Boys soccer wins
two to clinch CAC Large Division title
The Chelsea High boys soccer team won both of its games this past week against opponents from the Commonwealth Athletic Conference to clinch the title for the CAC Large Division.
Coach Mick Milutinovic’s Red Devils now stand at a near-perfect 12-0-2 on the season with just two contests remaining, one with non-league archrival Everett and the other with Greater Lawrence.
The twins wins against Greater Lowell and Lynn Tech earned Chelsea revenge of a sort, inasmuch as the Red Devils’ lone blemishes on their season’s record came via ties with both of those CAC rivals.
In last Thursday’s 3-1 triumph over Greater Lowell at Highland Park, Chelsea got on the board early thanks to an own goal by a GL defender, who inadvertently sliced the ball into his own net.
Greater Lowell bounced back five minutes later with a goal (into the Chelsea net) to bring matters back to level at 1-1, but Gabriel Contreras put the Red Devils ahead to stay with five minutes left in the first half. Carlos Ayala earned the assist when he brought down a long ball from the Chelsea back while in traffic, settled the ball for a moment, and then laid off a nice pass to a breaking Contreras.
The contest remained deadlocked at 2-1 until the Red Devils finally achieved some breathing room with two minutes left in the game on a goal by Brainer Padilla. Brainer was the beneficiary of a superb effort by Gabriel Garcia, who took a GL defender 1-on-1 deep into the box and then dropped a pass back to Padilla, who put it home for the clinching score.
“Gabriel does not score a lot of goals, but he generates a lot of our offense,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki, “so it was nice to have him get the assist for his efforts.”
The Red Devils avenged the second of their two ties this season with a 2-0 victory over the Lynn Tech Tigers Tuesday afternoon in a contest that was halted for 30 minutes because of nearby thunder.
Gabriel Contreras gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead at the 24 minute mark. Gabriel settled a long ball from his brother, Angel (who plays in the CHS backfield), with his chest, just outside the box, and then delivered a powerful strike that broke through the Tech keeper’s hands.
With two minutes left in the half, Delmer Romero, Chelsea’s leading scorer who had sat out the Greater Lowell game with a knee sprain, beat a Tech defender with a 1-on-1 move inside the box and then laid a pass back to Carlos Lopez at the top of the box. Carlos cleanly placed the ball into the back of the Tech net for a 2-0 Chelsea lead at the intermission.
The Chelsea defense and the Red Devils’ ace keeper, captain Roberto Portillo, played flawlessly the rest of the way to finish with a clean sheet.
“Tech is the most dangerous team we play because of the speed of their top players,” said Protasowicki. “You cannot afford to make a mistake when you play them. Our captain, Jose Gutierrez, and the rest of the defense really stepped up to shut them down.”
Milutinovic and his crew have two games left on their schedule. They will host Everett in a non-league contest tomorrow (Friday) evening at Highland and then will host Greater Lawrence in a make-up game on Monday.
The Red Devils, who punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney a few weeks ago, then will await news of their seeding and first round opponent in the MIAA state tournament.
CHS girls soccer
wins on Senior Night
The Chelsea High girls soccer team celebrated Senior Night in appropriate fashion with a 2-1 victory over Presentation of Mary Academy last Tuesday evening at Highland Park.
A contingent of seven CHS seniors, all of whom were on the field in the starting lineup for the opening kickoff, were honored for their contributions to the CHS girls soccer program: Isabel Alvarez, Ashly Aguilar, Jennifer Ruiz, Sulmy Urrutia, Yoselin Tupul, Amanda Dias, and Gita Degefa.
Damaris Erazo Flores scored both of the Chelsea goals, with assists going to Elena Ruiz and Isabel Alvarez.
Flores gave Chelsea the lead in the first half with a well-placed shot from outside the box after receiving a pass from Ruiz. Damaris was able to capitalize once again in the second half with an assist from Alvarez. PMA scored their only goal halfway through the second half and it was an even game thereafter with opportunities for both teams.
Red Devil keeper Danali Mejia made a number of big saves to maintain the lead. Chelsea had an opportunity to increase its advantage with five minutes left in the game when the referee signaled a penalty kick following a handball by PMA in the box. However, Amanda Dias’s shot was saved by the PMA goalie.
“This was a great win,” said CHS head coach Randy Grajal. “The team is playing great soccer. I am very proud of the progress the team has made throughout the season and look forward to our upcoming games.”
Grajal and his crew were set to wrap up their regular season with three contests on the road: at Mystic Valley today (Thursday), at Northeast Regional tomorrow, and at Notre Dame on Monday.
CHS football team plays at Manchester
The Chelsea High football team will trek to Manchester by the Sea this afternoon (Thursday) for a contest with Manchester-Essex in a non-playoff game in the MIAA state football tournament.
The Red Devils will be seeking their first win of the season after dropping last week’s encounter with a powerhouse Lynn Tech squad.
