As the clock ran down at Victory Field Sunday afternoon, Watertown High School’s boys soccer team threw wave after wave and shot after shot at the Pentucket net, but the goal the Raiders desperately needed never came.
The Sachems knocked Watertown out of the State Tournament with a 1-0 win in the North Section quarterfinal at Victory Field. The loss was a bitter pill for the Raiders, Head Coach Frank Cacia said, especially after winning the North title and reaching the state semifinal a year ago.
“I thought we had a very solid team this year, pieces in place, but you’ve got to catch breaks,” Cacia said. “In soccer it’s competitive. In Div. 3 North it is a competitive bracket, and sometimes you need to catch some breaks. We caught a couple breaks last year to get us where we were.”
Watertown controlled the first half, and sent several quality chances at the Pentucket net, but goalie Tyler Correnti kept the Raiders off the scoreboard.
“We had some quality shots. Their goalie made some great saves,” Cacia said. “Possession doesn’t always win. We play an attractive style of soccer — it looks nice, you look like you are controlling the game — but you have to capitalize on your opportunities.”
Nine minutes into the second half, a shot by Pentucket’s Jake Messier bounced slowly over the goal line before Watertown goalie Devon Breen could stop it. After that, the Sachems played a defensive minded game.
“I thought there was enough time for us to get back … and we had some nice chances, but once they got to the 20 minute mark they drew numbers back,” Cacia said.
Watertown had its chances and the Raiders’ pleas for a penalty — after an aggressive Pentucket slide tackle in the box — were denied by the referee with about 25 minutes left in the game.
The crowd at Victory Field urged the Raiders on, but the final whistle blew and the Sachems celebrated while Watertown left the field dejected.
“It’s tough. You don’t prepare for that speech, or at least I didn’t today,” Cacia said. “I just said, ‘I feel bad for you guys. You guys put in a lot of work,'” Cacia said. “It’s more than wins and losses. You have the life messages. These guys will be better people. Sometimes these setbacks that happen.
“I told them to keep their heads up and be proud.”
The boys soccer team ends the year 13-6-1, and captured the team’s first ever outright, unshared Middlesex League Freedom title. The team also had six league All-Stars, including two in the top 11, one in the top seven, and the League MVP. (Cacia said he could not revel the names yet). Also, one player will also be representing Watertown in the All-Star Game.
“Those are some good personal achievements, but they would give those back in a quick second for a State Title,” Cacia said.
Half the roster of 28 will graduate, but Cacia said the Raiders return some key players next year including offensive threats Rodrigo Freitas and Caiden Kiani, and goalie Devon Breen.
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