With first place on the line in the Atlantic Coast League, the Nauset boys' soccer team beat top-ranked archrival Sandwich, 2-1, Wednesday night at Nauset High School.
Nauset was the better team early on, controlling the play and striking first off the foot of senior midfielder Jake Moore in the 21st minute.
Sandwich turned a switch and brought great pressure after the goal and continued its strong attack into the second half.
Nauset struck again, however, when senior cocaptain Ben Czuchra sprung fellow cocaptain James McLeod, who went in alone in the 21st minute to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead. The goal was McLeod’s 10th of the year.
“I’m proud of the kids,” said Nauset coach John McCully. “It was a real energy game, and the team matched Sandwich's intensity.”
Nauset had to defend a potent Sandwich offense that had scored 17 goals in its last three games. The Blue Knights' only goal of the game came with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.
“The key to the game was that they’re a high-powered team, and we were committed to defend,” McCully said. “That’s what won it for us.”
Another focal point for Nauset was to stop striker Dallas Donovan, a four-year varsity starter for Sandwich, who has been a thorn in Nauset’s side for years.
“If we could contain Donovan and shut him down, that would help,” said McCully. “The team did and that was huge for us.”
Nauset also got solid goalkeeping from sophomore Bruce Johnson, who had seven saves.
“The win is huge,” McCully said. “We wanted to defend our home field, and get revenge for one of our three losses on the year. With Sandwich ranked No. 1, it goes to show that if we make the tournament we can beat anyone.”
Sandwich starts 10 seniors; Nauset only starts five.
“We are a young team,” McCully said. “It really took a total team effort. Sandwich is that good. Sandwich deserves to be No. 1.”
Nauset is now 7-3 and tied for first in the ACL with Sandwich (8-1), both with 5-1 league records.
“The rivalry is huge,” McCully said. “These two teams have been one and two in the league the last five or six years."
But Nauset isn’t set on sharing first.
“We’re going for the league title,” McCully said.
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Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
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