WEYMOUTH After seventy minutes of scoreless action the Needham and Weymouth boys soccer teams exchanged late goals off of penalty kicks as the Bay State Carey powers battled to a 1-1 draw at Mullen Field on Wednesday.
You knew it was going to be a battle, said Needham coach Don Brock as two of the top ranked teams in EMass got together for the first of two meetings.
The fourth-ranked Rockets (2-1-2) got on the board first with nine minutes left on the clock as senior captain Mac Steeves unloaded on a free kick from 35-yards out, hooking it into the top right corner for his third goal of the season.
Five minutes later Wildcats senior captain Jack Lynch was hauled down in the box on a throw in, setting up a penalty kick that he buried on the right side of the net, just past the out-stretched arms of goalie Adam Lassman (six saves), evening things up with just four minutes left in the game.
Down three starting midfielders due to injury, the Rockets used the 6-4 Steeves all over the field, utilizing his size in the midfield to clog things up and frustrate the Weymouth offense.
They came in with a great plan, said Weymouth coach Bill McEachern of Needham. They kept Mac back and packed it in and made it difficult for us.
We sort of surprised everybody, said Brock of shifting Steeves, who is one of the premier forwards in the state. We pulled him back to play midfield to tighten up the defense a little bit. Plus we figured he could do just what he did, which is score from anywhere out there with the shot that hes got.
The seventh-ranked Wildcats (5-0-1) got another solid effort out of junior keeper Lucas Rezende-Verge, who came up with 11 stops on the night to keep his team in the game.
He does a great job at communicating and getting off of his line, making the backs lives easier, said McEachern of his goalie. Thats the biggest asset back there.