Sandwich Blue Knights Open Tournament In Dominating Fashion
By: Dan Crowley
David Evans watched from his keeper’s position Wednesday night as the Sandwich Blue Knight boys’ soccer team dominated Apponequet in a 4-0 MIAA Division 2 South quarterfinal state tournament win. Evans was there when called on in the second half; however, for most of the match Evans was a spectator.
The top-seeded Knights (18-0-2) completely shut down the ninth-seeded South Coast Conference champion Lakers (11-5-2). With the win Sandwich advances to the semifinal round tonight at Bridgewater-Raynham at 7 PM where they will face fourth-seeded Bishop Feehan High School (16-2-2).
Sandwich outshot Apponequet, 24-0.
“We were sharp and played all 80 minutes,” Coach Ted Tedeschi said.
The Knights went right after the Laker net, testing keeper Tyler Whalen repeatedly in the opening minutes. Nick Cotter, Peter Alvarenga, and Zach Cabana got off four quality shots before Cotter capitalized in the ninth minute on a rocket from about 25 yards out.
The Knights continued to hammer away at the Laker goal as Rob Walker set up Dino Heras, Kevin Green pushed a ball forward to Alvarenga for a shot, and Cotter and Dallas Donovan pounded Whalen.
In the 37th minute the Knights hit again off a beautiful corner from Cotter to Austin Haygood at the near post.
“We switched it up a little,” Tedeschi said, referring to the corner shot. “Nick keeps it nice and low and that ball was outstanding.”
If Apponequet had thoughts of a second-half comeback, Cotter dashed them in the opening minute with a lethal left-footed shot off a pass from Cabana that flew past Whalen, giving SHS a 3-0 lead.
In the 62nd minute Donovan made it 4-0 with an unassisted effort set up by Heras, driving home a ball that bounced around in front of the net before Donovan kicked it in.
Apponequet gave Evans an opportunity to get dirty with 5:49 to play as the Sandwich keeper came out of the net to make a sliding, clearing kick.
The Blue Knights came out shooting Tuesday night as they powered their way past 17th-seeded Westwood (8-8-4) to claim a first-round state tournament victory in a cold, wind-swept match by a score of 5-0.
Peter Alvarenga opened the scoring for the Knights in the 14th minute off a blast from the left side, assisted by Dino Heras.
At the other end of the field, SHS keeper Dave Evans denied a Westwood bid off the right side with a leaping save.
Nick Cotter gave the Knights a 2-0 lead in the 23rd minute off a ball from Dallas Donovan from the right. Cotter bent the cross from left to right, striking the right corner of the Wolverine net.
Alvarenga launched a pass forward to Donovan charging up the middle. The pass landed in a perfect position for Donovan, who headed home the third Blue Knight goal of the night.
Donovan and Cotter hammered away at the Westwood net to open the second half. Zach Cabana got off a nice shot and Kevin Green set up Donovan with another scoring chance that the Wolverine keeper blocked.
In the 54th minute Sandwich struck for a fourth time off a corner. Out of the left corner, Heras lobbed the ball into the center of the field back toward the 18-yard line. James Doleman leaped on the ball and put it up in the air for Donovan who headed it home.
Doleman then set up Alvarenga in the 60th minute out in front, and the Sandwich striker went top shelf with the final goal of the evening.
Evans, who made two quality stops in net, saved the shutout with a diving stop with 11 minutes remaining. Sandwich finished with a dozen shots on goal.
“The first win is always important,” Coach Tedeschi said. “It’s a team that comes in like this that can cause you trouble. There is a lot of pressure on you when you go into the state tournament undefeated. We played a heck of a game out there.”
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