The Chelsea High boys soccer team remained unbeaten, defeating three opponents this past week to raise their record to 13-0-2 on the year. With Whittier the only remaining rival on their 2012 regular season schedule, an encounter that is set for today (Thursday) at 3:45 on the CHS field, coach Mick Milutinovic’s Red Devils are just one game away from completing an undefeated season.
Red Devils Luis Cruz set the pace in all three contests, notching hat tricks in a 5-0 win over North Shore Tech last Wednesday and in a 6-3 triumph over Shawsheen on Friday, a match in which he also was credited with two assists for five points on the day. Cruz also tallied one of the CHS markers in Tuesday’s 3-0 triumph over Greater Lowell.
“Luis was phenomenal, especially in the Shawsheen game,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “He was a marked man by Shawsheen, who had somebody shadowing him everywhere he went on the field. But he still managed to break free for three goals and also distributed balls nicely to his teammates when they were open.”
Last Wednesday’s tilt with No. Shore saw the Red Devils take control early and never look back. In addition to Cruz’s hat trick, Michael Kottu and Walter Guzman also reached the back of the Tech net, as Milutinovic was able to give his reserve players plenty of playing time in the second half.
The Red Devils knew they’d be in for a battle Friday at Shawsheen, which is one of Chelsea’s perennial archrivals in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and which always plays a physical game. Friday’s rains, which made for a sloppy natural grass field, also contributed to making things difficult for the Red Devils, who are used to their artificial home turf surface.
The contest was cat-and-mouse affair through the first half. Cruz put home a header on a nice crossing pass from Carlos Lainez to give Chelsea an early 1-0 advantage, but Shawsheen struck back in short order. Guzman, who along with Kottu have become potent scoring weapons for Chelsea, made it 2-1 with an assist from Cruz, but Shawsheen responded quickly again to knot matters at 2-2.
Cruz gave the Red and Black a slim 3-2 edge at the intermission and then the Devils put some daylight between themselves and their opponents to start of the second half with goals by Kottu, on a nice through pass from Cruz, and then Cruz himself. Shawsheen kept matters uncomfortable for Chelsea with a goal to make it 5-3 with about 20 minutes to play, but Lainez put Shawsheen away for good with a marker in the final five minutes for the 6-3 finale.
The Red Devils blanked Tuesday’s rival, Greater Lowell, 3-0 on goals by Kottu (off a well-delivered corner kick from senior defender Jaime Barahona), Guzman (off a crossing pass from a teammate that Walter settled just inside the 18 and then put away), and Cruz, for whom the goal was his 22nd of the year.
After the Whittier contest today, the Red Devils will await word of their seeding in the upcoming Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA state tourney. The Red Devils should be assured of at least a top four seed which means that could earn a bye in the opening round and play a couple of home games if they advance.
With the tournament not getting underway until the first week of November, the Red Devils will be hoping that the broken hand suffered by captain Hector Ramirez, Chelsea’s leader on the defensive back line, will be sufficiently healed for him to be able to play in the tourney.
Red Devil gridders still seeking their first victory
The Chelsea High football team is still seeking its first victory of the season after coming out on the short end of a 41-14 decision to Whittier Friday evening.
Whittier took control of the game from the outset, receiving the ball and going on a drive of 10 plays for a 6-0 lead. Chelsea then fumbled the ball on its own 45 yard line on the second snap of their ensuing possession. Whittier recovered the loose pigskin and went in for another score for a 12-0 advantage.
However, the Red Devils responded well to the early adversity. The young CHS offense launched a superb drive from their own 40 in the second quarter that culminated with a two yard run for a touchdown by senior Raul Flores, closing the gap to 12-6.
Whittier responded with a drive in the closing minutes of the period on a combination of nice passing and running. Whittier scored with 1:15 left in the half for a 20-6 lead.
Chelsea moved the ball at times after the intermission, but another turnover proved costly. Whittier meanwhile tacked on another TD to make it 28-6 after three frames.
