Boston High School: Mike Lynch

Mr. and Miss Soccer finalists announced

November, 20, 2012
11/20/12
1:20
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For the first time in site history, we're pleased to announce that ESPN Boston will honor the top boys' and girls' MIAA soccer player with its first-ever Mr. and Miss Soccer Awards this year.

The winners will be announced on Monday, Dec. 3, but we've whittled down our lists to a final five candidates today.

Without further ado:

MR. SOCCER FINALISTS:
Felix DeBona, Sr. F, Somerville
- The D1 North champions were led by DeBona's 29 goals, including the lone goal against St. John's Prep that clinched the sectional title. DeBona's scoring propelled the Highlanders to 15th in the NSCAA national rankings, a Greater Boston League title, and an undefeated regular season.

Dave MacKinnon, Sr. GK, Oliver Ames - MacKinnon was named an All-American for his commanding play in net for the Davenport division champions. He gave up only four goals during the regular season with 13 shutouts and was named the Hockomock League MVP. In the playoffs, MacKinnon's save during the shootout helped the Tigers beat league rival Franklin in the opening round.

Nate Pomeroy, Sr. F, Groton-Dunstable - Pomeroy, who is bound for Brown University next season, notched two goals in the D2 state finals to clinch back-to-back titles for the Crusaders. Pomeroy was named to the All-New England team and named Mid-Wach B MVP this season. He had eight goals in the 2012 postseason run.

Cody Savonen, Sr. F, Nauset - Savonen led Nauset to the D1 South sectional quarterfinals and eclipsed the 20-goal mark for the season. He had a hat trick in a 3-0 win over Plymouth South that wrapped up the third Atlantic Coast League title of his career and scored the winner in the opening playoff game against Wellesley.

[+] EnlargeMac Steeve
Courtesy of Josh PerryNeedham senior captain Mac Steeve led the Rockets to a Division I state title and is a finalist for our inaugural Mr. Soccer Award.
Mac Steeves, Sr. F, Needham - The Rockets all-time leading scorer was named an All-American this season and led Needham to the Division 1 state title. Steeves also showed his ability to step up in big games. He scored both goals (and drew the penalty for the second) against Somerville in the state semifinals and scored the winning goal in the state finals against Amherst.

Honorable Mentions: Osla DeBrito (New Bedford), Mike Lynch (Weymouth), Thayrone Miranda (Somerville), Brandon Miskin (Needham), Ryan Rose (Acton-Boxborough), Justin Rothemich (Sutton), Zach Scafati (Franklin), Stowe Simonton (Concord-Carlisle), Dave Stapleton (Oliver Ames), Brandon Vazquez (Amherst).

MISS SOCCER FINALISTS:
Lauren Berman, Sr. F, Canton - With over 40 goals this season, Berman was the standout player for the Davenport division champions and a Hockomock League All-Star. Berman's accomplishments earned her All-American status and she will be playing in the ACC for the University of Maryland next season. She finished her career with over 130 goals.

Kristi Kirshe Sr. F, Franklin - Kirshe eclipsed the 100-goal plateau for her career during the D1 playoffs. She scored in the state semifinal and scored both goals to lead the Panthers to the program's first-ever state title.She is an All-American as well as the state MVP. Compiling more than 30 goals this season, Kirshe helped a young Franklin team to an undefeated season.

Jen Narlee, Sr. M, Medfield - Narlee is the leader of a very strong defensive unit for the D2 state champions. A physical presence in the center of the field, Narlee does many of the little things that do not get on the scoresheet. Many of the Warriors' opponents saw their attacks snuffed out by Narlee's positional play. That strong defense has helped Medfield win two of the past three state titles.

Andrea O'Brien, Sr. F, Concord-Carlisle - O'Brien finished her career with over 100 goals and will take her talents to Boston College next year. An All-New England selection and submitted for All-American consideration, O'Brien helped lead the Patriots to a Dual County League title and to the second round of the tournament.

Kimberly Slade, Sr. F, Nashoba - Slade is one of the brightest stars in the Central region. The senior forward was an All-New England selection and her playmaking ability helped lead the Chieftains to a sectional title and trip to the state championship game, where she scored the team's only goal.

