Marblehead Magicians Boys Soccer '07

Mon, Oct 22, 2007 04:00 PM @ Gloucester
Team 1st 2nd Final
Marblehead 3 0 3
Gloucester 1 1 2

Marblehead wins at Gloucester for first time in eight years

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Gloucester's Shane O'Neill, right, and Marblehead's Tucker Cohen battle for control of the ball during the second half of an Oct. 22 soccer game at Newell Stadium at Gloucester High School. Marblehead defeated Gloucester 3-2. » Mike Dean, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Tuesday, October, 23 By Rich Slate

The beautiful weather yesterday afternoon made it seem like a preseason game.

But the truth of the matter is that it's getting down to the end of the regular season for local high school soccer teams. Each point counts dearly as local squads try to win conference titles and lock up playoff positions.

That's what made Marblehead's 3-2 upset victory at Gloucester so important.

The Magicians did something they hadn't been able to accomplish the past eight seasons: defeat the Fishermen on the field at Newell Stadium (they did win a game there by forfeit in 2002). They jumped out to a quick two-goal lead and never trailed.

The victory couldn't have come at a better time, either, as Marblehead (7-5-4) fights for a Division 2 playoff berth with three games to play; they need two out of a possible six points to get in.

"We've tied them here and beat them in Marblehead, but hadn't won here in a while," said Marblehead coach Steve Ingemi, whose team last won on the field in Gloucester in 1998, a 5-1 triumph.

"There were a couple of streaks that we wanted to break this year: we wanted to beat Salem and we wanted to beat Gloucester here. Now, we've done both."

Marblehead, which is 6-5-4 in Northeastern Conference play, has games at Winthrop, against Swampscott and against Catholic Memorial remaining in the regular season. Gloucester (10-3-2 overall), which is fighting for the NEC South crown, fell to 10-2-2 in conference play. The two teams had tied, 0-0, earlier this season in Marblehead.

Marblehead got an outstanding performance from sophomore forward Matt Frankel, who scored his team's first and third goals.

"He's the smallest kid on the team but he has such poise, which he showed on both goals. He didn't try to blast them," Ingemi noted.

The goals were only the second and third of the season from Frankel. But one wouldn't have guessed that by the level of skill it took for both finishes.

"I think they were both off free-kicks. Other people touched them, and I just put them in," Frankel said. "Alex Terrill took the initial shot (on the first goal), and Ellery Smith headed it over the wall on the second goal."

The Fishermen seemed to come out flat in the first half as Frankel scored his first goal in the seventh minute. Frankel was in perfect position as Gloucester goalie Dom Braga made a save, but deflected it right to the sophomore's feet. Before Gloucester knew what hit them, Marblehead doubled up its early advantage thanks to an outstanding individual effort in the 17th minute. Terrill outran a Gloucester defender into the box and hit a low shot that was tucked into the far corner.

Gloucester answered with a strike in the 30th minute as Frank Taormina blasted a tough angle shot off Marblehead goalie George Kaltsas off the crossbar and over the goal line.

However, Frankel took the momentum back for the Magicians as he chipped a shot over Braga in the 37th minute. The goal was the result of a common theme of the first half: Marblehead outworked Gloucester for a 50-50 ball. "We dominated the 50-50 balls in the first half, but in the second half they carried the play," Ingemi admitted. "The pressure was on us. The kids were doing it all on adrenaline."

Gloucester got it back to a one-goal game as Theon O'Neill scored off an assist from Shane O'Neill in the 70th minute. The Fishermen had some great opportunities to tie it up but repeatedly couldn't connect on crosses, shooting just wide or over the net. Kaltsas (10 saves) also came up huge as he saved a tough header from Shane O'Neill in the 80th minute. "It feels good," Frankel said about the upset win. "We had a long Sunday morning practice where we worked on corner kicks. We didn't give up any goals on corners today, so that worked out."

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