Rockport Vikings Boys Soccer '07

Thu, Oct 25, 2007 05:00 PM @ Rockport
Team 1st 2nd Final
Manchester Essex 0 0 0
Rockport 0 1 1
Rockport defeated Manchester Essex, 1-0, in boys soccer action on Oct. 27, 2007. » Deborah Hammond, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Osmond's goal propels Vikings to Division 3 tournament

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Friday, October, 26 By Rich Slate
Staff writer

Rockport senior striker Derek Osmond has scored a lot of goals in his career but without a doubt, the one that he scored Thursday night has to be the biggest of his life. His tally was the difference in Rockport's (8-8-2, 5-7-1) 1-0 win over archrival Manchester Essex (5-9-4, 2-8-3) in both team's season finale. With the win, the Vikings qualified for the Divsion 3 North tournament beginning next week. It's the first time Rockport has made it since the 2001 season.

A tie would do Rockport no good, it needed a win to stay alive for the postseason.

"Just a great effort by our guys," said Rockport head coach Dave Curley, who had lost his voice by the end of the back and forth affair. "Manchester Essex came here with nothing but pride to play for; they could have come out and played for a tie but they came out to win. I take my hat off to them and of course to our guys."

With the win, Rockport avenged an earlier 2-1 loss at Manchester on September 17.

Rockport senior goalie Colby Osier had four saves in the first half while freshman Keady Segal made four saves in the second half (including a couple strong punches of dangerous balls in the air).

In the 20th minute, the Hornets had the first great chance of the game as senior Adrian King crossed to junior Colin Rosso in the Vikings box. Rosso got a right-footed shot down but it just skipped wide of the post.

Osmond had a beautiful volley go just wide in the 24th minute. Rockport had another golden opportunity with a free kick outside Manchester's 18-yard box. There was a scramble for the loose ball inside the Hornets goal area but a Rockport player was called offsides.

The last chance in the first half came when Rockport sophomore Michael Emerson dribbled in a hit a left-footed shot that was saved by Hornets senior goalie Connor Girvin (11 saves).

The Vikings ended the shutout early in the second half as Osmond buried a close shot up high. Sophomore Ben Clarkson originally crossed it and sophomore Andreas Contreras touched it to Osmond.

"That's a goal-scorer's goal and he's the guy for us," Curley noted.

The Vikings pushed for a second goal to give themselves some breathing room. However, the large crowd held their breath in the 52nd minute as Manchester Essex floated a perfect cross into the box that was just a little far for a teammate.

In the 56th minute, the Hornets had another shot fly a little wide of the goal. Girvin kept his team in the game with a great save on an Osmond header off a corner in the 74th minute.

With two minutes left, the Hornets had a free kick lined up right outside Rockport's 18-yard line. Manchester Essex senior Robbie Longcor struck it right into the wall as the Vikings were able to clear it.

Osmond had one more look as he chipped it over the goal when the game had a minute left.

Rockport players stormed the field after the final whistle as they are doing something foreign to all of them: going to the MIAA Division 3 North Tournament. Rockport will most likely play in a preliminary game next week.

Afterwards, Curley cited the work of his whole team in the monumental victory. "Everybody contributed to this win. They really pulled together and put the clamps on Manchester Essex."

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