ANDREW VALLEY makes one of his 14 saves in the Div. 2 state championship against Oliver Ames at Manning Field in Lynn. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)


LYNN — The Wakefield High boys’ soccer team’s magical journey to the Div. 2 state championship game brought them to the historic Manning Bowl in Lynn for a matchup against reigning champion Oliver Ames on Saturday, Nov. 18. 

After a full 80 minutes of scoreless, high-intensity soccer, Oliver Ames’ Joey Carney ended it just four minutes into overtime for the Tigers’ second consecutive Div. 2 title. 

“Not the result we wanted but a fantastic season nonetheless,” said head coach Matt Angelo. “Couldn’t be any prouder of this group of young men.”

Three days after their incredible semifinal victory over Hopkinton in penalty kicks, the Warriors again found themselves even after regulation – two halves of gut-check soccer that featured plenty of impressive saves from senior goalie Andrew Valley, the hero against Hopkinton. 

THE RED SEA was out in full force at Manning Field in Lynn on a chilly Saturday, Nov. 18 to root on their Warriors in the Div. 2 state championship game. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

Oliver Ames had the better chances throughout, but Valley and another incredible defensive effort from a back line of senior captain Brian Purcell, senior Frank Leone and sophomores Eric Keefe and Aidan Bligh, kept the Tigers off the board.

Wakefield’s best opportunity came with just under 10 minutes to play when sophomore striker Jack Millward came within inches of his 5th goal of the tournament on a broken play in which the OA keeper got out of position but a defender cleared Millward’s shot off the goal line just in time to keep it level. 

Despite what felt like an eternity of Wakefield defending with everything they had –a trend continued from their previous four state tournament games – Oliver Ames stuck with it and finally broke the Warriors down in overtime when Carney made an impressive individual effort with the ball, meandering through midfield and into striking distance, finishing with a perfect, low shot. 

It was a shocking, abrupt finish to not only the game but also Wakefield’s best season in over 25 years. 

The first Warrior team since 1997 to make it to the state finals will certainly be remembered forever. 

“They were a true team all season long and created countless lifelong memories with this run,” said Angelo. 

Wakefield’s final record was 17-4-2.