Soccer teams compete in MIAA State Tournament

Boys shut out Lowell Catholic, fall to Rockport

The Winthrop High boys soccer team won its opening round game in the Division 3 North Sectional of the MIAA State Tournament against Lowell Catholic on Saturday, 3-0, but then fell victim to bad luck in a 5-1 loss to Rockport on Tuesday.

“We played our best game of the year against Lowell Catholic,” said WHS head coach Pasquale D’Amore. “It was a very exciting game and the boys played terrifically. We dominated all the way and could have won by an even bigger score.”

Winthrop was the bottom seed in the sectional at No. 18, but showed No. 15 Lowell Catholic from the opening kickoff that it belonged in the tourney. D.J. Estrada and Rigan Mehilli scored goals for the Vikings in the first half and Marco Bove reached the back of the net after the intermission for some extra insurance.

Tuesday’s contest with No. 2 seed Rockport, which was played in Manchester, saw Winthrop battle well through the first part of the game, taking a quick 1-0 lead when Estrada drilled a beautiful shot from 25 yards out that found the upper far corner of the Rockport net.

Rockport soon notched the equalizer, but then the Vikings were hit with a double disaster. Senior Captain Chris Batts went down with a knee injury and did not return. “Chris plays stopper and is the quarterback of our defense,” said D’Amore. “His loss really hurt us.”

Soon thereafter, Rockport was awarded a penalty kick when the ref called a highly questionable penalty on a Winthrop defender, who appeared to be going for the ball when he collided with a Rockport player. The successful PK not only gave Rockport a 2-1 lead, but changed the momentum of the game.

“The penalty kick really took a lot out of us,” said D’Amore, “and with Chris gone, we had a real uphill battle from there.”

However, despite the loss, D’Amore was upbeat about his team’s performance in the 2010 campaign. “I’m very thankful to the boys for the way they played this year,” said the coach. “They gave it their all throughout the entire season and improved tremendously. We had a young team, but they matured a lot and we’ll be looking forward to next season.”

Girls soccer team defeats Greater Lowell, falls to Weston

A goal by senior Haley Benson gave the Winthrop High girls soccer team a 1-0 victory over Greater Lowell in an opening round contest of the Division 3 North Sectional of the MIAA State Soccer Tournament Saturday.

The game was played at Greater Lowell on the same field where two years ago the Lady Vikings saw their hopes for advancing in the tourney be dashed when the ref handed a red card to the Winthrop goal keeper, not only taking her out of the game, but leaving Winthrop left to play with just 10 players for the rest of the game.

“It felt good to leave with a victory against the same team and on the same field where we had such a bad experience two years ago,” said WHS head coach Tracey Martucci.

Benson’s goal, which was assisted by Nicole Black, came late in the first half. However, the Lady Vikings, who were seeded 14th of 14 teams in the sectional, were unable to expand their lead despite dominating the game to such an extent that they poured 41 shots on Greater Lowell, which was seeded third with a 14-3-1 record.

“We had plenty of scoring opportunities, but couldn’t get the ball in the net, which has been our problem all year,” said Martucci.

Tuesday saw Martucci and her crew travel to Regis College to take on a Weston team that was seeded sixth with an 11-5-2 mark and which had blown out North Shore by an 8-1 score in its first round contest.

The teams battled to a standoff through the midway point of the first half, but Weston drew first blood at the 23 minute mark and then added to its advantage for a 2-0 lead before the half ended. Two more goals by Weston after the intermission accounted for the 4-0 finale.

“We gave it our best shot, but Weston was a very good team which, like us, obviously has played predominantly against teams in Division 1 or 2,” noted Martucci, who singled out Benson for her fine play at midfield.

“But we had a good year,” added the coach. “The girls worked hard and played hard all season. We had seven wins after only getting three last year, so it was a big improvement.”

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