pushing and shoving in the contest due to the high stakes involved. But the officials kept the game under control.

Wakefield put the game away with its second goal at 23:53 of the second half. Janga made a rush up the right side and collected a loose ball. He chipped a shot over Perez, who had come off his line to try and get the ball. The shot went into the open net.

The Warriors will now get ready for Swampscott on Sunday. The two teams are quite familiar with each other having played twice. Swampscott won the first meeting by a 5-3 score on Sept. 12 but Wakefield won the rematch on Oct. 24 by a 4-2 tally.

“The Swampscott game is going to be very physical game. It should be a lot of fun,” said Angelo. “We played them twice in non-league games and their coach (Eric Robinson) is an old friend. This will be for bragging rights.”


Div. 3 North

Boys’ Soccer Tournament

Semifinal Round

At Manning Field, Lynn

WAKEFIELD……….1  1 — 2

Tewksbury………….0  0 — 0


First Half — Wak, Maysonet (un.) 9:24.

Second Half — Wak, Janga (un.) 23:53.

Saves — Wak, Dascoli (8). Tewk, Perez (10).