Whittier pounded the ball with its running game and scored twice on rushing touchdowns in the final quarter. Chelsea scored late in the period on a six yard run by Flores and a two point conversion on pass from sophomore quarterback Mark Anthony Williams to Flores to account for the 41-14 final score.
In addition to his 14 points on the day, Flores also received plaudits from CHS head coach Mike Stellato for his play on defense in which Raul recorded seven tackles on the night. The coach also cited Nelson Vega for his strong play on defense.
Stellato made note of the fine offensive performances of freshman running back Alex Rodriguez, senior center David Roque, sophomore guard Jomael DeJesus, sophomore guard Francisco Mercedes, freshman tackle Dennys Hernandez, senior tackle Mark Beltran, and sophomore running back Kalvin Duran.
Chelsea will be back in action tomorrow (Friday) evening at Mystic Valley. Kick off time is 7:00.
Cross country teams defeat Northeast Regional
The Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams both beat Northeast Regional last Wednesday at Breakheart Reservation in Wakefield. The boys triumphed by a shutout score of 15-50 and raised their record to 7-3 on the year. The girls won, 21-43, to finish at 5-6 on the season.
Senior captain Chester Rath won the boys overall race in a time of 17:57. Faisal Nasimi was second overall, running 18:25. Jeffrey Estrada was third in 18:54, Luis Romero was fourth (19:05), and Tony Nguyen was fifth (19:15).
Also running well for Chelsea were Joseph Arroyo (19:41), Jay Pedrero (19:55), Joseph Chirinos (20:07), and Huthifa Kareem (20:08).
This Saturday the boys will be competing at Greater Lowell for the league meet championship. “We had three teams beat us this season in dual meets,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “We are hoping to leapfrog at least one of those teams on Saturday.”
After the league meet the Red Devils will compete at the Division 2 Eastern Mass Championship in Wrentham.
On the girls side, Lady Red Devil Tatyana Almedia won the race in a time of 23:30. She was followed by Neris Yanes in 24:46. Daisy Mejia was fifth overall with a clocking of 26:16. Alejandra Sanchez was sixth and Bahiya Nasuuna and Wendy Becera were seventh and eighth respectively.
“It looks like the girls are peaking at the right time,” said Fay. “We are running our best when it counts the most. I am hoping for a top five finish (there are 12 teams) at the league meet and hopefully Tatyana can earn All-star status as an individual.”
CHS soccer girls show big improvement
Last Thursday the Chelsea High girls soccer team hosted Greater Lowell in a rematch from earlier in the season. Chelsea struck first with a goal by Marta Maldonado in the opening moments. However, Greater Lowell came back with a goal of their own within the next few minutes.
Greater Lowell continued to press the attack, particularly in the second half when the visitors scored three goals, to come away with a 5-1 win.
On Monday, the Lady Devils hosted Academy of Notre Dame (Tyngsborough) in another rematch from earlier in the year. Chelsea surrendered two goals in the first 20 minutes but then fought back to score a goal of their own on a misread by the Notre Dame goalie. Sara Bourouis scored her fourth goal of the season.
Despite some tough Chelsea defense in the second half, Notre Dame was able to score one more goal and win the contest 3-1.
“This was a much better performance against a tough conference foe,” said CHS head coach Kim Huffer. “Earlier in the season we lost 7-0 to Notre Dame. The girls fought hard the entire contest and had a few opportunities to score, but were unable to put it in the back of the net. Our team is very new and inexperienced. They are finally gelling together to create an attack. Additionally, the defense has done a much better job protecting through balls and shots on goal.”
The Lady Red Devils were set to wrap up their 2012 season yesterday (Wednesday) at home against Greater Lawrence. Seniors Cindy Cruz, Katherine Velasquez, Nuria Arevalo, Marta Maldonado, and Anissa Santiago will be recognized for their contributions to the CHS girls soccer program.
“These five girls have been key members of our team this year,” noted Huffer. “Cindy and Kathy are our two returning seniors and they have meant a lot to the development of the girls program in Chelsea. These five girls will be missed for their leadership, commitment, and hard work ethic both on and off the field.”