High school coaches do their best to keep their players focused on just one game at a time. Sometimes, it's impossible, especially when defending Tri-Valley League champion and the Globe’s No. 11 ranked Hopkinton is looming on the schedule.
The boys on the Dover-Sherborn soccer team were so eager for their game against the Hillers on Monday night that they failed to execute in a 1-1 tie against Westwood on Saturday.
But when the time finally arrived for the Hopkinton game, the Raiders used their heads, literally.
They scored two goals off headers to defeat Hopkinton (5-2 league, 6-2 overall), 2-0.
“Saturday was a good wake-up for us,” said D-S coach Joe Gruseck. “Some of the guys were looking past that game. Hopkinton won last year and everyone knew they’d be good again this year, so the kids had their calendars marked.”
While Gruseck acknowledged that his team was out-possessed in the first half, the Raiders were able to take the lead with 2:20 remaining off a header from sophomore midfielder Perry Fitz.
Junior forward Sam Jordan scored the same way in the second half to secure the win. Senior Cam Bielski assisted on both goals.
With just four seniors on the roster, the Raiders have utilized a strong core of underclassmen and found a chemistry that has impressed their coach.
“We’re keeping it realistic and the kids are working hard to make sure they leave it all on field,” Gruseck said. “We have 19 field players and they’re all very capable of playing at any time.”
In other action from the top 20 on Monday night, No. 8 Canton tied King Philip, 2-2. It was the first time in eight games that the Bulldogs didn’t come out victorious.
No. 10 Cardinal Spellman ripped off five goals to pull away from Marian, 5-1. Junior forwards Chris Conrad and Ryan Walsh each had two goals and an assist for the Cardinals, now 7-0.
No. 3 New Bedford moved to 6-0 with a 4-1 win over Fairhaven.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.