Boston High School: Joe Gruseck

MIAA boys' soccer Top 20 poll: Week 5

October, 13, 2011
The MIAA boys' soccer Top 20 poll has been updated.

There was plenty of movement this week with Sandwich falling two spots while Canton hopped up from No. 7 to No. 4. Bulldogs goalie, Colby Gavigan, looks like a keeper of the year candidate with a large thanks to his back four of Matt Lennon, Jimmy Kelly, Andrew Vinciguerra and David Feeney.

Brockton is back into the polls at the expense of New Bedford. The Boxers defeated the Whalers, 1-0, last week. Dartmouth also debuts at No. 16 while Masconomet fell out.

Dover-Sherborn is our top-ranked D-3 team with the defending champs posting an undefeated record after five weeks. Head coach Joe Gruseck points to his squads experience together even before high school.

"The seniors and some of the juniors have played together for so long now," Gruseck said, "some of the seniors have played together since third and fourth grade. We have 12 seniors, one is a first year player, take him out of the mix and our guys have 30 years of varsity experience."

Right now, the Raiders and Cardinal Spellman look like the favorites in Division 3.

No. 12 Framingham at No. 9 Needham, Friday, Oct. 18
The Flyers will be trying to avenge a 1-0 loss from earlier in the season, while the Rockets will try to leap frog Framingham in the Bay State Conference standings.

Wellesley (8-3-0) - Their only three losses are to top 20 teams Weymouth, Walpole and Framingham.
Chelsea (7-1-0) - Carlos Martinez scored all three goals in Chelsea's 3-2 win over Northeast.
Lowell (8-0-3) - Leading the Merrimack Valley Large and gained some breathing room with a 4-0 victory over Andover.
Somerville (8-1-1) - Haven't lost since opening day.

New Bedford (4-3-2), Last week 18 - Lost a tight match to Brockton 1-0, dropping to last in the Big Three.
Masconomet (6-1-2), LW 20 - A 2-1 loss to Georgetown last week, but are on the way back up after recording three straight wins.

Bielski delivers D3 state title for D-S

November, 20, 2010
WORCESTER, Mass. -- As his players approached from behind with a bucket full of water and people around him began scattering, Joe Gruseck -- now aware of his ensuing bath -- hardly moved.

The Dover-Sherborn coach instead raised his arms, and smiled.

“I was actually looking forward to it, to be honest with you,” he said.

He’s been waiting 18 years.

First fighting off a stiffening wind and then an onslaught of well-wishers and congratulators, the Raiders captured their first boys soccer state title since 1992 on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over upset-minded Lenox Memorial in the Division 3 championship at Foley Stadium.

It finished a magical ride for Dover-Sherborn (16-2-4), devoid of even a state championship game appearance since Gruseck, in his 15th year as head coach, was an assistant on the team 18 years ago. The Raiders’ last crown predates most of, if not all, of their entire roster, including senior Cam Bielski, who broke a scoreless deadlock with a second-half goal and set up classmate Colin Jamerson for another in the 76th minute.

“Our coach, he talks about the year in 1992 all the time,” said Jamerson, one of just four seniors on the team. “It’s been a big gap since we even got to the finals. He talked a lot about the feeling of winning and standing on the field after the championship. He said it’s something that we’re going to remember forever.

“It’s just starting to sink in.”

Gruseck said he spoke of the 1992 team so much with this group particularly because there were so many similarities. Both teams were junior-heavy, but like this year, the seniors — how many few there were — took the reins from the beginning.

“But I would say the one difference between that team and this team is this team had that goal (of a title) from the get-go,” Gruseck said. “They’ve done everything from day one. We tied our first game, lost our second, and a lot of people started questioning us, and these guys never faltered. They said we’re in this together.

“… I’ve had some really good teams over the years. I’ve never had a team that played so much for each other.”

Not surprisingly, the Raiders needed every bit of team defense in the first half. Lenox (13-9-2) won the coin flip, and with the wind increasingly becoming a factor, the Millionaires chose to play with it at their back to start. Within the first nine minutes, Byron Siegars sent a dangerous free kick into the box that bounced before D-S goalie Brian Hands (four saves) smothered it.

