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Div. 3 Boys' State Soccer Final

Sutton proves too much for Georgetown to handle

By Jeff Powalisz
Globe Correspondent / November 19, 2011

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WORCESTER - Throughout the MIAA tournament, it was Sutton’s way or the highway.

If it found itself against a feeble defense, the attack would be relentless (10-0 CMass quarterfinal win over South Lancaster). If overtime was required (1-0 double-overtime semifinal win against Bromfield), so be it. The Sammies had 15 goals. Their opponents? Zero.

That command wasn’t about to end in the Division 3 state championship last night against Georgetown at Foley Stadium. Despite late momentum by the Royals, Sutton prevailed, 3-1.

The championship was the end of a remarkable run for the Sammies (20-1-2), who graduated 10 seniors last year and coach Michael Elster had serious doubts early this fall.

“We essentially had a whole new team, and I thought it was going to be a rebuilding year,’’ Elster said. “I really thought we’d be third or so in our conference. So this is very rewarding.’’

Georgetown (19-2-3) had played from behind plenty of times, but the moment coach Chris DiFranco saw his defense put in an own goal eight minutes into the second half to trail 3-0 ( credited to Justin Rothermich), he knew his team was in a deep hole.

“That third goal was a killer; two you can come back from, but three is very difficult,” DiFranco said. “You have to give credit to Sutton. They brought it the whole game.”

On the attack from the opening whistle, Sutton needed just five minutes to pot its first goal. Sophomore midfielder Riley Steele got his foot on the ball inside the box, and slammed in a shot before Georgetown could clear it.

Five minutes later, the always-dangerous Rothermich stole the ball in the Georgetown zone - capitalizing on lackadaisical defense - and beat keeper Ben Warren.

Sutton ran out of steam late in the game, with the ball primarily on its own end for the final 10 minutes. Max Harper scored the first goal against Sutton in the tournament, knocking in a rebound off a Matt Bitchell corner.

“I’m proud of my guys, they didn’t give up,” DiFranco said. “They were running on pure adrenaline there at the end.’’