(Boxford MA) Slip, sliding away.
Plenty of bad footing for both teams at Masco this rainy/sloshy afternoon but the Chieftains were used to it.
In fact, the #2 seed in Division 2 North chose to play on their grass field when they could have opted for a turf location.
Visiting Winchester was slow to acclimate to the uncertain surface and fell, 4-1, on Tuesday afternoon in the D2 North quarterfinals.
Matt Dzwil, Josh Rubin, Harry Kessel, and Matt O’Brien scored for Masconomet. Aras Kaya tallied for Winchester.
Masco will now face #3 Concord-Carlisle on Friday night (6PM) at Woburn High School.
“Masco is very, very good,” said Sachems coach Vin Musto afterwards. “They don’t have any holes. We knew it would be a tough battle.”
The conditions, rain and mud, certainly affected Winchester. “It was a tough place for us to play,” Coach Musto added. “We like to keep the ball on the ground, possess, and connect passes.”
The Chieftains had two goals in the first half as Winchester tried to navigate through the worst of the field’s mud down the other end.
“We weren’t affected by the conditions and they were a bit,” explained Masco coach Jared Scarpaci. “We capitalized because you can move the ball in this if you’re not afraid of it. They were a little cautious.”
The Sachems (11-6-3) were a different team in the second half. “We started to use the wings more because Masco is huge in the middle,” said Coach Musto. “We attacked the wings. We got behind them, and we had our chances. We just didn’t capitalize.”
Credit Masco goalie Zach Rock. Three times in the final fifteen minutes of the second half the Sachems had golden chances. “We had them on the ropes,” said Coach Musto.
Defender Harry Warshafsky: “Zach has been strong for us all year. Our starting goalie (Mike Duest) went down with a concussion earlier in the year. Zach stepped up and has been great. He did the same thing last year in the states. He continues to amaze us every day.”
Both teams had good chances to score. “We play a formation that gives a lot of offense,” explained Coach Scarpaci. “But at times we sacrifice some defense which can be risky. Today it worked in our favor.”
Matt Dzwil scored first eighteen minutes into the game. Josh Rubin had a corner kick and the ball caromed back to him. He avoided one defender and put a high shot at the far post. Both Matt Dzwil and teammate Aedan Salvador were on that post, but it was Matt doing the finishing.
Eleven minutes later Josh Rubin was in the box with several teammates during a throw in. “We crashed the net and I was in the right place at the right time to put it in,” said Josh describing his part in Masco’s second goal.
Winchester called a timeout and I heard Coach Musto yell, “They don’t get a third goal!” The team got the message.
The Sachems made adjustments at halftime that made them more of a threat to score.
“We felt in the second half that a third goal was going to be needed to stun the momentum if they got a first one,” said Coach Scarpaci.
Senior Harry Kessel took care of that.
Aedan Salvador found Harry to his left uncovered and set him up for a good look twelve minutes into the second half. Harry’s goal put the Chieftains ahead 3-0.
Six minutes later the team from the Middlesex League got a goal. It came off a direct kick by Will Hofheinz. Aras Kaya turned that DK into a quick shot to the near side.
The next ten minutes Winchester knocked at the scoring door several times but GK Zach Rock kept them off the scoreboard.
“Zach had two that should have been goals,” said Coach Scarpaci. “A good goalie has to make one or two saves like that to keep you alive and in it. Zach did that today for us.”
Josh Rubin: “Zach saved us for sure. One of their chances was a breakaway.”
Masco’s 4th goal, scored in the last minute, fortunately didn’t decide the game. Matt O’Brien sent a 35-yard shot toward Winchester GK Francisco Lara. Looked harmless enough. Francisco came out to catch it on the fly and was victimized by the footing. Down he went, and Matt’s shot sailed into the net.
Masconomet (17-2-2) is undefeated in their last seventeen games. They haven’t lost since September 12th. One of the teams they lost to (North Andover) is the #1 seed in D2 North. Those two could meet in the D2 North finals next Monday.
The numbers don’t lie. Masco has a very good soccer program. Since 2012, the team from Boxford is 113-16-9.
Winchester lost to Masco in the D2 North semifinals in 2016.
Josh Rubin: “I have applied for early-decision to Colby. I would like to play soccer there. I am really interested in doing something related to math.”
Harry Warshafsky: “I am not planning on playing soccer in college. I am interested in business. I have taken some business classes here at Masco and loved them. I am interested in attending Syracuse, UMass, or possibly George Washington where my sister goes.”
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)