BILLERICA — A pair of tough losses for the Shawsheen Tech Volleyball team this past week dropped the Rams record to 4-8 on the season, dealing a serious blow to their hopes of earning a bid to the state tournament. The Rams, however, played well in both matches, a 3-2 loss to Nashoba Tech last Thursday at home, and a 3-0 road loss to Whittier on Friday, and with eight matches left in the season, there is plenty reason for optimism that they can still secure a berth.

The loss to Nashoba was a particularly bitter one for the Rams, as they took a 2-0 lead before falling in five sets (20-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-12).

“We could have played a lot better against Nashoba. When we lost the third game, I wasn’t worried because I had complete confidence in my team,” Shawsheen coach Anne DeMarco said. “I fully expected to win the fourth game; I was stunned when we lost. I take full responsibly for the loss, because I made some decisions that caused us to lose our momentum.”

One positive aspect of the match for the Rams was that despite the loss, several players came off the bench and played very well, including sophomore Sandra Watne of Wilmington, sophomore Kayla Mirisola of Tewksbury, sophomore Devin Sweeney and junior Sophia Rego of Wilmington.

“This was Sophia’s first game of the season because she has been injured since preseason,” DeMarco said. “These four young ladies have a lot of potential and it was nice to see them step up and play last Thursday.”

Against Whittier, the Rams fell by scores of 25-12, 25-15 and 25-23, improving as the match went on, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat the talented Wildcats.

“We played well against Whittier. Our serve receive was solid and we gave them a lot of tough balls to play,” DeMarco said. “Our setter, Deanna Goguen, had an unbelievable serving and setting game; she carried us. I was most impressed with my team’s unwillingness to quit… I thought we were going to win the third game; it was close, and the girls fought hard. I would rather watch my team play the way they did against Whittier and lose than to see them win with half the effort.”

The Rams were looking forward to another big week ahead of them with road matches against Notre Dame and Greater Lowell on Tuesday and Wednesday, with results not available at the Town Crier’s press time. Following that, they will host Essex Tech on Friday.

“We are very excited to play Notre Dame and Essex again,” DeMarco said. “When we met Essex earlier in the season, we really didn’t show up and struggled a lot. We are looking forward to showing them who we really are on Friday. We haven’t seen Greater Lowell yet, but I know it will be a tough match for sure.”

GIRLS SOCCER

With a big 3-0 win over CAC rival Minuteman last Wednesday afternoon, the Shawsheen Tech Girls Soccer team inched closer to securing the state tournament berth that has eluded them the past two seasons,

Those tournament hopes took a bit of a hit on Friday when the Rams suffered a 2-0 loss to Lowell Catholic, but with a 5-3-1 record at this point, the Rams need three wins (or two wins and a tie) in their final six games in order secure a spot in the post season.

Shawsheen actually got off to a bit of a slow start in the 3-0 win over Minuteman. With a halftime score of 0-0 it took a while for Shawsheen to put a ball in the net, but once they did, they were able to quickly follow it up with two more in a dominant second half.

“I think maybe we took Minuteman a little lightly,” Shawsheen coach Doug Michaud said. “They only had 11 players and I think when our kids saw that, they thought it might be easy because they were missing a couple of key players. Maybe we didn’t press as hard as we should have in the first half, but thankfully we played much better in the second half.”

Junior forward Jessie Duggan of Tewksbury got the scoring started for the Rams early in the second half, continuing what has been great start to the season.

“Jessie joined the team as a sophomore last year and we needed a defender, so she played back there and she did a nice job,” Michaud said. “But this year we have some good defenders, so we were able to move her up to forward and she has done a nice job. She has a left footed, hard shot and she scored a nice goal.”

Junior midfielder and captain Jacqui Megna, and freshman midfielder Brielle Pigott had the other goals for the Rams. Playing net for Shawsheen the in the first half was Shelby Bourdeau and tending goal the second half was Taylor Sacco. Also playing well for Shawsheen were junior Kayla Ward and Talia Steed of Wilmington, and freshman Kerry Brown.

