Somerville 4, Malden 1

Monday, Sep. 16, 2013, at Somerville

The Somerville boys’ soccer team nabbed its third straight win to open its season Monday, cruising to a 4-1 decision over Greater Boston League foe Malden. It got a go-ahead goal from senior Marcelo Brociner just before halftime, then second-stanza tallies from seniors Julian Murphy and Thayrone Miranda to expand the lead. Five saves from senior Victor Melendez cemented the home win. In other words, it was just another day at the field for coach George Scarpelli and the No. 1 Highlanders. “That’s what we were hoping for,” Scarpelli said of his team’s 3-0 start. “We still haven’t had a chance [to settle in] really. We’re starting to get into soccer mode right now, into the swing and into our systems.” Somerville jumped ahead early when Jonathan Figueroa finished a corner kick from senior Francisco Fernandez about eight minutes in. Malden tied it with about 10 minutes to go in the half, but Brociner put his team up for good moments later. Murphy and Miranda found the back of the net in the first 15 minutes of the second half to give the Highlanders plenty of breathing room. Miranda’s came after he chested the ball down and took a shot that found the lower right corner from about 18 yards out. While dealing with the off-field distractions of the investigation and controversy surrounding an alleged rape case involving several of its former junior varsity athletes at the end of the summer, the Highlanders have picked up on the field where they left off in their trip to the state semifinals in 2012. They have outscored opponents a combined 12-2, thanks in large part to the play of Melendez, who is filling in for senior Luis Guerra (groin injury) in net. “He’s had an opportunity to do great things, and he’s taking advantage of it,” Scarpelli said. Murphy, a 6-foot-2-inch center back with a dangerous combination of physicality and finesse with the ball, has also been an anchor. And while Miranda -- who led the way with a goal and an assist Monday -- gets his fair share of points, Scarpelli pointed to Fernandez, the captain and center midfielder, as the team’s catalyst. “He’s what makes our team go,” Scarpelli said. “We go as Francisco goes. He dictates the middle of our field.”


Updated: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, 9:38 p.m.

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