Two teams played with equal strength Tuesday afternoon, but their strength was in opposite positions. Latin Academy's defense was outstanding while Dorchester’s offense was impeccable. Despite the intensely close nature of the match, Dorchester came out on top, winning 1-0.
Dorchester started out aggressive, dominating the ball in the first 10 minutes. During this time four shots were taken but only one was successful. The single goal of the match was set up beautifully – Dorchester junior midfielder Steevenson Jean-Francois carried the ball past three defenders and made a swift pass to junior forward Warren Exceus. The forward passed the ball back immediately after going through the last defender to set up Jean-Francois’ goal.
“I think we were a little afraid of them and that showed in the first half,” Latin Academy coach Dennis Allen said. “In the second half I think we played with a little more intensity, but it wasn’t controlled enough. With the size of the team we have, we have to pass the ball around. I don’t think we did as good of a job as we’re capable of doing, but the results were only 1-0. I think the team will improve and I’m really hoping to get to the play-offs.”
Tensions ran high for the rest of the game, with Latin Academy determined not to give up another goal. They were successful, thanks to Latin Academy junior defender Kevin O’Neil. He strategically covered his opponents by driving them away from the goal and sending the ball back up the field.
O’Neil was taken out of the game at the end of the first half due to a knee injury.
“We can play better, but we tried,” O’Neil said. “The city league is never easy to play in. It’s rough and tough, but we’ll bounce back. It’s not the end of the world.”
Latin Academy goalkeeper Nicolas Duenas was also a huge factor in keeping Dorchester from scoring a second time. He played smart and garnered 16 saves.
“I think my team played really well defensively,” he said.
While few shots were made by Latin Academy, freshman keeper Aldair Francois played flawlessly, providing the shut out for Dorchester.
The second half brought an even more intense and aggressive game, with both teams competing equally. Neither Latin Academy nor Dorchester was able to successfully possess the ball, ending the game 1-0.
“I think it was a tough game, certainly,” Dorchester coach Tim Lavin said. “Latin Academy played very well and made things difficult for us. Overall, defensively, we played well and kept their chances to only a few.”
While Lavin is thrilled with the win, he’s hoping his team will do even better in their game against Snowden, Wednesday, at White Stadium at 3:30 p.m.
Latin Academy’s next game is against Boston International on Thursday at White Stadium at 3:30 p.m.
“We’ll continue to just work as a team, try and improve on passing and finishing,” Lavin said. “In BPS there’s 3 games a week and you always get an opportunity to try again.”
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