After starting the season with a 0-4-4 record, Weymouth’s boys’ soccer team has found its form, going 7-1-1 in its past nine games.
The Wildcats’ first four losses came to teams in the Top 20 — Framingham, Wellesley, Needham, and St. John’s Prep. They also tied with Silver Lake in the season opener and Brookline in late September.
But after the tough early stretch, the Wildcats (7-5-5) have stepped up their game.
“We played very good teams,’’ said Weymouth coach Bill McEachern.
“We were also on the road to start the year, and we had a lot of younger players as well. We lost 12 players to graduation last year, and I had a lot of guys playing who didn’t have much experience.’’
McEachern has altered the team’s playing style to assist those who haven’t played as much in his system.
“We’ve simplified the game a little bit for them as well,’’ McEachern said. “Our system play is a little bit different from last year. The guys have been able to get a grasp of it.’’
Senior goalkeeper Lucas Rezende-Verge has been stellar in net all season. Rezende-Verge recorded his 10th shutout of the season in a 1-0 win at BC High on Saturday. The Wildcats have allowed just two goals in their last 10 games.
And as the Wildcats’ record has improved, so has the team’s confidence.
“They’re more confident in themselves, and there’s a bit more excitement going into each of the matches,’’ McEachern said. “We still need to qualify for the tournament, and that’s our number one goal right now.’’
Crowley crosses century mark
On Wednesday, West Bridgewater senior striker Reed Crowley scored a hat trick against Cardinal Spellman.
His second goal against the Cardinals brought his career total to 100; he finished with 101 with two regular season games.
“He’s a four-year varsity starter, but he started playing for me in seventh grade,’’ said coach Jeremy Winchell.
“Even though he was a seventh grader, I could see his skill with the ball.’’
Winchell had Crowley playing as a left winger until his senior season. The senior hasn’t had a problem transitioning to center-forward, where he’s scored 33 goals in 2013 – a career high.
“Prior to this year he was a left winger, because he has a very strong left foot,’’ said Winchell.
“If he’s coming down the field on the left side, he’ll then take that ball to goal and he has an instinct that isn’t something that I was able to teach him. It’s something he’s just had.’’
West Bridgewater has clinched the Mayflower League Comprehensive division championship with a 13-1-2 record, due in large part to the fact that the team has such a potent threat up top. And it’s not just on the field where Crowley thrives.
“I had him last year and this year in math class [pre-calculus and calculus],’’ said Winchell. “He’s just a very respectful kid. I’ve never heard anything bad come out of his mouth. He’s well respected by his peers.
“I think in all honesty that the younger kids look up to him as a role model and try to emulate.’’
Games of the week
New Bedford at Nauset, Monday – The Whalers suffered their first loss of the season last week. Nauset (11-2-2) was undefeated in the Atlantic Coast League. Could there be a second upset brewing in consecutive weeks for the Whalers?
Norton at Medway, Monday – Norton (9-1-4) lost for the first time last week and the Mustangs (12-2-3) have had a strong season and are in second place in the Tri-Valley league.
Concord-Carlisle at Lincoln-Sudbury, Monday – These two Dual County league rivals have both had solid seasons and will look to make a tournament run. In late September when these two teams met, they tied, 1-1. Monday’s game should be just as entertaining.