The Taunton boys’ soccer team upset No. 12 ranked Oliver Ames, 2-1, Wednesday, handing the Tigers their first Hockomock League loss of the season on soggy Aleixo Field in Taunton. Oliver Ames (8-2-3) suffered its second loss in as many games after entering the midpoint of the season undefeated at 8-0-3.
“Oliver Ames is talented. They played a tight game against Weymouth that ended their undefeated streak earlier this week and us catching them when we did was a factor as well as the weather conditions,” said Taunton second-year coach Dave Purpura. “Our skill position players also played very well and we really took advantage of key possessions.”
Taunton (7-3-2, 7-2-2) made a series of key defensive adjustments in the second half after Oliver Ames senior striker David Stapleton ripped an 18-yard turnaround goal from the top of the penalty box to put the Tigers up, 1-0.
“[Stapleton] opened our eyes and showed us what he was capable of, and after that we really tightened our defense to neutralize and keep a close eye on him,” said Purpura.
Taunton responded to Oliver Ames’s potent attack by dropping an extra midfielder into a 4-4-2 diamond formation and quickly scoring in the 63d minute. Senior forward Mike Shaheen passed to trailing senior captain Danny Belair, who beat a defender and drilled the ball inside the far right post to even the game.
In the 66th minute, senior left midfielder Sam Tully, dribbled the ball near the left corner flag in Oliver Ames’s attacking third, and placed the ball carefully in the penalty box for sophomore striker Nelson Roias, who ripped it high right, 15 yards from the goal line, as Taunton took the lead, 2-1.
Both scoring opportunities resulted from Taunton’s reinforced defense that was led by junior midfielders Brad Alconada, Brandon Motta, and Tyler Diniz.
Needham 3, Framingham 0 — Senior captain Will Corkery tallied a goal and two assists.
Beaver Country Day 6, Pingree 1 — Junior midfielder Zack Lacava scored two goals and had one assist in the win for the Beavers (8-1).
East Bridgewater 5, Abington 3 — Senior captain Ethan Forrest scored three goals for the Green Wave (11-1).
Lynn Classical 6, Saugus 1 — Yabesi Musema and Salvador Castro chipped in two goals each for the Rams (7-1-4).
Chelsea 4, Greater Lawrence 1 — Junior forward Luis Cruz scored two goals for the Red Devils (9-0-1).