Two undefeated teams met in the boys’ soccer city championship Wednesday afternoon at English High. But only one team would come out victorious and cap off an undefeated season.
Four-time defending city league champion Madison Park was able to defeat Dorchester, 2-0, behind key goals from sophomores Witer Batista and Estevao Gomes. Cardinal goalie Joao Rosa held the Bears at bay all afternoon with 11 total saves.
“Throughout the year, we’ve continuously played well,” Madison Park coach Joao Gomes said. “The kids did a great job keeping up with practices. I’m happy with the way we came out and played today, and winning the Cities’ means a lot. Especially for our players.”
Despite dominating possession of the ball for the majority of the first half, Dorchester was unable to put one past Rosa, who made six saves before halftime.
The Cardinal’s drew first blood when Batista scored with 16 minutes left in the first after a nifty pass from teammate Jairo Ortiz.
“I went up for the header, but I lost control,” Batista said. “But Jairo made a great recovery for me and quickly passed it, so I put it home.”
Madison Park took that 1-0 lead into the half, and came out firing in the second. Less than 10 minutes in, Gomes scored off a deflection from a Dorchester player. This 2-0 lead proved to be all the offense Madison Park would need as Rosa continued to perform superbly in net.
“He’s outstanding,” Joao Gomes said of Rosa. “He’s definitely a go-getter and never quits. Hopefully he can cash in on some of his skills, and continue to get better and better and maybe become a professional.”
After the game, Dorchester coach Tim Lavin described his Bears team as the best he’s coached in 10 years.
“This was our first time making cities,” Lavin said. “It’s also the best record we’ve had since I’ve been here. I’m proud of the way we played today, Madison’s goalie just played great and we couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.”
This is Rosa’s third City Championship in a row, and he still has one year left as the Cardinal’s anchor in goal.
“I’m so happy,” he said. “It always feels great winning the cities. I give it to the seniors though, they’ve worked so hard. Dorchester’s a great team too. We just came out and worked as hard as we could today.”
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