Boston High School: David Payne

Sutton claims boys' and girls' D4 state titles

November, 16, 2013
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Sutton was playing in a new division, but the result was the same. The Sammies completed an unbeaten season and won their third straight state title with a dominant 4-0 win over Cohasset in Saturday afternoon’s Division 4 final at Foley Stadium in Worcester.

Head coach Michael Elster, whose team had won the last two Division 3 titles, credited the experience of playing in the final for the Sammies (19-0-4) comprehensive victory.

“We’ve been there; we have a little history to it so we’ve built with that confidence and it’s helped us some,” said Elster.

Sutton was hardly troubled by the Cohasset attack with the Skippers (18-5-2) failing to record a shot on target in the game.

Elster continued, “The passing game was good today and, honestly, we had a little speed up front that they had a hard time with. Overall I thought we had the ball a lot today and it helped.”

The Sammies kept possession for the majority of the first half but it took 22 minutes to find the breakthrough. After a scramble on a corner, senior forward Ryan Elster found the back of the net to make it 1-0. Two minutes later, another Elster, Jordan, provided the assist on a free kick as sophomore Cole Acocelli looped a header over the stranded keeper.

Acocelli also scored the insurance goal 10 minutes into the second half. He took a feed from Riley Steele on the left-side of the box, cut in on his right foot, and coolly slotted home the third goal. His coach hopes that the young player will signal more success in the future for the Sammies.

“Cole has been working hard for me all season,” said Elster. “I respect him and it’s nice to have a sophomore do that for you because it bodes well for the future. He’s a very special player that works really hard.”

Acocelli admitted that the third goal gave Sutton the cushion it needed to feel comfortable in the second half. He noted, “We just needed one more. We were saying that as we went out that it was what we needed.”

After being part of his second title, Acocelli also reflected on the team’s three-peat, “It’s very, very special. We’ve put in a lot of work this season. We work hard and we deserve every one of them.”

When asked what has allowed Sutton to create a successful program, Elster responded, “One of the things that’s important, it’s clichéd in a way, but the kids really play for each other. I had a kid out there, Logan Nellis who is a senior and he didn’t even play in the state semi. They buy into that and by buying into that it gives us a chance.”

The coach remarked that he will take a little time to enjoy this year’s title, but that he will be back at work in search of title No. 4 soon enough.

“It never ends for me; I’m kind of a junkie when it comes to this stuff. I’m going to enjoy it but at the same time I’m losing nine seniors and what am I going to do next. I’ll probably try to relax until January.”

D4 Girls’ Final: Sutton 2, Austin Prep 1

The third time was the charm for the Sutton girls’ soccer team.

After two Division 3 state championship appearances in the past two years, the Suzies (20-1-2) finally brought home a trophy after a 2-1 victory over Austin Prep (18-2-3) on Saturday morning at Foley Stadium in their first year in D4.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Sutton head coach David Payne about taking home the title on the third attempt. “Today there was a little bit, ‘Hey, we’re back here. Can it be No. 2 again?’ There was a little bit of nerves, but also because of a little experience there was some, ‘Hey, we can do this.’ It was nice to get over the hurdle.”

Junior defender Eve Goulet, who has committed to play at Northeastern University, scored a first half brace for the Suzies. The first was on a corner to make it 1-0 and the second was on a rush upfield 10 minutes after Prep tied the game. Her first shot was blocked on the line, but she stayed with it to knock in the rebound.

“The second goal, I was in the right position at the right time,” said Goulet. “I followed the run up to the PK area and kept my head over the ball and I got it down into the middle of the net. Luckily, the defender got her foot on it and cleared it back out then I popped it back in with my head.”

Austin Prep tied the game in the 23rd minute. Kristen Swierk tapped in at the far post after Allyson Braciska’s cross was deflected off a defender and across the box. It was one of the few attacks that the Cougars mustered against a dominant Sutton midfield and defense.

Payne said, “Historically, over the course of our season, the only goals that we’ve given up have been off set pieces. We don’t give up goals from the run of play; our back line is very good. From an intensity standpoint, I think the girls got up a goal and felt so good about our possession…they let off a little bit.”

The second half was mostly absent of chances for either team, although Sutton did hit the bar twice in the final 10 minutes. Brianna Wason hit the bar from 25 yards and Rachel Fox nodded a corner down off the turf and up off the cross bar.

In the end, Sutton would not need a third goal. The title was finally theirs and Goulet was thrilled to take home the trophy.

“I knew coming into the game that if we came in with the right attitude of intensity and took advantage of every opportunity that we would score,” she remarked. “That’s what we’ve been doing all season; taking advantage of mistakes and punishing them for it.”

Sutton mourns, finds inspiration in Ellsessar

November, 20, 2010
WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Sutton Suzies, who have been known as a high-powered scoring team, got their first and only goal with nine minutes, 35 seconds left in their Division III state final girls' soccer match, a 3-1 loss to Weston. Saturday was a long day for the Suzies, as they attended the morning funeral of fallen Sutton student and football player Michael Ellsessar, who collapsed and died Monday during a junior varsity football game.