Honorable Mentions: Kendall Andrew (Oliver Ames), Mimi Borkan (Medfield), Jillian Cavanaugh (Belchertown), Taylor Cogliano (Franklin), Laura Courtney (Nashoba), Hayley Dowd (Peabody), Caitlin Harty (Beverly), Maddie Jolin (Bishop Feehan), Alexa Poulin (Central Catholic), Kayla Steeves (Needham).

Recap: Medfield blanks Dedham, plus tourney notes

November, 7, 2012
11/07/12
12:41
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MEDFIELD, Mass. -- The Medfield girls' soccer team demonstrated the importance of a dominant midfield in a 2-0 dismantling of Bay State Herget division champion Dedham on Tuesday night in a Division 2 South quarterfinal match.

Medfield (17-0-3) controlled possession and consistently stepped forward to break up Dedham attacks before they could threaten the Warriors goal. Medfield was so successful in keeping the Marauders at bay that Dedham (15-2-4) managed only one shot on goal and it came off a corner in the 76th minute.

Medfield coach Michael La Francesca highlighted the play of senior Jen Narlee as a controlling influence in the heart of the midfield that allowed the speedier wide players to create chances.

[+] EnlargeJen Narlee
Josh Perry/ESPNBoston.comMedfield's Jen Narlee helped the Warriors win the battle of the midfield in a 2-0 blanking of Dedham in Tuesday night's Division 2 quarterfinal match.
“The goal is, if you can control the ball in the middle and keep the ball on the ground, we would have more possession," La Francesca said. "If you have more of the possession - than you have more of the play.”

The Warriors took the lead in the 13th minute.

The sequence began with striker Katelyn Murray had several shots blocked on the edge of the box. The attempted clearance came right back at the Dedham defense and Murray fired in another shot that forced a good save out of Ellen Masalsky, which was turned home by senior Krista Pinciaro.

Dedham played much better in the second half and started to find openings to attack the Warriors defense. The biggest talking point of the second half came seven minutes after the break when a great through ball fed junior Libby Masalsky in behind the last defender. Medfield’s Colleen Beggan shouldered the forward off the play and Dedham’s bench cried out for a penalty.

The refs denied the appeal and called it a fair challenge. It would be the Marauders best chance until the final moments of the game.

Dedham head coach Don Savi was certainly not happy with many calls from the officials during the game, but afterwards admitted that Medfield’s defending was a much bigger factor in the final outcome.

“They’re a good defensive team. They only gave up six goals all season, we knew that. We had a couple chances, but couldn’t get an open look. It wasn’t the reason we lost, but it was a good game and we shouldn’t have an official that can’t handle it.”

The Warriors wrapped up the game in the 26th minute. Freshman Krissy Rimmel reached the end line and cut the ball back to Cami McCurdy, who opened up space on her right foot and the shot found the side netting off the fingertips of Masalsky.

Despite the loss, Savi is proud of Dedham’s achievements this season and the success this senior class has had over the past four years.

“I have nothing bad to say about this team, even tonight, they worked hard. Three league championships in four years that’s the best we’ve ever done. It’s been a fun year.”

Medfield, the No. 3 seed, will move on to face No. 7 seed East Bridgewater in the sectional semifinals. La Francesca was looking forward to the next game after beating two very tough opponents in the opening rounds.

“I do like our chances right now. We beat two of the better teams in the bracket. I’d rather play stronger teams at this point to get us ready.”

State tournament notes:

