Sports 09-29-2011

Red Devils defeat Greater Lawrence 10-6 for second straight win

The Chelsea High football team posted its second win of the young season with a solid 10-6 triumph over a good Greater Lawrence squad Friday evening under the lights at a wet Chelsea Memorial Stadium.

The contest was dominated by the defenses on both sides, with neither team able to generate any consistency or momentum on offense. The Red Devil “D” gave an indication early on that it would be a formidable force when Chelsea stopped Greater Lawrence on a fourth down play on GL’s 40 on Greater Lawrence’s first possession. “The defense did a great job to stop them,” said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “That play set the tone the rest of the way.”

The Red Devil offense got as far as the GL 15, but a costly procedure penalty and a failed attempt on fourth down turned the ball back over to Greater Lawrence.

The teams continued to follow to pattern of “three and out” until late in the second quarter when Chelsea was ale to muster a nice drive from its own 35 to the GL 15. Although the Red Devils were unable to get into the endzone, Juan Martinez came on in the final seconds to send the ball through the uprights for a 32 yard field goal as the half expired.

The defenses resumed their control of the game after the intermission.  A scoreless third period and first half of the fourth period made a 3-0 outcome appear likely.  However, the latter portion of the final quarter changed the tenor of the contest as fireworks erupted on both sides.

The Red Devils struck first when Juan Martinez recovered a GL fumble at the Chelsea 45. The Chelsea offense went to work and moved the ball deep into GL territory. Although the Greater Lawrence defense stiffened inside the GL 10, Chelsea executed a nice fourth down play on which Martinez burst through into the endzone from six yards out. Juan then kicked the PAT and Chelsea seemed to have a comfortable 10-0 with less than 5:00 to play.

But the Red Devil fans had barely finished their victory high fives when Greater Lawrence took back the ensuing kickoff for a 93 yard TD return. Things did not look good for the Devils when a three and out gave GL the ball at its own 25 and a chance to steal the game.

However, the only thievery that would take place would come from the hands of  Martinez (who else?), who picked off a Greater Lawrence pass at the GL 45.

The rain came down steadier at that point, but even a downpour would not have dampened the Red Devils’ spirits as they ran out the clock to claim the victory.

“This was a big win for us over a quality football team,” said Stellato, who noted that Greater Lawrence, which plays in the Large Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference (Chelsea plays in the Small), came into the game with a 2-0 record.

Stellato singled out a number of his Red Devils for praise, including linebacker Raul Flores, linebacker Joe Saez, defensive back Anthony Arroyo, and offensive guard Juan Figueroa. Stellato also lauded the combined efforts at the key center position of starter David Rocque and Eric Bernier, the latter of whom had to come on when Rocque was injured.

The Red Devils have a bye week and will return to action on Saturday, October 8, when they will travel to Shawsheen Tech.

CHS boys soccer wins three, now 7-0

The Chelsea High boys soccer team remained undefeated with three victories this past week and now stand at a lofty 7-0 on the season.

The Red Devils’ first contest of the week last Friday at Shawsheen Tech proved to be their most difficult encounter, as they prevailed by a close 2-0 margin. Captain Carlos Martinez provided the offensive spark for Chelsea, scoring both goals. His first marker came midway through the first half with freshman Dennis Martinez earning the assist.

Carlos then made it a 2-0 Chelsea advantage midway through the second half on a penalty kick to give the Red Devils an insurance goal. Chelsea goalkeeper Jimmy Funes and the Chelsea defense then took it from there, holding Shawsheen scoreless. Funes was tested a few times by Shawsheen, but he made the big save on every occasion to record what was his fifth shutout in as many games to that point in the season.

The Red Devils returned home Monday to host Trinity Catholic in a non league match and coasted to a 10-2 triumph. Chelsea took control early and jumped out to a big lead, allowing CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic to give all of his Red Devils lots of playing time. Braynor Sanchez reached the back of the Trinity net three times and Dennis Martinez did so twice to pace the Chelsea offense. Carlos Martinez, Sam Nessassi, and Michael Rendon also added markers, with Rendon’s being his first varsity goal.

