BILLERICA – On a nearly perfect day for running, both the Shawsheen Tech Boys and Girls Cross Country teams had nearly perfect days, as both teams rolled to blowout victories over CAC rival Innovation Academy at the Charles H. Lyons Athletic Complex.

The boys powered their way to an 15-46 victory to improve to 2-1 on the season, while the girls stormed to an 18-45 win to improve to 3-1 on the season. The top finishers on both sides were almost all Rams, with the girls taking seven of the first eight spots, while the boys took six of the top seven spots.

“We had great running weather today and our team went out there and they ran low,” Shawsheen coach Pat Kelly said. “A lot of our kids have improved their time significantly on the season so far and today was another good day. It is a shortened season but the kids are now coming into form and running well. They are enjoying themselves and having some fun.”

Having some of the most fun on the girls side was junior Devin Sweeney, who finished first overall in a time of 23:22, while senior captain Rachael Halas took second in 23:54. Innovation’s Madeline Darlington took third in a time of 24:42, but after that it was all Rams, led by sophomore Hannah Lyle in a time of 25:32 and junior Kaylee Gaffney of Tewksbury in fifth place in 25:46.

Shawsheen took the next four spots as well, with Sandra Watne of Wilmington taking sixth place in a time of 26:56, followed by Emily Pinto of Wilmington (27:27), Jade Kim (28:01) and Kayla Fisk of Tewksbury (29:52).

“A lot of runners came in really happy with their time today and they will be looking to improve on that going forward, and I really think they can,” Kelly said. “They have been receptive to all the workouts we have been doing and really putting in the hard effort to improve.”

On the boys side, the Rams were led once again at the top by senior captains Alex Smith who was first in a time of 18:05, and Paul Tower of Tewksbury in 18:33. Another Tewksbury resident, junior Joe D’Ampolo was third overall in 19:41, while fellow junior Andrew Stokes of Wilmington with fourth in 20:59 and senior captain Sam Quattrocchi was fifth in 21:04.

Shawsheen freshman Gordon Noble took sixth in a time of 21:19 before Innovation’s first finisher came in at seventh place in a time of 21:22. For the second week in a row, the Rams had a runner from the second heat finish with a time better than several runners in the first heat, with senior Damien Hadden of Tewksbury having the tenth best overall time in 21:24.

Kelly has enjoyed seeing the depth of his team come through in recent meets, and has been impressed with how hard runners are working to earn a spot in the top seven.

“We challenge them to get into that top seven. We make it known that the top seven is varsity. You want to be considered varsity you have to be in that top seven and to get in that top seven you have to train hard and then come and prove it on race day. And that is what’s happening,” Kelly said. “Right now our seven and eight guys are two seconds apart and our nine guy is three seconds behind that. Taking it further, ten through 13 are all within 30 seconds of our number nine guy, so we have a lot of kids that are really pushing hard for that number seven spot. You want to be on varsity and they are pushing hard to be there.”

With both teams currently sitting with a winning record, Kelly is clearly happy with where both the boys and girls are sitting, But he also knows that they must be even better down the stretch, starting this Thursday when they take to the road to take on Nashoba Tech.

“Having a winning record like that does help build momentum sometimes. They see that we are on the winning side of things, so that gives you that little extra edge to push to continue to pick up those wins,” Kelly said. “Nashoba seems like they could be some tough competition, and then we finish with Greater Lowell and Essex and historically they have been tough competition for us. So, going into the end of the season, we have our work cut out for us if we want to win these last few meets.”

BOYS SOCCER

There may not be any state tournament to play for this season, but there is still a league title at stake, and the Shawsheen Tech Boys Soccer team certainly looks like they are ready to make a run at capturing the CAC Large title, as they are now past the midpoint of this year’s abbreviated season with their undefeated record still intact at 5-0-1 after two more big wins this past week.

The Rams kept their undefeated streak going with wins over CAC rivals Lowell Catholic on Saturday at home by a score of 3-2 and then Mystic Valley on the road on Monday by a score of 2-1 in a game played in horrible conditions.

In the win over Lowell Catholic, senior Devin Almeida of Wilmington provided the winning goal for the Rams in a 3-2 victory over the Crusaders. Lowell Catholic took the lead in the first half on the first of Denham Doe's two goals, but Shawsheen came back to tie it on a blast by senior Billy Hartshorn.

Sophomore Noah Rizzo of Tewksbury gave the Rams their first lead of the game early in the second half with his first varsity goal, making the score 2-1, only to have Lowell Catholic tie it up on another Doe goal, setting the stage for Almeida' game winner with 15 minutes left in regulation.

Junior Jeremy Perez of Tewksbury assisted the winning goal as well as Rizzo's goal. Almeida also had an assist for Shawsheen. Also playing well for the Rams were sophomore Cam Camelio, senior James Genetti of Wilmington and sophomore Evan Pinto of Wilmington. Senior Tyler Newhouse of Wilmington, along with fellow senior Adam Kearns spilt the game in goal for Shawsheen.

On Monday the Rams hit the road to take on Mystic Valley on a rainy, cold evening, but that did not stop them from earning a hard fought 2-1 victory over their CAC rivals. The Rams were powered by Genetti and fellow senior Tyler Archibald of Wilmington, who each had a goal and an assist, first Archibald setting up Genetti, then Genetti returning the favor. Mystic put pressure on late but strong play from senior Joe Hansen of Wilmington, along with Perez and Camelio, plus the work of Newhouse and Kearns in net preserved the win.

