Sachems close in on Middlesex title
A staunch defense and an opportunistic offense helped the third-ranked Winchester boys’ soccer team pull closer to a second straight Middlesex League Large title by beating Woburn, 2-0, at Knowlton Stadium yesterday.
“We play our game and see what the defense gives us, and then try to break it,’’ said Winchester coach Kambiz Vatan.
The Sachems also benefited when the No. 18 Tanners were left without league-leading scorer Valerio Silva (13 goals) because of the flu.
“It gave us a chance to play a little more at ease than having to worry so much about him,’’ said Vatan. “He’s a great player, is very fast, and can dribble around anyone.’’
The Sachems pulled 3 points ahead of Woburn and Lexington with two games remaining, including a pivotal home match against the No. 9 Minutemen Monday.
Captain Sam Paul and Jonathan Redwine led a strong defensive effort by Winchester, limiting the Tanners to some occasional rushes by Anthony Nguyen and Brendan Gilgun.
“The defense has stepped up and played better every game,’’ said Vatan. “They don’t panic and they look for the simple touches to clean up.’’
Winchester’s first goal came in the 35th minute of the first half when Zach Samson crossed a pass from the left side to an open Jeff Tilley for the header.
The second goal came on another Samson cross from the left that Marino Espiga collected in the box and punched home 17 minutes into the second half.
Chris O’Connell and Andrew Shediac split halves in net to combine for the Sachems’ seventh clean sheet of the year.
Bishop Feehan 5, Foxboro 0 - Devin Devoy had four goals, giving him 13 for the season.
Cohasset 3, Harwich 1 - The Skippers (8-4-3) qualified for the playoffs with the win.
Franklin 5, North Attleboro 1 - Panthers freshman Taylor Cogliano recorded her first hat trick and added an assist.
Greater New Bedford 2, Case 1 - Junior Amanda Leite scored both goals for the Bears.
Peabody 4, Danvers 1 - Hayley Dowd had a hat trick for the No. 10 Tanners.
Falmouth 2, Barnstable 0 - Senior Greer Gilbert scored both goals for the Clippers.