Chelsea entertained Mystic Valley, which is in its first season with soccer as a varsity sport, and once again cruised to an easy win, 6-1. Goal scorers for Chelsea were Carlos Martinez with a pair (giving Carlos 12 goals on the season), Levi Deniz, Brayan Zepeda (his first varsity goal), Hector Ramirez,  and Dennis Martinez. Dennis took an elbow to his face in the game with a possible nose injury that might keep him out of action for a bit.

Ramirez’s goal was especially pretty, as he headed in a corner kick from Dennis Martinez. “Hector is very skilled in the air,” noted CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “He has a knack for going after the ball and making something happen.”

The Red Devils now enter a tougher part of their schedule with three strong opponents on tap in the week ahead. Chelsea will host Greater Lowell tomorrow (Friday); take on Division 1 Cambridge in a non league match on Monday; and then host archrival Northeast Regional Tuesday.

Volleyball team in comeback win

The Chelsea High volleyball team displayed a lot heart and a lot of talent this past week, earning plaudits from the Lady Red Devils’ toughest critic, their coach, Lisa Ceccherini.

“I was very impressed with the way our team played against strong opponents,” said Ceccherini. “In both matches we had to battle for every point and I’m very proud of the total effort they put into them.”

On Friday Chelsea took on Whittier Tech, which plays in the Large School Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference (Chelsea is in the Small School Division).

“We’ve enjoyed a lot of success in our division,” said Ceccherini, whose Lady Red Devils were co-champs of the CAC Small last year. “But I told the girls that the time had come to step up our game and take it to the next level and beat some of the Large School teams.”

Although the Chelsea girls fell short to Whittier, losing three tough games (28-26, 26-24, 25-21), they played with a tenacity that will serve them well as the season progresses.

“That was by far our best match of the season,” said Ceccherini. “Shuly Sejour missed a couple of kills by inches. If they had gone our way, we might have won the match. I told the girls that there is no reason they can’t play like that against every opponent.”

On Monday the Lady Red Devils traveled to archrival N.E. Voke. The two teams always engage in fierce battles and this one proved no exception, as the match stretched to five games. Chelsea won the first game, but dropped the next two to trail 2-1. But, as was the case in last week’s win over North Shore Tech, the Lady Red Devils dug deep and found an extra reserve of strength. They won the fourth game to draw even and then took the fifth and deciding game.

Sejour was a force for Chelsea at the net with 11 kills. Shuly also has been coming into her own as a setter from the back row when she is not at the net and playing a key role in directing the CHS offensive attack.

Teammate Jackie Lopez drilled six kills vs. Voke, while juniors Cristal Rodriguez and Deina Mejia excelled in the serving department. Ceccherini also had words of praise for senior Jessyka Quinones, a transfer from N.E. Voke, who came back to haunt her former teammates with a fine all around game on offense and defense.

The Lady Red Devils, who are 3-0 in the CAC Small, were set to take on their chief rival for supremacy in the division, Fellowship of  Christian Academy, yesterday (Wednesday). Chelsea and Fellowship shared the CAC Small title last year.

The Lady Red Devils will host Presentation of Mary today (Thursday), a formidable foe from the CAC Large. They will host Mystic Valley Tuesday and North Shore /Essex Thursday.

Cross country boys nip Greater Lowell

The Chelsea High boys cross country team earned a key early season victory Wednesday, squeaking past Greater Lowell, 27-30, in their home opener at Admiral’s Hill.

“The last two years that we have faced Greater Lowell we have beaten them by just a point, so we knew that once again we would have a tight race to the finish,” said CHS head coach Don Fay.

The Red Devils turned in a series of personal records (PRs) en route to the triumph, led by Joseph Arroyo, who won the race in a PR of 18:35 over the 2.9 mile course. CHS captain Francisco Colindres took second with a PR of 18:47 and captain Edgar Ocana was right behind in third place with his PR clocking of 18:49.

“If you can 1-2-3 your opponent and have two other runners finish, then you are an automatic winner,” said Fay. “We were 1-2-4  with a quarter mile to go, but Edgar knew the importance of getting the first three places. He put on a nice effort to pass the Greater Lowell boy to clinch the win for us,” noted Fay.

