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As a sophomore midfielder, Jeff Panella was on the field when Masconomet Regional lost the Division 1 state title to Ludlow, 2-1. And he wanted nothing more than an opportunity at redemption.
But the game took an unexpected turn for the senior captain in this year’s Division 2 state final against Walpole.
Two minutes into the second half of a 1-1 game, Panella knocked heads with a Walpole player while attempting to field a throw-in, and he was forced to sit the rest of the game.
The Chieftains responded, scoring three goals over the next six minutes for a 4-1 victory. Masco joined the undefeated Newburyport girls (Division 3) as area teams to capture state soccer titles.