(Lynn MA) “I don’t know what I’m feeling right now.”
“Everything’s going through my head.”
Newton North senior Tony Oliveiro had just scored the game winner in the Division 1 state semifinals on Wednesday night.
The overtime winner at Fraser Field in Lynn sends the Tigers (16-2-4) to the finals on Saturday at the same place.
The opponent for the #3 seed will be a familiar Bay State Conference opponent…..Brookline.
The Warriors (13-3-5) have a win and a tie against Newton North this season. Should be a good one.
Tony Oliveiro’s goal broke the scoreless tie 3+ minutes into the first overtime.
“You knew that someone was going to rise to the occasion,” said NN coach Roy Dow afterwards. “I was glad it was someone on our team and not theirs.”
Concord-Carlisle (11-5-5) was the #18 seed and the underdog throughout their four tournament matches. But thanks, in part, to a magical run by Patriots’ goalie Ben Wasserman, had stayed alive.
Some of that magic continued in this game early in the second half. Rialto Janairo had a clean look and launched a hard shot. Ben was leaning left, but at the last split-second stuck out his right foot to deflect Rialto’s shot.
“Tonight he (Ben Wasserman) saved a for-sure goal,” said teammate Carl Headges afterwards.
Tigers’ goalie Henry Baker had six saves. Most of them were in the first half.
“The ball was sitting in their end most of the overtime,” recalled Henry. “I didn’t have much to do, and that was good for me.”
Soccer is a team game and Tony Oliveiro was quick to point that out in my brief interview with him afterwards: “What a ride. What a team. What a team. I’m so proud of this team.”
The throw-in by junior Matty Gillen on the game winner was where it needed to be.
“We were trying to exploit some space that they gave us,” said Coach Dow. “We were finally able to do it.”
Tony Oliveiro established position on his defender to receive the bouncing throw-in.
Instead of trying to settle the ball, Tony opted to flip the ball up (and over) the defender.
That maneuver worked. Tony found space and the ball behind the defender with GK Ben Wasserman ahead.
Tony got off a quick shot to Ben’s left that also went by another defender guarding the goal.
When Tony’s shot went into the left corner the reactions were different to the extreme.
“I just saw the ball bouncing in,” said Newton North goalie Henry Baker. “It struck Tony’s foot and I was waiting for the ball to hit the back of the net. When it did, I started running down all the way to the corner.”
“I was a little bit behind the ball,” recalled Carl Headges. “I did see it pretty well. He (Tony Oliveiro) had a good touch. It was an impressive goal.”
“He’s got some abilities,” added Coach Dow of Tony Oliveiro, “and it came through in a big moment in a big way.”
Tony Oliveiro had missed the three previous Newton North tournament games because of a concussion. He did not play the entire game tonight…..and that may have helped him at the end.
“We were picking and choosing moments to give guys rest,” said Coach Dow.
Carl Headges regarding the tough loss: “We’ve got to keep our heads high. We weren’t an over-matched team. It certainly wasn’t the goalie’s fault. It’s a team effort. Ben (Wasserman) has been so big for us.”
The weather was cold but not too cold.
Rialto Janairo, Will Rooney, Danilo Talisayon, and Tony Oliveiro, were Bay State Conference All-Stars. Will Rooney was the league MVP.
Both schools had student fans in the seats providing plenty of cheering and chanting.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)