LYNN – One. More. Game.
That’s all the CCHS boys’ soccer has left for the 2023 season. One game to play for the Division One state championship. The Patriots will play Needham on Saturday November 18 at 5 p.m. at Walpole High School.
C-C advanced to the championship game by defeating Weymouth 3-1 Wednesday, November15 at Manning Field in Lynn.
The first and third C-C goals came thanks to mistakes by Weymouth.
Senior captain Sean Fernandez-Davila was tackled in the box by the Weymouth goalkeeper, Bo Carly. Fernandez-Davila was awarded a penalty kick and took his spot at the penalty mark, 12 yards from the goal. He gathered himself, made his run up and then drilled a shot into the left corner of the goal for a 1-0 Patriots lead.
The second penalty kick by Fernandez-Davila came in the 54th minute and was eerily similar to his first half score. Again, after a foul against Weymouth occurred inside the box, the Patriots were awarded a penalty kick. Fernandez-Davila settled himself and then drilled a shot into almost the exact location of his first one, again beating Carly and giving his team a 3-1 lead.
“I was focused on staying calm and making the same run up to the ball,” said Fernandez-Davila when asked about his approach to taking penalty kicks.
The two successful penalty kicks gave him seven goals on the season, four of them by penalty kick.
The game featured two of the top soccer players in Massachusetts. Weymouth’s Bruno DeSouza and Concord-Carlisle’s Brady Poor had both been selected as All-Americans by the Eastern Massachusetts Soccer Coaches Association.
DeSouza came through for the Wildcats in the 22nd minute. From about 18 yards out his shot found the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
A little over six minutes later junior Jamo Velez gave C-C the lead for good. His first shot was stopped by Carly, but Velez stayed with the ball and his header got by Carly for the 2-1 lead. It was Velez’ seventh goal of the season.
Weymouth took a shot within the final minute of the first half, but Patriots senior captain goalkeeper Ben Wasserman responded with a great diving save to preserve the lead.
“All of our forwards played really well,” said C-C head coach Ray Pavlik. “Ben (Wasserman) was great in goal.”
Wasserman came up big play after play for the Patriots. Whether he was denying a scoring attempt on a corner kick or starting a run for the offense with a long throw.
After the second penalty kick for C-C the clock became the Patriots ally and the defense again stood tall and turned away every scoring attempt by Weymouth.
“This team has worked hard,” said C-C head coach Ray Pavlik. “They have had to figure a way out of a couple of situations.”
This trip to the finals is the first for Concord-Carlisle as a Division One team. The five state championships the Patriots have won were in Division Two.
“We have great respect for Needham,” said Pavlik. “We have our work cut out for us.”
Needham, 18-2-2, is the #2 seed and has not allowed a goal in its four tournament games. The Rockets lost the championship game in 2022 to St. John’s Prep 2-0. They return 15 seniors from last season’s final four team.
Concord-Carlisle, 19-0-1, is the #1 seed and has won 12 straight. Despite having given up a goal in each of the last three tournament game, the Patriots have only allowed seven goals all season.