The conditions only got worse, shaking nearby light posts and forcing plastic bags to prematurely rush the field. If it wasn’t pushing goal kicks nearly back into the box, it was carrying would-be goals and assists way past their mark.

Similar to the Division 2 championship game played beforehand, teams opted at times to keep their corner kicks short and on the ground. When they went to the air, it often flew long.

That’s not to say there weren’t opportunities. At least once for both teams, a header sailed over the crossbar. Bielski had two shots bend wide in the first five minutes of the second half — once left, once right. Lenox’s Chris Considine, who scored both his team’s goals in the semifinals, was taken down on a run into the box on a physical play with 23 minutes to play, leaving Considine on the ground wondering when the call was coming.

“We didn’t have a game yet that didn’t have some wind going on, so we knew how to do it,” Gruseck said. “They’re more of a long-ball team than we are. Our best game is (keeping) the ball on the ground anyway. We have so many weapons, we didn’t think they were going to keep us off the board.”

The Raiders proved that in the 53rd minute. Sam Hunter settled the ball roughly 30 yards from the goal and slid an absolutely beautiful through ball to a streaking Bielski. Alone with only goalie Andrew Bravo to beat, Bielski calmly tucked a shot into the left corner of the net — exactly where a gust of wind couldn’t touch it.

“It was all Sam,” Bielski said.

Bielski also orchestrated the game’s only other goal 23 minutes later. Moving along the right baseline, the senior shed a defender and put a pass directly in front of the goalmouth where Jamerson one-touched it home.

“He’s been our go-to guy all year long. He’s been our go-to good the last four years,” Gruseck said of Bielski, an All-New England player who entered the tournament with 15 goals and 13 assists. “He’s by and far the best player I’ve coached.”

Gruseck, who was surrounded by friends and family members for several moments before speaking with the media, was noticeably emotional after the game.

“These guys genuinely care about each other,” he said. “To be honest, I’m going to miss going to practice on Monday.”

Dover-Sherborn pulls out OT thriller, moves on

November, 18, 2010

WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- Sam Jordan was just in the right place at the right time.

Jordan took a header from fellow junior Sam Hunter and scored the game-winning goal as Dover-Sherborn (15-2-4) earned a trip to the Division III state final in a 2-1 overtime thriller over North champion Rockport.

“In the first half, we started off slow, but in the second half we picked it up and got that nice goal from Colin [Jamerson],” Jordan said. “Now we have the girls in the state semifinals too so this is one of the best days in the school's history.”

Jordan's goal came 1:54 into the extra frame and sends the Raiders to the state soccer finals for the first time since 1992, when they won the whole enchilada.

“Honestly, I'm speechless but once we started to play our style of game and stopped playing their game running and kicked the long ball, we got down to business,” Dover-Sherborn head coach Joe Gruseck said.

After a scoreless half, junior midfielder Shaffy Roell gave Rockport (18-4-1) a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute on an assist from Chandler Burnham off a cross. The cross ricocheted out in front of goaltender Brian Hands just far enough to give Roell a highlight reel score topped with a post-goal somersault as the ball crossed the end line.

But the lead did not last very long as the pressure from the Raiders was relentless on Rockport goalie Keady Segal. Segal came into the semifinal game with three consecutive shutouts in the tournament alone to give him a total of 11 shutouts on the season. But the senior goalie's playoff scoreless streak came to an end as senior captain Colin Jamerson tied it up in the 50th minute of regulation just beating Segal to his left from 10 yards out on a lead pass from fellow captain, Cameron Bielski.

Bielski almost ended it inside of four minutes left in regulation, but Segal (12 saves) came up with a fingertip stop again diving to his right with the outcome keeping the score knotted at one goal apiece.

“[Rockport] is so big and we tried to take that away from them, so the scouting report was to keep it low on [Segal] and he would tend to stay home,” Gruseck said. “It looked like Colin [Jamerson] got a piece of it but Jordan was right there too."