North Andover Scarlet Knights Boys Soccer '18

Wed, Nov 07, 2018 04:00 PM @ North Andover
Team 1st 2nd Final
Charlestown 0 0 0
North Andover 0 1 1

Knights snap quarterfinal hex

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Wednesday, November, 07 By Jeff Hamrick

NORTH ANDOVER — After stumbling in the Division 2 North quarterfinals each of the previous three years, including as the top seed last season, North Andover is headed to the semifinals for the first time since 2013.
Once again the No. 1 seed, the Scarlet Knights broke the three-year jinx with a tough 1-0 victory over eighth-seeded Charlestown on Wednesday afternoon.
“There was talk that this team has gone farther than most,” said sixth-year North Andover coach Kyle Wood. “The first team I had went to the North finals, but since then we’ve had a hard time getting there.”
The Knights, who beat the Townies by the identical score in the regular-season finale last week, had several opportunities in the first half. But North Andover (18-2) came away empty as a shot by Maxwell Callamaro hit one post and a header by Matthew Niejadlik hit the other post in a 50-second span midway through the period.
It took some nice dribbling by James Boyle off a pass from Matthew Feng to finally put the Knights on the board with 27:39 left in the match. After making the goalie move to his left, Boyle’s sixth goal of the season found center net from 30 feet.
“I saw (the defender) was trying to get me to the left side, so I just faked that way and went right,” Boyle said. “He was too far behind me to keep up. We realized we had an early exit last year, and we were the one seed again this year. We just had to come more prepared.”
And as it has in 15 previous games this year, one goal would be all the Knights needed.
“It’s been a struggle scoring goals (in the previous years’ quarterfinals), but our defense is pretty solid,” said goalie Connor Gough, a junior in his first season as starter. “As long as we can put one (goal) away, I’m pretty sure we can handle it.”
North Andover has now outscored opponents by a combined 54-4 on the season as Gough had four saves while posting his 16th shutout on the season.
“He is an incredible goalie that doesn’t get a lot of credit because our defense has been so good all season,” Wood said. “But when we need him, he’s always been there for us.”
In a division that has played out according to seeds, North Andover squares off against fourth-seeded Arlington at noon Saturday at Manning Field in Lynn.
“We’re going to have to play a little bit quicker,” Wood said. “We’re going to have to play with a little more intensity, and we’re going to have to play relaxed.”

 Division 2 North Quarterfinal
North Andover 1, Charlestown 0
Charlestown (13-3-3)  0  0 — 0
 North Andover (18-2)  0  1 — 1
 Goals: James Boyle 
 Assists: Matthew Feng
 Saves: CHARLES – Marlon Maldonado 5; NA – Connor Gough 4

Game Statistics:

Division 2 North Quarterfinals

Goals: James Boyle

Assists: Matthew Feng

Saves: CHARLES – Marlon Maldonado 5; NA – Connor Gough 4 


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