“Too many turnovers killed us,” said CHS head coach Rasi Chau. “You can’t have turnovers, because a good team like Lynn Tech will cash in on your mistakes.”
The Red Devils’ next opponent will not be determined until after this week’s games.
CHS boys fall
narrowly to Essex
The Chelsea High boys cross country team learned the truth of the axiom, “Close only counts in horseshoes,” as the Red Devils fell by the narrowest of margins, 28-29, to Essex Tech in a quad-meet last Wednesday in Billerica.
Chelsea entered the meet needing victories over all three Commonwealth Athletic Conference rivals, Shawsheen, Lynn Tech, and Essex Tech, in order to secure a share of the CAC title with Essex and Greater Lawrence.
Although he Red Devils handily ran past their foes from Shawsheen (23-37) and Lynn Tech (15-50), they came up just short vs. Essex, which finished the season with an undisputed CAC crown and an 11-0 record. Chelsea dropped to third place in the CAC with a 10-2 mark, behind Greater Lawrence at 11-1.
The Red Devils were led by Justin Turner, who finished third overall over the 3.1 mile course with a time of 18:18. Finishing fourth overall was teammate Julio Valladares in a clocking of 18:54.
Essex Tech finished fifth, sixth and seventh. The Red Devils grabbed eighth, ninth, 10th, and 11th — leaving them one point shy of defeating Essex.
Rafeal Castillo was eighth, running 19:33, followed by Wuilfido Hernandez and Oscar Amaya, who finished together in 19:48.
Jazmany Reyes turned in a fine performance with a time of 19:57.
“We had our best meet of the year,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “It was disappointing to be so close, but we are hoping for a better result in the league meet this Saturday at Greater Lowell. It should be a battle between Chelsea, Greater Lawrence, and Essex Tech.”
On the girls’ side, the Lady Red Devils were hoping to defend their dual meet title. Although the Chelsea squad defeated Lynn Tech, 15-50, they came up short to both Shawsheen, 23-36, and Essex Tech, 24-37.
The Lady Red Devils concluded their regular season with a fine 9-3 mark.
CHS senior Yarid Deras was the overall winner, setting a new course record, running 22:27 over the 3.1 mile distance.
“Yarid went out strong and hung on for a close victory,” said Fay. “She had two girls on her the whole race, but never let up and had a tough, gutsy race. When she’s in great shape, she just goes out hard and makes it very difficult for anyone to go by her.”
Deras has only one individual loss (against Mystic Valley) going into Saturday’s CAC league meet.
Saira Carrento was sixth overall in 24:51. Karina Avalos came across in 14th, running her best race of the year.
“It was disappointing to lose today, but the girls’ record is 20-3 over the last two years,” noted Fay.
On Saturday both teams traveled to Falmouth to run in the Bob McIntyre Twi-light Meet at the Barnstable Fairgrounds.
Justin Turner ran a personal best of 17:16 for the 3.1 miles. Julio Valladares broke 18 minutes, running 17:58, Jazmany Reyes was right behind in 18:02. Wuilfido Hernandez ran 18:34 and Oscar Amaya was 18:44.
For the girls, Yarid Deras ran 21:37, while Saira Carrento finished in a solid 22:59. Karina Avalos had a time of 24:23, while twin sisters Nicole and Yarelis Torres were 25:41 and 25:43 respectively.
Bruins Beatby Bob Morello
Bruins open brief homestand
After dropping the first three games of their four-game road trip to Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver, the Bruins were finally able to post a victory with a 4-1 decision versus the Ottawa Senators. Sporting an injury list that appears to getting almost be as long as Zdeno Chara’s stick, the Bruins are currently without three of their top defenseman, Charlie McAvoy who left the trip to return to Boston after not feeling well, and likely in need of testing, Kevan Miller, injured in the Edmonton Oilers game, and their vital power play leader Torey Krug. This created an emergency situation pressed rookie defenseman Urho Vaakanainen into service. As a result, it was painful for the Bs to watch Vaakanainen catch an errant elbow to the face from Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki in a goalmouth scramble in the first period. Add to that the loss of winger David Backes to a possible concussion; also during the Edmonton overtime loss.
Once again the Bruins’ magic came from the stick of David Pastrnak, as Pasta began ‘showtime’ by scoring Boston’s first goal in Boston’s 4-1 victory over the Senators, as well as the final goal, with solo power play goals sandwiched in between, from David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask returned Tuesday night to fill the Boston net and was solid in stopping 38 of Ottawa’s 39 shots on net.
The Bruins return to Garden ice tonight (Thursday, 7:00pm) to take on the Philadelphia Flyers on ‘Hockey Fights Cancer Night,’ as they open a brief two-game homestand that will include a Saturday night game (7:00pm) against Atlantic Division rival Montreal Canadiens. Boston will head right back out on the road following the Montreal matchup, meeting the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday 10/30 at 7:00pm, and ending the two-game road trip in Nashville to take on the Predators (Saturday 11/2 at 8:00pm), before returning to TD Garden.