Published in the October 6, 2017 edition

THE MELROSE Red Raider soccer team fought a tough battle against Lexington and fell, 3-2. Pictured is Sava Vlajkovic. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—The Melrose High School boys soccer team couldn’t hold onto an early lead and fell short to Lexington in a 3-1 loss at a very sunny West Knoll Field on Monday, Oct. 2. Melrose remains 4-2-2 on the season. 

The start of the game had Melrose looking like they were on the way to victory, controlling the ball, knocking Lexington attackers off course, and going around Lexington defenders with ease.

As the Lexington offense heated up, so did the Melrose defense, with Brett Botto picking a Lexington attacker’s pocket and booting the ball out of the zone. The ensuing Lexington rush led to a blocked shot courtesy of Will Pzegeo. Jared Dowell was in the mix as well— during a great heads up play, he came way out past the penalty arc to boot an incoming ball away from a Lexington attacker before the Minuteman could get to it for the sure breakaway.

About twenty minutes into the first half the score was still scoreless until Owen Thorsteinsson was able to get his foot on the ball. Carrying the rock around defenders and up through the Melrose end, at midfield he sent a pass floating over two Lexington defenders’ outstretched legs and directly onto the foot of an in stride David Kurti, who was hurtling full tilt toward the Lexington net-minder. Kurti made a B-line for the right goal post, running diagonally from the middle of the field, dodging around defenders who just could not keep up. As Kurti approached the right side of the penalty area, a no-look shot to the left post threw the goalie off so bad that he dived for the ball about three seconds after it had already went in. This electric goal put Melrose up 1-0 with some momentum to stay on top.

On the next Minutemen rush some great defense from Tarekegn O’Neill contained the Lexington break in and flushed the ball back out to Melrose’s Shea Champagne who took the ball on a fantastic rush, dodging around defenders and setting himself up for a breakaway shot that missed the net by inches, sailing over the top post. Dylan Vienot stepped up on the next Lexington possession, forcing the Minuteman forward to the outside, then making a great heads up decision by playing the ball out. Brett Botto also stepped up big time, bumping a Lexington shooter off his shot in the nick of time, had the Minuteman followed through with his shot the line of sight into the Melrose goal was clear. However the end of the half proved to be trying for the Raider squad as they let in three goals within ten minutes to send them into halftime disappointed in the score, Melrose 1—Lexington 3.

Melrose came out for the second half idling until Ethan Peet was able to get a rush going that culminated in a corner kick being headed just over the Lexington goal. After this rush the Raiders looked more alive as Peter Wiesen and Shea Champagne battled for possession, and won, in the offensive zone and followed up by sending a volley of shots off the Lexington net-minder. Cam Rosnov also pitched in with some stellar defensive play including a steal that set up yet another Champagne rush. Miguel Contreras turned on the afterburners to snag a loose ball and send it into the Lexington end as the half drew to a close and Sava Vlajkovic added in some offensive help with an impressive centering pass into the penalty area that was almost put away by Owen Thorsteinsson. However despite the Raiders best efforts, the score remained the same. The Raiders lose this one Lexington 3— Melrose 1.

After the game, Melrose head coach Dean Serino spoke of team’s effort as they approach the mid point of the season. “I think we just need to clean some things up. This is a hard working team who play with passion. We’ve been playing strong in the middle, and their attitudes are good. There’s along season to go.”

Melrose continues their play against some tough competition. On Friday they host Reading at 5:45.