After Greater Lowell took the next five spots, Red Devil Chester Rath came across the line in ninth and Faisal Nasimi completed the CHS score sheet with a 13th place finish.  Jay Pedrero, Calvin Hernandez and Jamie Aguilar all finished in the top twenty for Chelsea, which now is 3-0 on the season.

Girls run past Lowell, 17-40

The Chelsea High girls cross country team also remained undefeated, easily running past visiting Greater Lowell Wednesday at Admiral’s Hill, 17-44, to raise their record to 3-0 on the season.

The Lady Red Devils took the first four places and showed their depth by nabbing eight of the top 10 spots.  Arandeni Ramos won the race with a personal record (PR) time of 24:02, followed by Duska Cvjetan in 24:07, Tatyana Almedia in 24:31 (a PR), and Neris Yanes in 24:48 (a PR).

Also running strong races for the Chelsea girls were captain Patricia Guardado in seventh place in 25:51, Yareli Sanchez in eighth in 26:13, Monica Hernandez in ninth in 26:17, and  Andrea Umana in 10th in 27:09.

“Both our boys and girls teams are very motivated and excited about this season,” said

Fay. “We have 42 runners between the two teams.  The  girls are looking to repeat as league champions and are shooting for  their first dual meet championship.  The boys are now in the upper division after winning last year in the lower division.”

Both CHS squads were set to take on Essex Aggie yesterday (Wednesday) and will host Mystic Valley Monday afternoon at  Admiral’s Hill.

Lady Red Devils shut out Lynn Tech, 7-0

The Chelsea High girls soccer team bounced back from two tough losses to post a 7-0 shutout at Lynn Tech Monday. Coach Kim Huffer’s Lady Red Devils now stand at 3-2 on the season and are 3-1 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

Chelsea went on the attack early, scoring just minutes into the contest.  Sara Bourouis notched her third goal of the season, assisted by Loren Ramos.  Loren herself reached the back of the Lynn Tech net three times,  including a beautiful goal assisted by Natalie Pacas.  Teammate Zuleima Castillo also notched the hat trick, bringing her season goal total to eight.

“The defense looked a lot stronger this game,” said Huffer. “The team was communicating with each other and the girls were covering for each other if someone got beat.”

The Lady Red Devils struggled last week, losing two close games to Mystic Valley (2-0) and Pope John (2-1).  Huffer had to make some adjustments to her lineup because of the loss of   Elsa Nunez, the team’s co-captain and a 2010 conference all-star, after Elsa suffered an ACL tear in the second game of the season.

“Elsa has been the general on the field for us,” said Huffer. “She told everyone where to go and was able to get the defense to move as a unit.  Our defense has a big role to fill but the girls are gradually improving their communication with each other and understanding their roles much better.  I am hopeful that the defense will continue to gel during the next few games.”

In Thursday’s closely fought battle with Mystic Valley, the CHS girls fell behind 1-0 after an early goal that slipped through the defense and fingers of goalkeeper Lindsey Fuentes.  This early goal appeared to wake up the Lady Red Devils, who refused to surrender another goal for the majority of the game.  Fuentes rebounded from the early MV tally and played flawlessly thereafter, making six saves before yielding another goal when she punched a ball to the side (for another save) that unfortunately fell to the feet of a waiting Mystic Valley player who put it in the opposite side of the net.

On Friday, Chelsea hosted Pope John in a non league contest.  The rain made for a wet and sloppy first half.  After the Red Devils spotted PJ a 2-0 lead in the first half, they held the Lady Tigers scoreless in the second half.  The Chelsea offense made some nice runs after the intermission and clearly had the momentum on their side when Castillo beat the Pope John keeper with a long-range shot that went over the goalie’s hands. However, the CHS effort fell short for a 2-1 defeat.

“If we had another 10 minutes in the game, I think the score may have been tied at the finish,” noted Huffer. “It took us a little too long to gain momentum in the game.  We need to start stronger and play smarter from the beginning, not wait for a goal to be scored against us to get us to wake up.

Huffer and her crew hosted North Shore yesterday (Wednesday) in a makeup of a rain date and then travel to Presentation of Mary today (Thursday).

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