Salem (MA) Witches Boys Soccer '07

Tue, Oct 02, 2007 06:00 PM @ Gloucester
Team 1st 2nd Final
Salem (MA) 3 0 3
Gloucester 0 0 0

Gloucester boys soccer falls to Salem

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Mary Muckenhoupt, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Tuesday, October, 02 By Nick Curcuru

GLOUCESTER | Yesterday's soccer match between Gloucester and Salem pitted two of the top teams in the Northeastern Conference and was expected to be one of the closer games of the season.

But this one was over early.

The Witches got three first half goals and neutralized a high-powered Gloucester offense en route to defeating the Fishermen 3-0 at Newell Stadium.

"This was a huge win for us," Salem head coach Mike D'Agostino said. "It was our biggest game of the season and we played great."

The Witches (7-2-1) got on the board in the eighth minute when Max Mondestin floated one over Fishermen goalkeeper Dom Braga to give Salem a 1-0 lead.

Salem added to its lead in the 28th minute when Edwin Demoya scored on a cross-field pass from Martin Amin to make it 2-0. Alex Vargas put Salem up 3-0 in the 36th minute, letting all the remaining wind out of the Fishermen's sails.

Gloucester (6-2-1) had plenty of chances in the first half, but Salem goalie Mike Collins (4 saves) turned away every Gloucester threat.

The Fishermen's best chance came from Shane O'Neill. The senior captain broke away from the Salem defense and fired a shot on goal from point blank range, but Collins was able to dive feet first and kick the ball away.

Collins drew praise from D'Agostino for his effort. "Collins played his best game of the season," D'Agostino said. "The defense played great in front of him but he made a couple of great saves."

The second half was a back and forth battle that saw both teams have multiple scoring chances. Neither team was able to score, however.

Fishermen head coach James Cook was disappointed with his team's effort, but was also quick to praise the play of the Witches.

"Salem had a great gameplan in taking away Shane (O'Neill) and (Nick) LoCoco," Cook said. "Unfortunately nobody else stepped up and we didn't have any answers for it.

"I'm very disappointed in the way we played. We weren't getting to any loose balls, which has been our strength this season. But Salem made all the big plays and deserved to win."

On the other hand, Salem was very pleased with their team's effort. D'Agostino lauded the play of Mondestin and Vargas, but he also pointed out that the entire team played well.

"All 18 guys played amazing," D'Agostino said. "This was a total team effort and I hope we keep up this kind of play. This is also a very special win because we haven't won at Gloucester in a while."

Right now the Fishermen are looking to put this loss behind them and focus on Lynn Classical tomorrow, but Cook says there is a lot of work to be done before then.

"We need to have a good practice and not let this game effect us too much," Cook said. "We definitely need to sure up our defense and play a lot better than we did today."

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