The Chelsea High boys soccer team enjoyed another productive week in a season of productive weeks, defeating two opponents and tying another this past week, to improve their record to a lofty 10-0-2.
The Red Devils opened the week last Wednesday by taking the measure of Greater Lawrence, a team that has improved greatly in recent years, in a contest that was not as close as the final score of 4-1 might indicate. After the teams traded goals to start the game, Chelsea moved out to a 3-1 lead at the half, with a goal by Luis Cruz just before the intermission placing the Red Devils in the driver’s seat at the half.
CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic was able to use a lot of his reserve players in the second half which featured the first varsity goal by freshman defender Julio Molina.
Next on tap was a key Commonwealth Athletic Conference Large Division contest on Friday with Lynn Tech, a perennial rival of the Red Devils in the CAC Large. Tech had handed Chelsea its only blemish in 2012 (up that point), a tie earlier in the year.
However, Milutinovic’s crew quickly dispelled any notion Tech might have had of repeating its earlier feat as the Red Devils popped in two goals in the first four minutes of the game. Carlos Lainez made it 1-0 just 30 seconds after the kickoff when he dribbled past a pair of Tech defenders and let go a shot from just inside the 18 that beat the Lynn keeper.
Three minutes later, Walter Guzman reached the back of the Tech net, putting the ball home amidst a scramble in front of the Tech net off a rebound of a Chelsea shot.
The half ended with the Red Devils holding their 2-0 edge, but Tech threatened to make a game of it with a marker midway through the second half. However, just minutes later Cruz sent a nice through pass to Michael Kottu, who got behind the Tech defenders and delivered a nice shot from the 18 that eluded the Tech keeper.
Lainez then applied the coup de grace when he stole an errant Tech pass in their backfield with 10 minutes to go and took advantage of the opportunity for the 4-1 finale.
“We played a solid game,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “We knew this was a big game for us because a win would put us in the driver’s seat for a league title and everybody responded.”
The Red Devils engaged in a rematch with former ancient rival Everett Monday. Chelsea had nipped Everett last week, but Monday’s encounter ended in a 1-1 draw. Everett held a 1-0 advantage at the intermission, but the Red Devils knotted the count on an acrobatic goal by Cruz off a direct kick from about 40 yards out by Kilmer Carrillo.
“Everett has some dangerous players on offense and they’re very disciplined on defense,” said Protasowicki. “This was a good test for us against a Division 1 team.”
The Red Devils were without the services of captain Hector Ramirez in both the Lynn Tech and Everett contests because of a hand injury. “Hector is the rock of our defense,” said Protasowicki. “His absence is a huge loss for us.”
However, stepping up to fill the void were seniors Josue Miralda and Josue Ramirez, both of whom Protasowicki lauded for coming through with fine efforts.
The Red Devils, who are all but assured of an outright CAC crown, have four games left in their season, starting yesterday (Wednesday) at No. Shore and then tomorrow at Shawsheen. On Tuesday they host Greater Lowell and Thursday they host Whittier.
Red Devils fall to Greater Lowell
The Chelsea High football team came out on the short end of a 34-8 decision at Greater Lowell Saturday.
After a scoreless opening period, Greater Lowell capitalized on a blocked punt and a high snap, both resulting in scores in the second quarter. GL’s added another score in the frame via an eight play drive, the capper being a quarterback keeper.
Chelsea had a chance just before halftime to get on the scoreboard, but was stopped at the three yard line, leaving matters at 22-0 at the intermission.
Greater Lowell blocked another Red Devil punt in the third quarter that bounced into the endzone and was recovered by Greater Lowell for six more points. GL scored its final TD on a 10 play drive to make it 34-0.
The Red Devils got onto the board in the final frame on a nice 35 yard pass from sophomore signal caller Mark Anthony Williams to freshman tight end Nelson Vega. Williams connected with Raul Flores for the two point conversion.
CHS head coach Mike Stellato noted the fine play of Jose Martinez and Raul Flores on offense and the defensive work of David Roque, Mark Beltran, and Michael Bissett, who recorded an interception.
The Red Devils will be back in action tomorrow (Friday) evening under the lights at Chelsea Stadium when they host Whittier. Kick off is at 7 p.m.
Volleyball team working hard and improving
Although the Chelsea High volleyball team came up short this week against one of its traditionally chief league rivals, Fellowship of Christian Academy, dropping the contest in five sets (with the final set decided by a slim 15-13 margin), CHS head coach Lisa Ceccherini said she is pleased with her team’s effort and improvement since the start of the season.
“We may be outmatched against some of the teams we’ve played, but we never give up,” said Ceccherini. “The refs and opposing coaches compliment us after every game and tell our girls what tough competitors they are.”
Ceccherini has been stressing the passing game with her charges, most of whom are either up from the junior varsity or who are new to the program. “Volleyball begins with passing,” said Ceccherini, “because that is where you have to make the transition from defense to offense.”
Ceccherini was effusive in her praise of the leadership demonstrated by her trio of senior captains, Cristal Rodriguez, Deina Mejia, and Danisse Vega, thus far this season.
“Cristal has been the backbone of our defense,” said the coach. “She also has been a great passer and is one of our leaders on the court. Deina has been stepping up offensively and has become a strong blocker at the net. Danisse has been a versatile player for us, both as a setter and as a hitter.”
Ceccherini also praised Rebecca Torento for her solid play on offense and defense. She noted that Melicia Ivanis has been coming into her own as a hitter and leads the Lady Red Devils in kills. The coach also lauded the play of Claire Pizarro, who has improved greatly and thus has been seeing more playing time as the season has progressed.
One setback for the Lady Red Devils this season was the absence of junior starter Marina Melendez, who suffered a concussion in a game on September 25.
Cross country teams both are victorious
The Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams both emerged victorious in their meet with Essex Aggie last Wednesday at Admiral’s Hill.
Senior captain Chester Rath set the pace for the boys’ 17-44 triumph with a winning time of 18:29. Finishing closely behind Rath was Faisal Nasimi in 18:45 . Luis Romero finished in third place running 19:21. All three recorded personal bests on the day.
Tony Nguyen was fourth overall and Jeffrey Estrada clinched the meet with a seventh place performance of 19:51. Senior captain Joseph Arroyo ran 20:07, followed by Jay Pedrero in 20:26, David Sklodowski 20:28, Brian Horn 20:43, and Joseph Chirinos 20:47, all of whom ran well for the Red Devils, who now stand at 6-3 on the season.
“We had a tough stretch of meets where we came up on the losing end,” said CHS coach Don Fay. “Hopefully this meet will give us some confidence going into our last part of the schedule.”
The last dual meet of the 2012 season for the Red Devils prior to the all-league meet was set for yesterday (Wednesday) against Northeast Vocational.
The girls also ran well, defeating Essex Aggie, 19-38.. Tatyana Almedia led the way in a winning time of 23:34 for the three mile course. Neris Yanes was next to finish, running 24:28 which was good for second place. Patty Guardado was third overall running 24:58. Katherine Villaran in 26:18 and Christina Fernandez with a clocking of 26:25 finished the scoring for the Lady Red Devils.
Also running well for Chelsea were Daisy Mejia 28:07, Bahiya Nasuuna 28:28, Jailene Paz 28:25, and Wendy Becera 28:47. The win improves the girls’ record to 4-6 on the year with Northeast on tap yesterday (Wednesday).
“We are getting fitter as the season is going on and we are running more as a team in our meets,” said Fay, “which will make us more successful coming down the stretch.”