Boys soccer advances
to D-2 North quarterfinal with dramatic 2OT victory
The Chelsea High boys soccer team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division 2 North state soccer tournament with a thrilling 1-0 victory over Lynn Classical in double overtime in a first round contest Monday evening at Chelsea Stadium.
Coach Mick Milutinovic’s Red Devils, the #4 seed in the D-2 North, now will host Belmont, the #5 seed, Saturday afternoon on the local field at 4:00. Belmont earned the right to advance to the quarters with their own 1-0 triumph over 12th-seeded North Andover.
Chelsea freshman Edgar Rivera-Valladares was the hero of the day for the Red Devils in the exciting win over Classical, scoring his dramatic goal late in the second overtime period. Edgar received a nice crossing pass from fellow freshman Carlos Cartagena at the top of the box and settled the ball nicely with his chest before delivering a mighty strike that cleanly beat the Classical keeper to reach the back of the net and break the nil-nil deadlock.
“Edgar has been seeing more and more playing time as the season has progressed and has become a key member of the team,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “But he is just one among a large number of players who have stepped forward for us and who have contributed significantly to our success.”
CHS keeper Angel Figueroa earned the shutout in net, making numerous big saves in a game where every save meant the difference between victory and defeat. The Red Devils’ triumph was all the more sweet because it avenged a 1-0 defeat that Chelsea had suffered at the hands of Classical last year in the state tourney.
As for the upcoming contest with Belmont, Protasowicki said, “We know Belmont will be a challenge, as is every team at this stage of the tourney, and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”
The Red Devils were at their best in the regular season finale last Thursday at Northeast Regional, defeating the Golden Knights 5-0. Northeast, Chelsea’s archival in the Large School Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, typically presents a strong challenge to Chelsea and had been expected to do so once again with a tourney berth for the Golden Knights on the line.
However, a hat trick and an assist by Cartagena and single goals by Yefferson Padilla and Elias Sahile paved the way to a 5-0 shutout for coach Milutinovic’s crew.
“We’re a totally different team than we were at the beginning of the season. We’ve grown tremendously and now we’re really firing on all cylinders,” added Protasowicki. “We’re playing with confidence and we know that if we play our game, we can beat anybody.”
CHS football team
beats Lynn Tech, 19-6
The Chelsea High football team defeated Lynn Tech for the second week in a row, 19-6, to improve their record to 4-4 on the season. With both the Red Devils and the Tigers consigned to the non-playoff bracket of the new MIAA football playoff system, they came together again just by luck of the draw (or, more accurately, via the MIAA’s computer algorithms) for a rematch of their previous encounter the week before in which the Red Devils prevailed, 14-7.
The repeat contest did not begin well for Chelsea on a raw and rainy Saturday morning, as Tech scored on its opening drive of 60 yards, the key play being a long pass on a third-and-11 that brought the ball to the Chelsea two yard line.
However, the Chelsea defense asserted its dominance the rest of the way and the CHS offense eventually overcame the early deficit to carve out the victory. The Red Devils had two scoring opportunities in the opening half, but both went by the boards thanks to a pair of interceptions. The first came when Moises Casado tipped a Tech punt and Chelsea took over at the LT 30, only to turn the ball over two plays later. The second came in the second quarter when the Red Devils approached the red zone, but that drive died with an INT at the Tiger 22 to leave matters at 7-0 at the intermission.
“The team knew at the half that we had chances to score and didn’t capitalize “ said CHS head coach Mike Stellato. “We were mad at ourselves for what happened.”
The start of the third quarter brought more of the same, as the slippery pigskin proved difficult to hold onto and a Chelsea fumble at the Tech 25 ended another Devil scoring threat. However, the momentum of the game soon changed dramatically when the Chelsea defense rose to the occasion and stopped the Tigers on a fake punt play on fourth down at the Tech 40.
This time Chelsea took full advantage of the opportunity. Hard running by Sammy Rivera and a pass play from CHS quarterback Albie Alicea to Nelson Vega brought the ball inside the LT 10. Two plays later, Alicea crossed the goal line from three yards out. A successful PAT kick by Lucas DeOliveira split the uprights for a 7-6 Chelsea advantage.
Now it was Tech’s turn to experience turnover-itis, this time fumbling the ball at its own 30 on its next possession. DeOliveira recovered the loose pigskin and six plays later, Kalvin “The Jet” Duran went in from three yards out.
Tech’s second fumble within the span of a few minutes occurred on the third play of the ensuing possession, with Christian Calix making the recovery and setting up the Red Devils at the Tiger 48.
Nifty running by Duran moved the ball to the Tech 30 and just three plays later, Rivera ran the ball in from the 10 yard line for a 19-6 Chelsea lead as the teams prepared for the final period.
That would end the scoring on a day that saw the weather go from bad to worse and the Devils headed home with the victory and a .500 record.
Stellato cited a number of his charges for their fine play, including Rivera, Duran, and Christian Caceres on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage. On defense, the coach noted the fine efforts of senior linebackers Calix and Francisco Mercedes and junior tackle Dennys Hernandez.
“Our defense caused the turnovers in the second half that resulted in points,” said Stellato. “Our offensive line did a nice job opening up the holes for our backs.”
Stellato and his crew now will trek to Framingham State tomorrow (Friday) evening for a contest under the lights against Marian. Kick-off is at 7:00.
Chelsea High School Red Devils
The Chelsea High Red Devils boy’s soccer team won a double overtime, 1-0, thriller over nemesis Lynn Classical Monday night in a first round playoff game at Chelsea Stadium – beating the very team that ousted the Chelsea footballers in the first round of last year’s playoffs. That said, the match was hard fought between two rivals – one looking to prevail for two years in a row and the other looking for revenge on a narrow loss the year before. After regulation had expired, the winner could not be determined, as there was no score. With two minutes remaining in the second overtime, Hector Rivera-Villares became the hero by launching a graceful, airborne shot into the goal. It ended the contest and sent Chelsea to the second round of the Division 2 North Tournament. Chelsea (#4, 15-3-1) will face Belmont (#5, 14-3-2) on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. in Chelsea Stadium.