The Chelsea High boys soccer team, the fourth seed in the Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA State Tournament, defeated Framingham, the 13th seed in the bracket, with an exciting 3-2 overtime victory Monday afternoon at Chelsea Stadium in a first round contest.
The Red Devils thus advanced to the North quarterfinals against fifth seeded Somerville yesterday (Wednesday) evening at 6:00 at the Stadium as the Record was going to press.
Hugo Erazo scored two goals for Chelsea, including the game winner at the 6:00 mark of the OT period. Erazo scored the game winner when he took control of a long clearing pass from the Chelsea defense, beat a Framingham defender, and then put home his own rebound after his first shot was stopped.
Erazo’s first marker gave the Red Devils a 2-1 lead midway through the second half when he broke in on the Framingham keeper and beat him cleanly. The Chelsea defense held firm until, with the clock showing the game in stoppage time, Framingham was awarded a penalty kick by the ref on a close call in the Chelsea box when a Framingham player went down after battling a Chelsea defender for the ball.
Chelsea keeper Jimmy Funes, who made a number of outstanding saves on the day, made a great stop on the PK, but the rebound came back to the Framingham kicker, who chipped it over the prone Funes to send the game into overtime.
“That goal really deflated us,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “We had controlled the entire second half and it seemed as if it would shift the momentum to Framingham. But the team bounced right back and we reasserted ourselves in the overtime period.”
Carlos Martinez notched the Red Devils’ first tally at the midpoint of the first half when he took a superb pass from Erazo, who had threaded the ball through the Framingham defense, and then beat a defender before delivering a nice shot from about 10 yards out to beat the Framingham keeper.
However, Framingham, which had advanced to the first round thanks to a 2-0 win over Haverhill in the preliminary round, knotted matters before the intermission on a nice header.
“This by far was the best game we played this season,” noted Protasowicki. “Everybody really stepped up and did an outstanding job.” Protasowicki in particular cited the play of senior outside midfielder Alcides Romero for his efforts both ways on the field. However, Romero was a question mark for the Somerville game because of possible concussion.
If the Red Devils defeat Somerville, which topped Brookline 1-0 in its first round game, they will advance to the North semifinals to meet the winner of the matchup between #16 Billerica and #9 Peabody. That game will be played Friday at a place and time to be determined. The North Sectional championship game will be played Sunday at Manning Field in Lynn.
Red Devils gridsters fall to Northeast, 14-3
The Chelsea High football team turned in a fine effort on defense, but was unable to muster much offense in a 14-3 loss to Northeast Regional Friday evening under the lights at Chelsea Stadium.
Northeast scored both of its touchdowns in the second period. The first came via a costly Chelsea turnover. The Red Devil defense had just stopped N.E. at the CHS 25, but a Chelsea fumble on the first play gave the ball right back to Northeast. The Chelsea defense played tough in the red zone, but Northeast managed to punch the ball in on a fourth and goal.
The second Northeast score came after the Red Devil offense was stopped at the NE 45 with just 1:25 left before the intermission. However, Northeast capitalized on the opportunity thanks to a miscommunication in the Chelsea secondary that allowed a touchdown with just 0:04 left in the half.
The Red Devils got on the scoreboard at the start of the third frame on a 35 yard field goal by Juan Martinez, his fourth of the season. However, that the Devils had to settle for a field goal typified their frustration on offense throughout the day. Chelsea had taken possession deep inside enemy territory thanks to a Northeast fumble on the second play after the kickoff that was recovered by Raul Flores at the NE 25. However, the Red Devils were unable to make a first down and Martinez came on for the field goal.
That would prove to be Chelsea’s best scoring chance until the fourth period when the Red Devils drove to the NE 30 and threatened to make it a close contest. But once again, Chelsea was unable to get into the endzone.
“Both teams played outstandingly on defense,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “We simply were unable to get anything going on offense.”
Stellato lauded the fine play of a number of his Red Devils, including senior defensive back Anthony Arroyo, who had two interceptions; senior defensive tackle Jose Romero; senior defensive back Juan Martinez; senior middle linebacker Joseph Saez; and sophomore outside linebacker Jose Martinez.
Stellato and his crew still have a chance at winning the Small Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference thanks to the win by North Shore Tech over Greater Lowell last week. If the Red Devils defeat No. Shore this week (kick off time at No. Shore Saturday is 1:30), they will create a three way tie for first place, at which point various tiebreakers will determine the league champ and who will qualify for a post season playoff position.
Girls soccer team falls in tourney opener
The Chelsea High girls soccer team traveled to North Andover for the Lady Red Devils’ first-ever state tournament game in the CHS girls program’s history.
Although the Chelsea girls battled hard throughout the match, they were overmatched by North Andover, dropping the contest by the score of 8-0.
“I am proud of how our girls competed,” said CHS head coach Kim Huffer. “They never gave up despite being faced with a team that was more experienced and broader in depth. They played with a lot of heart and energy and remained poised until the end. North Andover has a strong girls soccer program from elementary school through high school. Many of those girls have been playing soccer together for a very long time and it showed. We wish them much success the rest of the tournament. This experience will only help us as we strive to grow the Chelsea girls soccer program.”
Four Lady Red Devils were named to the Commonwealth Athletic Conference All star team: Senior Captain Loren Ramos, Senior Zuleima Castillo, Senior Deisi Gonzales, and Junior Katherine Velasquez will all be honored at a luncheon next week.
“I’m happy for these girls,” noted Huffer. “Loren and Zuleima have helped build the program over the past years and Deisi joined the team for the first time this year. Deisi quickly grew to be a dependable defender in our formation. I’m excited for the skills and leadership that Katherine will bring to the team next year. I am hopeful that the team will continue to grow and build a strong girls soccer program in Chelsea.”