  • Medfield was not the only favorite in D2 South to advance on Tuesday. The Canton girls' soccer team, the No. 4 ranked team in the state, also moved into the sectional semifinals with a 1-0 win over Scituate. Canton will face Duxbury, which beat Holliston in the afternoon game. The expectation coming into the season was that Medfield and Canton would have to go through each other to win the sectional and right now that showdown still looms on the horizon.
  • There were shocks galore in the Central sectional as both of the top remaining seeds in the boys' soccer Division 1 bracket were knocked out on Tuesday. Worcester North, No. 10 in the state, was stunned 2-1 by Leominster (who they beat 3-0 during the regular season) and No. 20 Algonquin was beaten, 1-0, by Wachusett. The top seeds in the girls’ sectional are still alive setting up the third meeting of the season between Nashoba and Algonquin (Nashoba won each of the first two games).
  • Several ranked teams went down in the topsy-turvy and ultracompetitive D1 North girls’ sectional. Acton-Boxborough, which knocked off No. 2 Peabody on Sunday, fell to Westford Academy in penalties. Westford will face Beverly in the next round, which knocked off No. 18 Concord-Carlisle. On the other side of the bracket, No. 10 Lincoln-Sudbury beat No. 19 Newton North, 4-2, and will play No. 11 Central Catholic in the semifinals.
  • In the girls’ D1 South sectional, No. 9 Needham came from behind in the final minutes of regulation and beat North Attleborough, 2-1, in overtime. Needham coach Carl Tarabelli and North coach Bill Wallace are good friends and shared several laughs during the game. Wallace’s gameplan of limiting Needham chances and hitting on the break almost worked to perfection when senior Jamie Grinavic scored with just over 10 minutes remaining. Two headers off corners, by Katie Beval and Sammy Lerner, allowed the Rockets to avoid the upset. Needham will face No. 16 Oliver Ames after the Tigers beat No. 14 Whitman-Hanson on penalties.
  • The boys’ side of the tournament also offered some great matchups and several surprising result. In D1 North, No. 6 St. John’s Prep beat No. 4 Acton-Boxborough 1-0 and will face the No. 1 team in the state, Masconomet, in the semifinals. In the South sectional, No. 2 Needham was led by player of the year candidate Mac Steeves, who scored two goals in a 3-0 win over Marshfield. Next, the Rockets will face No. 12 Dartmouth, which dispatched No. 16 Nauset with surprising ease, 5-0. On the other side of the bracket, Weymouth and Oliver Ames will have a rematch of a regular season game that was won by Weymouth 1-0 on a scrappy goal by Mike Lynch.

Recap: No. 6 Needham 1, No. 1 Weymouth 0

October, 16, 2012
10/16/12
11:24
PM ET
(Video highlights courtesy of the Needham Channel)

NEEDHAM, Mass, -- The Needham Rockets caused what should be another shake-up at the top of the ESPN Boston boys' soccer poll and a certain shift in the Bay State Conference standings with a 1-0 win over No. 1 Weymouth on Tuesday night at Memorial Park.

Mac Steeves scored the game’s lone goal for the No. 6 Rockets on a well-struck shot into the bottom corner that took a slight deflection to sneak under the body of Weymouth keeper Lucas Rezende-Verge. Senior Jack Nardi got the assist on the goal.

Steeves created several other chances for himself in the first half, but struggled to keep the ball on frame as Rezende-Vega would only be called into action twice in the game. In the second half, Needham (11-1-3) pushed numbers behind the ball and soaked up Weymouth pressure. Steeves was called into action on the defensive side and won a number of headers in his own box against Wildcats star forward Mike Lynch.

Needham coach Don Brock, who saw his team give up a 1-0 lead in the teams’ first meeting, was happy to see the Rockets hold on defensively.

“We knew it was going to be a good ballgame. Wish we could have put a couple more in, but we kept them off the board. The defense has been playing well the last six or seven games.”

Needham’s goalscorer was glad to get a win over Weymouth, but just as happy to see his three fellow captains (Sam Tillotson, Brandon Miskin, and William Corkery) on the field together. Steeves pointed out, “This is our first game that we’ve actually had everyone healthy on the team. As a group collectively, I think we played great. It’s the first time this season we’ve gotten to play together.”

The Wildcats (12-1-3) showed tenacity and urgency down the stretch as they tried to find an equalizer, but the Needham defense limited Weymouth, almost exclusively, to shots from long distance. The best chances for Weymouth came in the final minutes of each half.

Senior forward Akere Tambi turned his defender inside the box, but skied his shot over the bar with nearly the last kick of the first half. In the dying moments of the game, midfielder Joshua Berg had a shot on the half-volley, but was not able to put the shot on target.

It was a frustrating game for head coach Bill McEachern but one that is typical of the rivalry and the level of respect each program has for its counterpart.

“When you get a big match like this it’s who works to get the bounces. Mac [Steeves] worked for it, under high pressure and he’s that kind of player that he can put it away."

McEachern added with a wry smile, "There is a lot of respect, but it was a big challenge for us and a tough situation but…we’ll see them again."

During the postgame handshake, most of the players shared the same sentiments.

Needham goalie Kevin Macmillan kept his shutout streak alive with five saves, the best of which may have been his quick reactions to a Lynch free kick just 10 minutes into the game.

Weymouth is now a point behind Needham in the BSC standings with three league matches remaining. Next up for the Wildcats is a game Thursday against Brookline.

Needham will host Braintree on Senior Day, Thursday, at DeFazio Field.

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