Taunton 2, Oliver Ames 1

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, at Taunton

The Taunton boys soccer team upset No. 12 ranked Oliver Ames, 2-1, and handed the Tigers their first Hockomock League loss of the season, Wednesday, on soggy Aleixo Field in Taunton. Oliver Ames (8-2-3) suffered its second loss in as many games after entering the midpoint of the season undefeated at 8-0-3. “Oliver Ames is talented. They played a tight game against Weymouth that ended their undefeated streak earlier this week and us catching them when we did was a factor as well as the weather conditions,” said Taunton second year coach Dave Purpura. “Our skilled position players also played very well and we really took advantage of key possession.” Taunton (7-3-2, 7-2-2) made a series of key defensive adjustments in second half after Oliver Ames’s senior striker David Stapleton ripped a 18- yard turnaround goal from the top of the penalty box to put the Tigers up, 1-0. “[Stapleton] opened our eyes and showed us what he was capable of, and after that we really tightened our defense to neutralize and keep a close eye him,” said Purpura. Taunton responded to Oliver Ames’s potent attack by dropping an extra midfielder into a 4-4-2, diamond formation and quickly scoring in the 18th minute. Senior forward Mike Shaheen assisted trailing senior captain Danny Belair who beat a defender and drilled the goal into the far right post to even the game. Shortly after, in the 21st minute, senior left midfielder Sam Tully, dribbled the ball near the left corner flag in Oliver Ames’s attacking third, and placed the ball carefully in the penalty box for sophomore striker Nelson Roias who ripped it high right, 15 yards from the goal line, as Taunton took the lead 2-1. Both scoring opportunities resulted from Taunton’s reinforced defense that was lead by junior midfielders Brad Alconada, Brandon Motta and Tyler Diniz who held Oliver Ames 20 yards outside of the goal and forced many low percentage shots that went wide. “We tried to stretch them out and get their defenders in one on one situations force them play inside out and keep them stretched as wide as we could,” said Purpura. “We have a great group of seniors that rose to the occasion and even with the bad weather the soccer didn’t get real sloppy and the kids still played at a high level.” Taunton faces another test against Hockomock rival North Attleboro Friday afternoon.


Updated: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 4:28 a.m.

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