Boston High School: Brendan Nemes

D1 EMass Final: Somerville 2, Silver Lake 1

November, 13, 2013
TAUNTON, Mass. – There always seems to be one more chance. A team trailing by a goal late in an important match inevitably gets one more attempt at the tying goal.

In Tuesday night’s Division 1 state semifinal at Taunton High, the chance fell to Silver Lake sophomore midfielder Adam Crawford and he struck it sweetly. Unfortunately for the Lakers and their traveling contingent, Somerville keeper Luis Guerra was equal to the task and able to tip it over the bar.

It would be the last of countless chances for both teams in an entertaining, end-to-end contest between the top two teams in the statewide rankings. Julio Salguero’s second half goal proved the difference as Somerville took a further step than last season by reaching the state title game with a 2-1 victory over the Lakers.

Highlanders head coach George Scarpelli credited that experience of being in the 2012 state semifinal (a 2-1 loss to Needham at Manning Field) for giving his team the extra motivation and confidence to beat Silver Lake.

“I think having the understanding…they knew that they had been here before,” explained Scarpelli. “I think our kids came out firing from the first minute. They knew that they had something to prove and they wanted to finish it off.”

He also referenced the turmoil that faced the program at the beginning of the season and how tough his team was to overcome it and have a successful season.

“They believe they’re the best team in the state and from the stuff that we dealt with at the beginning of the season – these kids have persevered.”

This was a battle of two attack-minded teams and the chances came thick and fast right from the opening whistle. Somerville star Thayrone Miranda headed just wide from a corner in the first 30 seconds. Then Silver Lake senior Sean Hurlburt’s long throw caused problems in the Highlanders box before the ball was deflected just over the bar.

A few minutes later, Paul Beatty nearly intercepted a slow back pass, but Guerra was out quickly to block it away with his feet. Almost immediately after, Miranda had a shot inside the six rebound off the post.

That was just the opening eight minutes.

It was only a matter of time until the first goal arrived. In the 15th minute, Somerville broke quickly off another Hurlburt long throw. The ball was cleared out to Francisco Neto who drove at the last Silver Lake defender before flicking a pass to Miranda. The senior coolly slotted home to make it 1-0, despite Lakers protests that he was offsides.

Scarpelli praised his diminutive central midfielder for his contribution to the opening goal and to the Highlanders possession-based attack.

“People don’t realize that Thayrone is the All-American, but the heartbeat is Francisco,” said Scarpelli. “On the field, he plays like he’s seven-feet tall.”

The long throw was a primary weapon for Silver Lake throughout the game and it was no surprise when one of the throws paid off in a goal. Hurlburt picked up an assist when Somerville failed to clear from the center of the box and senior defender Tim Barrow was on hand to prod the ball home, seven minutes before the break.

Inside the first five minutes of the second half, Somerville had the eventual winning goal. A corner was not cleared and Salguero played it off his chest and hit an unstoppable shot on the half-volley.

Somerville nearly added the important insurance goal, but Miranda’s curling effort was stopped by Lakers keeper Stephen MacSwain. The keeper also stepped up to make a diving save on Salguero, who also saw a shot from the edge of the 18 skim the bar on its way over.

The Lakers upped the pressure in the search for a late equalizer, like the one scored by Beatty in the sectional final against Needham. Hurlburt and fellow senior Brendan Nemes pushed Silver Lake forward, but every time the Lakers put the ball in the box Guerra was there to match.

Silver Lake head coach Dan Correia was proud of the way his team attacked but rued the missed opportunities to get on the board.

“They got the better of the chances; they finished more than we did,” he said. “I was proud of our guys. We generated a lot of offense and just didn’t get the breaks. Their keeper stepped up big in a couple of spots and…that’s the game.”

Scarpelli also heaped praise on his senior goalie.

“I tell the kids that there is always one game that the goalie has to save you. That game with the long throw-in and that save off the 18, he’s probably the best goalkeeper in the state that no one has heard of; he’s amazing. He carried us today.”