“I think there was a lot of motivation around the loss of Mike Ellsessar,” Sutton head coach David Payne said. “The girls have been wrestling through that, how to find drive despite pain. I think the last 20-30 minutes they played a fantastic game. You could hear it over here, ‘Come on guys, for Mike!’. I think they found a lot of strength in that during that last twenty to thirty minutes.”

Payne admitted that the time the team had spent together since Monday has not been easy, but honoring the spirit of an ambitious young man whose legacy will live on made the process of coping easier.

“The day after was a huge emotional, crazy experience. We got together the first training day after that loss, and talked about how not training doesn’t do him any honor, it doesn’t make it change, so I think the girls kind of clicked.

“Mike was an athlete, a fantastic athlete, so I think they realized that part of a way to honor him would be to work hard, go hard and do what he would do. There wasn’t a lot of conversation in terms of the hurt and pain as much as there was ‘Let’s remember how hard he worked, and let’s work.’ I think they found it as a motivator despite the hurt they felt during the day.”

Ellsessar’s girlfriend, Sutton midfielder Carly Anderson, was very moved by the support that she has received from her teammates, students and staff at Sutton High School.

“It feels incredible,” Anderson said after the game. “I know I’m doing it for him, so that’s what keeps me going. I’m here for him. I know the team is here for him, as much as they are for everybody else. He’s been our inspiration."

Before the match, the audience took a moment of silence to honor the memory of Ellsessar during the first interscholastic game the school has played since the tragedy. A large portion of the Sutton crowd, including parents and supporters, came onto the field after the game donning their pins with the No. 99 in honor of Ellsessar.

“It feels great, they’re really making a difference for me,” added Anderson. “ I feel so much stronger having all of them around me and they’re just incredible, all of them."

The game was supposed to be played earlier than the 5:30 start, but the game was moved to accommodate the need for the fans to support the team, the Ellsessar family and each other.

“They moved the game so that there wasn’t a conflict, which was a great step by the MIAA to support the school,” Payne said.

Payne believed that the game, and especially the play at the end of the match, was about much more than the Division III state girl’s soccer title.

“[The girls will] walk away not only pleased about what they’ve completed during the year, but being able to go away and say, ‘Here’s the kind of level that he pushed himself to aspire to, here’s what we’ve done and let’s not be disappointed because it’s second place, but celebrate the win.’ That was the nature that he carried."

Dagres, Linde brilliant for Weston, nab D3 title

November, 20, 2010

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Emma Dagres scored two goals, one a rebound and the other with some speed and fancy ball handling, to lead the Weston Wildcats to the Division III girls’ soccer final, 3-1.

” When I came in here, confidence was at rock-bottom,” said Weston coach James Blackwell. “There were players descending to every other sport than soccer. Soccer was something they’d go and do for fun, and we came in and just said, ’You know what? We’ve got some good players here. I believe in you, we’re going to work hard, apply ourselves, and get to where want to get to.’[And it’s worked out alright. We’re pleased, very pleased.”

Dagres’ first goal came from a goalie save that bounced out and came back into play. Doing her best Shaq impression, Dagres took the rebound and slammed it in the hole, putting her team up 2-0 at 15:17 in the first half and making a lasting mark on the Sutton team, as she was the first opponent to have during live against Sutton all season.

“All year, until their second goal, we hadn’t given up a goal in regular play,” said Sutton head coach David Payne. “We gave up seven during the regular season, and they were all off either a free kick or a corner, set piece.”

Dagres second goal came with 25:51 in the second half. As she was dribbling across the field approaching the Sutton goal, the goal tender came out of the goal, a move that she would regret. With one defender in front of her, Dagres broke left, avoided the defender’s attempt at a steal and with an empty goal launched a missile that hit net, sending shockwaves through the stands.

“Offensively, we try and pass the ball in the corners for me to run to it,” said Dagres. “Because I can use my speed to my advantage, that’s exactly what I did on my second goal. They passed a great ball through, and I just used my speed to get around the goalie and then pass it in the net. But our offense, we’re always really intense and competitive, and that just helps us score a lot.”

The scoring for Weston was started by a Madeline Linde on a free kick at 26:14 in the first half. From thirty yards out, she launched the ball to the top far corner out of the goalie’s reach.

“I’m kinda speechless,” said Linde of the feeling after the win. “I never thought it would have happened. Right now, I’m just so happy. I don’t even know what to say, it’s crazy but we did it. And I’m just so happy.”

“Maddy and I have been really close for a long time, so the camaraderie definitely helps our success,” added Dagres. “We’re basically the same person when it comes to soccer. We know where we want the ball, we know how to pass it to feet, we know how to pass it through so we can run onto it. We just connect so well, and we’ve been playing together for two years, so it works."