The Chelsea High boys soccer team, which at the start of the season seemed to have a lot of question marks with new players, answered many of those questions with positive answers with a pair of wins in the opening week of the 2011 season.
The Red Devils blanked Swampscott of the Northeastern Conference in a non league tilt last Wednesday, 3-0, and then edged Commonwealth Athletic Conference Large Division archrival Northeast Regional Vocational, 1-0, on Tuesday.
“We had a lot of pleasant surprises,” noted CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “Our defense has some new faces, but it was really solid. Our new goalkeeper, Jimmy Funes, was superb in both games, especially against Northeast when he was called upon to make some big saves for us.”
Senior forward Levi Daniz, a newcomer to the CHS varsity, scored the first two goals of the season in the Swampscott encounter, the first in the opening half and the second at 10 minutes after the intermission. Carlos Martinez and Oscar Valle earned the assists. Martinez then reached the back of the net late in the game to provide the icing for the Red Devil victory cake.
The contest with N.E. Voke was a typical, hard-fought affair between these two CAC foes, who last year battled to the last game of the season to determine the CAC Large championship, with Chelsea emerging on top.
The Northeast offense proved to be much more of a challenge for the CHS defense than Swampscott had been, but the CHS “D” and keeper Funes rose to the occasion to register a second successive shutout.
Protasowicki noted in particular the play of senior defender Alahir Merino and sophomore defender Hector Ramirez for their fine efforts, while also lauding Funes. “Hector and Alahir both played solidly, as did the entire defensive corps, and Jimmy stepped up and made some nice saves,” noted Protasowicki.
The lone goal of the contest was recorded by Red Devil Carlos Martinez midway through the first half, assisted by freshman Dennis Martinez. “We have Carlos playing at center midfield for us, but he has the ability to push the ball forward,” said Protasowicki. “Dennis is a freshman midfielder who has displayed a lot of talent.”
The Red Devils will be back in action today (Thursday) when they host Lynn Tech at 3:45. Chelsea will entertain Minuteman Regional Monday at 3:45.
The entire team enjoyed a super night of fun and entertainment as guests of the Revolution at Gillette Stadium Saturday night as part of the Revolution’s high school team of the game series. Many Red Devils obtained autographs of their pro soccer heros and were able to be on the field during the pre game warmups.
“All 22 players went to the game,” said Protasowicki. “It was a nice bonding experience to go an event like that together as a team.”