Somerville will face West Springfield in the state championship game on Friday night at Worcester State at 7:30 p.m.

Soccer Roundup: Silver Lake routs New Bedford

November, 8, 2013
WEYMOUTH, Mass. -– Paul Beatty scored a second half hat trick to break open Thursday night’s Division 1 South sectional semifinal at Weymouth High. Beatty’s goals helped No. 1 seed (and No. 1 ranked) Silver Lake cruise to a 5-0 victory over No. 4 seed New Bedford.

Despite the final score, it was New Bedford that looked stronger at the start with star midfielder Klisman Sousa combining well with forward Edmilson Andrade and winger Felipe Ponte to put Silver Lake under pressure. The Whalers had the best chances of the first half and both came off of Sousa’s boot.

First, the Whalers senior played an in-swinging free kick that picked out defender Shawn Dias flying in at the far post, but he was unable to put the header on target. Just a minute later, New Bedford came forward again and Sousa worked the slightest sight of goal and let loose a left-foot rocket that Silver Lake keeper Stephen McSwain punched away.

Beatty had very little service in the first half with New Bedford putting a defender in front and behind him. The complexion of the game changed with just four minutes before the break. A long throw was barely touched past the post by Whalers keeper Austin Eugenio. On the resulting corner, New Bedford failed to clear and the ball bounced into the path of Tim Barrow, who ripped smashed it home to open the scoring.

Down by a goal, New Bedford started the second half by pushing numbers forward. That left room at the back for the speed of Beatty to have effect.

Lakers head coach Dan Correia explained, “They had all the momentum at that point, so for us to be able to be scrappy in the box and tuck one away...I mean those are the goals you need to get in these games. That opened things up a little bit in the second half because they had to change things defensively and freed Paul up.”

Beatty admitted that he was frustrated by the way the first half had gone, but he did not let it get to him. Instead, with his first real look at goal the striker was able to hit a shot that was deflected up over Eugenio to make it 2-0 just three minutes after halftime.

Beatty noted, “You just have to keep knowing that you’re doing the right thing and getting to places where you can get the ball and it will come eventually. I needed that to put me in the right state of mind.”

New Bedford tried to get back into the game through its star player, but Sousa was denied by McSwain again. The keeper was somehow able to get two hands to punch away a swerving shot and then also got down well to palm away the follow-up rebound by Andrade when it seemed destined for the net.

New Bedford head coach John Macaraco remarked that his team was unlucky not to have been on the board and that a goal at that moment would have changed the game.

He said, “The score doesn’t indicate how close this game was; every chance they got, they finished. Their keeper came up with some good saves. If we make it 2-1 then it’s a different game.”

From that point on, New Bedford struggled to get into the possession game that defines its style. Macaraco added, “We never settled down and got into our rhythm. I always say we need to play 'Calma' and I think we played 'calma' and go into our rhythm and if we did, I think the outcome would’ve been different.”

The Whalers were also facing a striker that suddenly felt momentum on his side. Beatty started to find a lot of space to turn and run at defenders. Fifteen minutes into the second half he went one-on-one with Ty Catunto and blew past him to finish from just inside the box to make it 3-0. A few minutes later he tapped in his hat trick when Sean Hurlburt’s long throw was allowed to bounce to him in the middle of the box.

Correia was aksed if this was a typical game for his center forward and he replied simply, “Yeah.”

He elaborated, “I think that’s 35 goals this season. He just has that extra gear that guys don’t have.”

Macaraco pointed to the goal as changing the way his team approached defending Beatty. He remarked, “Once we got down, you know, we had to push some numbers up top. We made a few mental mistakes and, with his blistering speed, he’s able to finish most of his chances.”

Silver Lake added a fifth in the final minutes when Brendan Nemes found space on the edge of the 18 and curled his shot into the top corner. It was an emphatic exclamation point on a dominating win for the Lakers.

