Edwards goal timely, touching
Josh Edwards stood on the sideline near midfield, jumping to get warm as he waited to enter his second career varsity game for Greater New Bedford.
With 20 minutes left in the Division 1 South Sectional championship in Taunton and the score tied at 1 with BC High (12-7-4), Edwards ran onto the field, his legs and feet shivering with nerves in the cold.
Edwards’s mother, Annmarie, was still in the stands, though her battle with lymphoma, leaving her weak, could have forced her to make an early exit for the hospital.
Not more than a minute after Edwards entered, Flavio Carvalho stole the ball near midfield and tapped a heel pass to Felipe Dias, who sent a cross into the penalty area. Edwards settled it, turned, and fired one into the right corner as the Bears (19-2-1) took a 2-1 win for their first sectional title.
When the final horn sounded and the rest of the fans in green started to celebrate, Annmarie left for hospital attention. But she had stayed long enough to see her son score.
“It was awesome,’’ said Edwards, a sophomore who scored 27 goals for the junior varsity this season. “She’s been at every game that she could go to, even through the sickness. She tells me to keep going, that I can do it, to keep my head in the game and not to get down. She pushes me to be the best I can.’’
Edwards wasn’t at Saturday’s practice, staying with his sick mother instead. Bears coach Harry Andrade doesn’t allow anyone who misses practice to play the next game, but he made an exception.
“A situation like that, we can understand,’’ said Andrade, whose club will face Masconomet for the EMass title tomorrow. “What a nice moment.’’
Division 1 North Masconomet 3, Billerica 2 - To replace a legend is impossible, but to pick up where one left off is a great way to cement a legacy of your own, as was the case for Masconomet first-year coach Dave Mitchell.
Former coach Lenny Emmons cemented the Chieftains as a soccer power over his 39 years. In their first year after his retirement, they haven’t skipped a beat, winning the Division 1 North final over Billerica in overtime at Manning Field in Lynn.
“That’s what it’s about, carrying on the tradition,’’ said Mitchell. “I always tell people that there is absolutely no replacing Lenny Emmons. He’s the father of Masco soccer.’’
In overtime, Keeyon Olia got the ball upfield and pushed it into the box, finding Charlie Behrens, who stuffed home the golden goal.
“I just saw Keeyon coming down on the flank and I tried to get in front of the net, the ball ended up there and I just tapped it in,” said Behrens. “It feels great, the adrenaline is still running, but I’m just trying to soak it all in right now.”
After a scoreless first half, Chad Burke’s corner kick was headed in by Kevin Gilbert to put Masco up, 1-0.
Thirty seconds later, Sean Farmer’s goal tied it for the Indians, and five minutes after that Leo Trindade made it 2-1 in favor of Billerica.
With 18 minutes left in regulation, an Indians defender slid to clear a ball, but instead shoved it into his goal, tying the game.
Division 2 North Concord-Carlisle 1, Wayland 0 - The score didn’t express it, but the Division 2 North final between the Dual County League rivals was an offensive showcase.
The teams traded opportunities, headers, and near-misses off the crossbars and posts. Concord-Carlisle sophomore midfielder Scott Brazina’s head ended up being the difference, as he put in a crossing pass from Brendan Nunan in the 25th minute of the second half, giving the Patriots their fifth sectional title in six years.
“It doesn’t matter what happens during the season; any time you get into the tournament, you’re going to end up with a close game,’’ Patriots coach Ray Pavlik said. “You have kids fighting for their careers and their season, and they’re going to leave everything on the field.’’
Wayland standout Nico Pascual-Leone demonstrated why he’s one of the state’s best after taking on four defenders and directing a first-half shot that bounced off goalie Cray Novick’s glove and then ricocheted off the left post in the 24th minute.
Division 2 South Sandwich 2, Hopkinton 1 - Familiar postseason foes, the top-seeded Blue Knights (21-1-0) hung on to defeat the No. 2 Hillers (18-2-1) to advance to the EMass final on Wednesday.
The contest was a rematch of the epic 2009 sectional final won by Sandwich, 2-1, in double overtime. Sandwich has been the top seed four consecutive years, and been in the last three sectional finals, twice beating Hopkinton.
“We hung on in the second half and it was the longest 40 minutes of my life,’’ said Sandwich coach Ted Tedeschi. “We were tired and had some injuries, so our depth helped pull us through.’’
The wind was the biggest factor. Sandwich had the breeze in the first half and took advantage of it, taking a 2-1 lead into halftime. Hopkinton dominated the second half, with 10 of its 13 shots on net, but couldn’t put the equalizer past Sandwich goalkeeper Kyle VanCleef.
“They took better advantage of the wind in the first half than we did in the second half,’’ said Hopkinton coach Garrett Sawyer. “Their goaltender had a solid game and their defense made it tough for us to get clean shots on net.’’
Sandwich opened the scoring with a goal from senior Jerome MacLeod, who buried a rebound from a free kick by Peter Alvarenga, one of the top players in the state with 34 goals this season.
Hopkinton tied the score three minutes later on a goal by senior captain Josh Hacunda, who beat VanCleef to the loose ball and went around him.
The winning goal was scored by senior Dino Heras, who got a great pass from Alvarenga, and beat the Hopkinton goaltender with eight minutes left before halftime.
In the second half, Hopkinton outshot the Blue Knights, 10-1, and didn’t allow a corner kick. VanCleef, though, and the rest of the Sandwich defense, rose to the challenge.
Globe correspondents Eric Shulman, Jeff Powalisz, and Craig Forde contributed to this report.