Boston High School: James Blackwell
November, 20, 2010
By Corey J. Allen | ESPNBoston.com
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."
November, 18, 2010
By Brian Fabry | ESPNBoston.com
WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- Weston head coach James Blackwell was laughed at by every member of his team and most of the town when he exclaimed that his team was going to win the state finals this year.
That bold statement came after a paltry six-win season in 2009, but now the Wildcats are one win away from that very promise.
Weston's amazing turnaround continued as the Wildcats edged Dover-Sherborn, 2-1, in the Division III state semifinals held at Weymouth High School. With the victory, Weston moves on to the state finals this Saturday at 11 a.m. to face the winner of Central champion Sutton and West champ Gateway.
Emma Dagres scored both tallies for Weston, who improved to 16-5-2 after not even reaching the state playoff tournament only a year ago. The junior striker scored goals in the 37th and 39th minutes of the game with the second goal coming seconds before the halftime whistle. The eventual game-winner was off a goal kick from sophomore Madeline Linde which beat the Raiders' defense and allowed Dagres to hit the back of the net in stride.
“We knew going up two goals would put it in the bag and even though they scored once we were able to manage," said Dagres. “(Blackwell) always stresses to be up two goals because at 1-0 a team can tie it up and make it basically 0-0 again."
The two goals came less then three minutes apart with Dagres keeping the ball on the ground to beat Dover-Sherborn netminder Jessica Goudreault twice in similar fashion as Goudreault challenged Dagres outside the box on both occasions.
The two tallies were just enough for sophomore goaltender Alissa Duffey, who found herself in a pickle in the second half with tremendous pressure coming from Dover-Sherborn crosses and corner kicks in the final six minutes of regulation. The Raiders had a chance to have both boys' and girls' soccer teams represent the school in the state finals, but the girls came up just short of the final prize despite controlling the offensive pressure for most of the second half.
After letting up a Maddie Dunn goal in the 44th minute of play, Duffey settled down and was outstanding with four huge saves down the stretch to save the one-goal win. The victory gives Weston their first trip the the state finals in 11 years.
“If it's not Emma, then it's Maddy (Linde)," said Blackwell, who is only in his first year at the helm, about his two young strikers. “It seems if one is doing the scoring, then the next game the other one steps up but this is huge for our program and yeah, they laughed at me before the season but here we are now.”