It was also the final game in the New Bedford career of the talented Sousa, who drew praise from both coaches after the game. Macaraco reflected, “He’s a special player and he needs just an inch of space and with his ability he can get that inch and get that shot off. It’s been a pleasure being part of his four years at the high school.”

Silver Lake advances to the sectional final on Sunday at Taunton High at 5:30 p.m. to play the defending state champion Needham, which beat BC High 3-0 in the other semifinal.

  • While the Needham boys advanced to the sectional final with a solid win in a rematch with the Eagles, the Needham girls could not match the feat in the nightcap at Medway High. The Rockets were beaten 2-0 by defending champ Franklin, which returns to the sectional final. The Panthers got goals from Alexis Stowell and Taylor Cogliano in the first half to earn the victory. The D1 South final will feature the top two seeds, as Bishop Feehan scored in double overtime to end the amazing tournament run of Walpole. It was the first goal that the Rebels had given up in four playoff games.
  • In the D2 South boys’ semifinals, No. 2 seed Oliver Ames allowed a goal within the opening three minutes but then stormed back on a Dave Stapleton free kick and second half header by Gaston Cetrangolo to reach its first ever South final with a 2-1 win over Hingham. The Tigers will face No.13 seed Walpole, which beat Pembroke 2-0. Both of these teams competed in D1 last season. The girls’ final In D2, as it does in D1, will feature the top two seeds with No. 1 Scituate beating Sandwich 1-0 and No. 2 Notre Dame (Hingham) beating Dartmouth 3-2. Those finals will be played on Veterans Day at Braintree High.
  • There was another big upset on the girls’ side on Thursday. The top team in the state, Central Catholic, and the No. 4 team, Duxbury, were already eliminated and now the No. 3 team, Belchertown, is out as well. The Orioles were stunned in the D1 West sectional 1-0 by Pittsfield. The loss ends the remarkable careers of all-state twins Brittany and Breanne Moreau and puts Pittsfield back into the West sectional final for the second year in a row. Minnechaug will be the opponent after it beat East Longmeadow 2-1. There was also an upset on the boys’ side of D1 West with No. 2 seed Amherst beaten on penalties by West Springfield in the semifinal.
  • There will be a rematch in the D1 North boys’ final, as No. 1 seed Somerville beat Malden 3-0 and No. 3 seed St. John’s Prep knocked off Madison Park in double overtime. The Highlanders, led by forward Thayrone Miranda (you know, the guy who did this), will be looking to repeat as sectional champions. On the girls’ side, Newton North will face Acton-Boxborough. The North finals will be on Saturday at Manning Field in Lynn. Also on Saturday at Manning Field will be a top 10 showdown against unbeaten North Andover and perennial D2 power Concord-Carlisle, which will be one of the top games of the tournament. Not to be outdone, the D2 girls will feature a match-up of Beverly and Miss Soccer candidate Caitlin Harty against Concord-Carlisle. Amazingly, those are not even the sectional finals; those are just the semis.
  • In the Central, the defending D1 champion Nashoba girls were eliminated by rival Algonuin. Last year, the Tomahawks lost only three games in the season, each of them against the Chieftains. Algonuin will face top seed Westborough in the final to be held at Wachusett. Westborough also has the top seed on the boys’ side and the Rangers advanced to the sectional final to face Wachusett, which knocked off two-time D2 state champion Groton-Dunstable (moved into D1 after the Central lost a Division 2). Wachusett will host the boys’ final. Like Westborough in D1, Sutton will have both the boys and girls in the finals in D4 after both were dropped down from D3.

Boys Soccer: No. 5 Silver Lake 5, No. 6 Prep 1

October, 21, 2013
KINGSTON, Mass. -– On Monday afternoon at Anthony Sirrico Field, Silver Lake proved its credentials as a top five program in the statewide rankings with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over fellow Division 1 state title contender St. John’s Prep.

“We got spanked,” was Prep head coach David Crowell’s appraisal of his team’s performance. “They dominated us in every facet of the game.”