Despite winding up on the wrong end of the score, Michaud felt like his team played well in the 2-0 loss to Lowell Catholic on Friday.

“They had a grass field that was really rough, which we were not used and the conditions were very windy in the first half when we had the wind against us,” Michaud said. “We couldn’t get in front of the ball to make good passes. They got their goals off a corner kick, and then another one on a high shot from the middle of the field that they kind of mishit and went into the net.”

With several challenging games ahead, it will not be easy for the Rams to secure a playoff spot, but Michaud is confident his team will be able to secure a spot if they play up to their capabilities.

"We are close to getting a spot, but we have to stay focused and realize we still need to win some games to get in,” Michaud said. “The girls are excited that we are close, but we are not in yet. If we play well, there some winnable games there for us and we will get in.”

BOYS SOCCER

With a pair of wins this past week, the Shawsheen Tech Boys Soccer team qualified for the state tournament, improving their record on the season to 9-2-1 overall. The Rams earned their victories over non-league rival Innovation Academy last Thursday. Prior to that, they had earned a big win over CAC rival Minuteman last Tuesday.

Shawsheen qualified for the state tournament in dramatic fashion, scoring two goals in the last 10 minutes to pull out a 2-1 win over Innovation Academy.

Innovation held the 1-0 lead for most of the game, scoring early in the first half. The Hawks thwarted the Rams time and time again with great goal tending and team defense. But Shawsheen tied it with ten minutes to play off the foot of senior Dan Archibald of Wilmington, then got the winner three minutes later when sophomore Adrino Trotta found the back of the net Shawsheen assists went to junior Tyler Archibald of Wilmington and sophomore Jeremy Perez of Tewksbury.

Playing well for Shawsheen were freshman Evan Pinto of Wilmington, along with fellow freshman Cam Camelio, junior Joe Hansen of Wilmington and senior Matt Pustizzi.

Hansen led the way with a goal and an assist in the Rams 2-0 win over Minuteman last Tuesday. Also scoring for Shawsheen was senior Chris Melo of Tewksbury. Zach Langlois had the other assist on a perfectly placed corner kick. Junior goalies Tyler Newhouse of Wilmington and Adam Kearns combined for the Rams fourth shutout in their last five games at the time.

Also playing well for Shawsheen sophomore Johann Ferrer and junior Anthony Papa.

The Rams were back in action in Tuesday on the road against Greater Lowell, with results not available as of the Town Crier’s press time. The will be back on the pitch on Thursday when they host CAC rival Chelsea, one of only two teams to hand the Rams a defeat this season.

GOLF

The Shawsheen Tech Golf team took another step towards securing their 14th consecutive CAC title this past week, rolling to a blowout win over CAC rival Greater Lawrence on Friday at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Haverhill. The Rams powered their way to a 135-50 victory over their CAC rivals, improving to 8-3 overall on the season, and more importantly a perfect 8-0 in the CAC.

“That was a good win for us,” Shawsheen coach Tom Struthers said. “The boys played well. They played the way they are capable of playing. I am not sure what happens when we play some of the better non-league teams, if the kids just get intimidated or what the story is, but against Greater Lawrence they were just calm and took care of business and played really well.”

Junior Steven O’Connor of Wilmington led the way for the Rams, taking low medalist honors with a 41, while senior captain Brady McFadden of Tewksbury fired a 42, and senior Andre Comeau shot a 42. Junior Nolan Rexford shot a 43 to round out the low scores for the Rams.

Prior to the big win over Greater Lawrence, the Rams had earned a fourth place finish at the Massachusetts State Vocational Tournament at the Acushnet River Valley Golf Course. The Rams finished with a score of 342, well behind top finisher Blackstone Valley, who shot an amazing 320.

Each of the 28 teams brought five golfers to the 18-hole tournament and the best four scores from each tournament counted towards each team’s score.

“It was the same type of thing for us at the vocational tournament, where I felt like maybe the kids were a little intimidated by the competition and didn’t play their best,” Struthers said. “I don’t want to sound negative. Fourth place at the state vocational tournament is very good, but I just really believe in this team and really think they are very good.”