“Yesterday we played well under less than ideal conditions,” Shawsheen coach Tom Severo recalled the next day. “A 4:30 game in Malden. It was dark, cold, wet, and kids had to get there on their own due to Covid, and no bus. We played very well. They have some talented players, but we have strength all over the field and more than held our own. We were up 1-0 at the half then made it 2-0 before they scored to get within one. James Genetti had the first goal, Tyler Archibald assisted, then they switched with Tyler scoring off of James's pass.”

At 5-0-1, Severo is very happy with what he has seen from his team to this point.

“The team is playing very well, moving the ball, switching the point of attack effectively, and everyone playing a big role defensively,” Severo said. “We are happy to be playing and very happy to be winning.”

The Rams will be on the road for their next two games, first traveling to Innovation Academy on Wednesday as the Town Crier was going to press, followed by a contest on Saturday at Essex Tech at 10:00 am.

GIRLS SOCCER

It was a long time coming for the Shawsheen Tech Girls Soccer team, but last Saturday the Rams finally picked up their first win of the season, earning an exciting 2-0 road victory over CAC rival Lowell Catholic to improve to 1-1-4 on the season.

It’s not as if the Rams have not been playing well at times this season, as evidenced by their four ties. They have literally been competitive in every single game this season, even in their season opening 3-1 loss to Greater Lowell, but a lack of scoring punch has prevented them from getting the big goal that would have turned their ties into wins.

As it turned out, perhaps all they needed was the person to provide that scoring punch, and for one game at least, they found her in senior Jess Scholl of Tewksbury, who scored both goals on the day for the Rams, one in each half, to lead them to the victory.

Scholl had missed several games after injuring her ankle in a pre season intra squad scrimmage She had returned in the Rams previous game, a 0-0 loss in the rematch with Greater Lowell, and was back in full force in Saturday’s win.

“Jess had played well against Greater Lowell and actually had some good chances, and that carried over to this game” Shawsheen coach Doug Michaud said. “We need some scoring, so hopefully she can help us with that. We only had three goals all season prior to this game, so hopefully this will get us going.”

The Rams scored just before the end of the first half when Scholl scored off of a corner kick. The Rams actually caught a bit of a break on the play, when Talia Steed of Wilmington at first attempted to head the ball into the net, but then realized that under the current rules that heading the ball is illegal. She pulled back and the ball bounced over her where Scholl pounced on it in front of the net and put it behind a stunned Lowell Catholic goalie.

Scholl’s second goal was of the much more traditional kind, where she blasted in a shot from about the 18-yard line in the 75th minute to make the score 2-0 and give the Rams all the scoring they would need thanks to a strong performance in net from senior goalie Isabel Manning of Wilmington.

“Isabel did a great job in net,” Michaud said. “She made the saves she had to, especially over the last ten minutes or so when they had some great chances.

In addition to Scholl on offense and Manning in the net, the Rams also got strong efforts from their center midfielders Kerry Brown, Kaitlyn Apirile, Jacqui Megna and Talia Steed.

“They did a great job of controlling play in the middle of the field and setting up our offense,” Michaud said.

The Rams were set to take on Innovation Academy in a home game on Wednesday, with the results of that game unavailable as of press time, before hosting Essex Tech on Saturday at 11:00 am. Shawsheen tied Innovation 1-1 earlier in the season, and have yet to face Essex Tech.

GOLF

It might not have quite the same feel as some of the other titles, but regardless of the circumstances in the rest of the world, some things stay the same for the Shawsheen Tech Golf team, who this past week wrapped up their 16th consecutive CAC championship, improving their undefeated record to 7-0 on the season with a 146-95 win over Essex Tech at Patriot Golf Course last Wednesday afternoon.

The Rams got several fine performances on the day, but none were better than that of senior Sean Murphy of Tewksbury, who was the overall medalist, shooting a 39, while freshman Liam Milne followed close behind with a 41.

“Sean has been playing well,” Shawsheen coach Tom Struthers said. “He has to miss a couple of weeks but he has come back strong and this was a great score for him.”

Milne has been a surprise star this season for the Rams, along with fellow freshman Matthew Tramonte of Tewksbury. The past and present have obviously been very good for the Rams, but the future now also looks very bright as well.

“It looks like we have a couple of good freshmen going forward,” Struthers said. “It is going to be good having a couple of kids like that over the next three years.”

Nolan Rexford followed Murphy and Milne with a 40, while senior captain Steve O’Connor of Wilmington and fellow seniors Connor Preble of Tewksbury, along with Aiden Sullivan each shot a 43.

“It was a good match for us,” Struthers said. “We had a lot of guys play really well, which was great to see.”

While this season may have been a little (or a lot) different than seasons in the past, Struthers was happy to see his team put all the distractions aside, maintain their focus and secure another league title.

“This has been a good season. It was the best we could possibly do for the kids, especially the seniors,” Struthers said. “Even though we did not start until late, we played a lot of golf. You never know what is going to happen going forward, so you have to appreciate it while you can, and I think our kids did a great job this season.”

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