Lakers senior forward Paul Beatty scored the first and last goals of the day to edge ever closer to the school’s single-season scoring record (the official record is unknown but is believed to be around 25 goals). Beatty was a constant threat to the Prep back line with his speed and strength and the Eagles struggled to cope.

Silver Lake head coach Dan Correia remarked, “I think we got the ball into really dangerous areas for Paul and he gives a lot of teams headaches. That’s a kid who they always have to know where he is, so it frees up things for other players on the field.”

Crowell added, “He’s a handful certainly. We thought that we could contain him, but it’s not a one-man team. The throw in was deadly; they’ve got a lot of weapons.”

Prep was given an early warning sign of the problems that Beatty can cause when, just four minutes in, he raced onto a long ball behind the defense but chipped it narrowly wide past the onrushing keeper. It was a warning that was not heeded, as five minutes later Beatty was in again on a Brendan Nemes through ball and this time he made no mistake.

In the 13th minute, the Lakers doubled the lead on a long throw-in by the aptly named Sean Hurlburt. The senior midfielder was a threat all game with his ability to put the ball in the box from distance and the Eagles failed to deal with the bounce that picked out sophomore Adam Crawford on the far post to tap home.

Despite the score line, the Lakers were not having it all their own way. Prep was getting solid hold up play from forward Matt Chilton and using the speed of Paul Magazzu on the right and Michael Lanza on the left to cause problems on the wings. Unfortunately, the final ball almost never found its mark. The one time it did, the Eagles scored.

Magazzu again getting the better of the Lakers left back to get to the touchline and his inch=perfect cross found Chilton for a free header that was powered home to cut the lead in half.

Crowell explained, “They were giving us some play on the wings and packing it into the middle. We were getting the ball to the touchline, but we just couldn’t deliver the final ball. The one time we did –- we scored.”

Ten minutes before halftime and Silver Lake went back up by two goals. Nemes sent another pass forward from the midfield, but Beatty let it slip under his foot. It worked out for the Lakers as the ball slipped behind the defense to the just onside Pat Hutchinson, who coolly slipped the ball home to make it 3-1.

The Lakers came out firing in the second half. Beatty was constantly running the channels, particularly towards his stronger left foot and the Prep central defenders, Cory Lang and Stephen Heintz, were consistently on their heels.

Just four minutes after the break, Beatty rolled his defender and raced in only to be stopped by a great save from Eagles keeper Zach Rowell at the near post. On the ensuing corner, Rowell was forced into another save at full-stretch to rob Elijah Bayne from 20 yards. Beatty would miss another glorious opportunity and then set up Hurlburt, who blazed over from inside the 18.

Midway through the half, it was Rowell again who came to Prep’s rescue. After a slip by a defender Brendan Guilderson was in alone on the goalie, but Rowell came out to make the tackle and clear.

“Our keeper, Zach Rowell, was incredible,” said Crowell. “He kept us in the game early in the second half, but it was only a matter of time because it was a shooting gallery for a while.”

Correia agreed, “A lot of coaches talk about that a two-goal lead is the most dangerous one to have, so we were desperate to get the next one, but their keeper made it really difficult to do so; he played great.”

Silver Lake would get the next goal eventually. Hutchinson split two defenders with a perfect pass to the overlapping right back Matt Calabro, who made no mistake on the finish. The Lakers wrapped up the scoring and the two points when Calabro picked out Beatty, who rifled past Rowell to make it 5-1.

Crowell was adamant that this would be a positive for the Eagles as they get ready for the Division 1 playoffs.

He remarked, “It’s a huge wake-up call. Obviously, we’re a good team and we’re better than this; we’re better than we showed tonight. That’s why we schedule these games; we know where we are now.”

Correia was hoping that the two teams could meet up again in the postseason, which could not happen until the state semifinals. He said with a laugh, “We know that they’re one of the class teams from the north. I was saying to Dave that if we see each other again, we’ll be doing well.”