O’Connor once again led the way for the Rams, shooting an 83, while McFadden and Rexford both followed close behind with scores of 84. Junior Sean Murphy of Tewksbury shot a 91, while Preble came in with a 92.

The Rams were back in action on Tuesday afternoon, hosting non-league rival Malden Catholic at Patriot Golf Course. Results of the match were not available as of press time, but Struthers was hoping that his team would have a good showing against their non-league rivals.

“Malden Catholic has a pretty strong team, so it will be good to see how we match up with them,” Struthers said. “I know in our first few non- league matches we didn’t show up as well as we should have, but hopefully we will show up against Malden Catholic and play well.”

After their matchup with Greater Lawrence, the Rams will travel to Hillview Country Club to take on CAC rival Northeast Metro Tech on Wednesday, before traveling to Billerica Country Club to take on non-league rival Burlington on Friday.

CROSS-COUNTRY

Batting through the cold, downpouring rain, the both the Shawsheen Tech Boys and Girls Cross Country teams had big wins last Wednesday afternoon at the Charles H. Lyons Athletic Complex.

The Shawsheen Girls squad came away with a pair of victories on the day, defeating Lynn Tech by a score of 19-44, and Notre Dame by a score of 20-35, while the Boys scored a dominant victory over Lynn Tech by a score of 15-49.

With their pair of wins, the girls improved to 6-1 on the season, while the boys win improved them to 4-2 on the season.

On the girls’ side, in the win over Lynn Tech, the Rams were led once again by junior Rachael Halas, who remained undefeated on the season with another first place finish. The Rams dominated the top eight against the Tigers, taking seven of the top eight spots.

After Lynn Tech took second place, the Rams took the next five slots led by senior Rybekah Marsh of Wilmington, freshman Hannah Lyle, junior Jamie Odams of Tewksbury, junior Kelley DeLosh, senior Jess Stevens of Wilmington and junior Susanna Gillis.

Shawsheen was nearly as dominant against Notre Dame, taking six of the top eight slots, with Halas once again leading the way, followed in second place by Marsh. After Notre Dame took third place, Lyle took fourth place for the Rams. Notre Dame took fifth place, but Shawsheen came back to take sixth and seventh behind Odams and DeLosh.

As dominant as the girls have been this season on their way to a 6-1 record, Shawsheen coach Pat Kelly was still a little surprised to see them ease past Notre Dame the way they did.

“Lynn Tech doesn’t always have the firepower to compete with us, but their number one this year was very good. She really pushed Rachael. She was very good, but they weren’t very deep,” Kelly said. “I was a little surprised with the Notre Dame score. They have a very good team this year, but our top runners really did a great job.”

On the boys’ side, the Rams completely dominated Lynn Tech. They had split their tri-meet the week before against PMA and Mystic Valley, but the Mystic Valley loss was especially tough to take, coming by just two points (27-29). The Rams put the memories of that tough loss behind them with their rout of Lynn Tech.

“The Mystic loss was definitely tough,” Kelly said. “Part of that was because we were on their home course, so the boys were very glad to be back on their course. Coming off a tough loss like that, it was nice to come back and dominate the way they did.”

The Rams took the first six spots, led by junior Alex Smith in first overall, followed closely by junior Paul Tower of Tewksbury, junior Dan Lee of Tewksbury, junior Matt Hemenway, sophomore Joe D’Ampolo of Tewksbury and junior Cam Rich. After Lynn Tech took seventh, junior Sam Quattrocchi earned an eighth-place finish.

“I think our team really enjoys running on their home course,” Kelly said. “They will complain about it to me because it is a tough course, but I think they take advantage of it when they are running against an opponent who is not used to it. After an opponent walks through it for the first time, it can be intimidating for them, and I think our kids kind of like that.”

Both the boys and girls were back in action on Wednesday Greater Lawrence Tech against Greater Lawrence and Whittier Tech. Results of the meet were not available as of press time.

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