Shawsheen's Alex Smith (front) and Dan Lee

Alex Smith (front) and Dan Lee were the top two finishers for the Rams in this home meet victory held earlier this season.     (photo by JoeBrownphotos.com).

BILLERICA — In a season filled with great moments, the Shawsheen Tech Boys Soccer team had the best moment to date this past week, when they not only continued their great season, but made some program history as well.

Last Thursday afternoon, the Rams hosted perennial CAC power Chelsea at the Charles H. Lyons Athletic Complex and came away with a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Red Devils for their first ever win over Chelsea.

"Beating Chelsea is probably our biggest regular season win since I came to Shawsheen," said Rams coach Tom Severo, now in his fifth season as coach of the Rams. "They are perennial league champs, loaded with talented players. They are the team we have always set our sights on. In 2015 when we went 14-2-2, both losses were to Chelsea. In one game we even had a 2-0 lead at halftime only to lose 5-2. So beating them is a big accomplishment for us, plus it gave us our tenth win of this season."

It was a day of firsts for the Rams and Red Devils. It was the first time Shawsheen has beaten Chelsea, and it was also first loss of the year for Chelsea. The Rams fought back from a 1-0 deficit to tie the game when junior Anthony Papa out jumped the defense to put a head ball into the back of the net off a corner kick from junior Tyler Archibald of Wilmington.

The Rams struck again before half time when Archibald connected with senior Chris Melo of Tewksbury who ball-faked the defender and got off a beautiful curling shot inside the far post.

Both teams had opportunities to score, but the goaltenders for both teams stepped up with some big saves, with juniors Tyler Newhouse of Wilmington Adam Kearns both playing well for the Rams. Also playing well for the Rams were senior Matt Pustizzi and juniors Devin Almeida and Joe Hansen, both of Wilmington.

With the win the Rams improved to 10-2-2 on the season, while they are 4-0-2 in the CAC Large, keeping them very much in contention for the league title, as they are battling Mystic Valley (4-0-1) for the top spot.

The day before the big win over Lower Division Chelsea, the Rams had earned a key 1-1 tie with Upper Division rival Greater Lowell Tech in a road contest.

Melo scored Shawsheen’s only goal midway through the second half, assisted by Billy Hartshorn. The Rams had to battle back from an early deficit in this one. Greater Lowell scored in the game's first 10 minutes and held the lead until Melo got the equalizer midway through the second half.

Also playing well for Shawsheen were Papa, Hansen, junior James Genetti and freshman Cam Camelio.

The Rams were back in action on Tuesday when they hosted CAC rival Lynn Tech, with results of the game not available as of the Town Crier’s press time. They will take on another CAC rival Northeast, on Thursday in another home game.

Severo and his team are aiming for the league title, but the coach knows they cannot let up with so many teams fighting for the top spot.

"Even with our 10-2-2 record, the CAC is still up for grabs," Severo said. "The next three teams we face Lynn Tech, Northeast and Essex all tied Chelsea. We stole a 2-1 victory at Lynn Tech, and Northeast beat us 6-2, so we have our work cut out for us. However we are very pleased with how the season has gone so far."

GIRLS SOCCER

The Shawsheen Girls Soccer team picked up a big win of their own last Tuesday when they pulled out a clutch 1-0 victory over CAC rival Greater Lowell at the Charles H. Lyons Athletic Complex.

Maya DiMino scored the lone goal of the game midway through the first half, and thanks to a tremendous defensive effort, that one goal was good enough to hold up for the rest of the game and give the Rams a much needed victory in their quest to earn a post season berth.

Shawsheen is now 6-4-1 on the season with four games remaining, so every point is critical.

“That was a win we definitely needed,” Shawsheen coach Doug Michaud said. “Earlier in the season we had tied them in a game where I really felt like we should have won, so it was big for us to get a win this time.”

The Shawsheen defense had many stars in the shutout victory, but none bigger than Eryn Ward of Wilmington. Greater Lowell had limited opportunities, as the Rams did a great job of shutting down the CAC’s top goal scorer. Ward was a huge part of the team's defense marking the Greater Lowell striker.

“That girl has something like twenty goals on the season, so you always have to worry about her,” Michaud said. “But Eryn did a great job of marking her. Her teammates were trying to send her off and running, but with Eryn making her she just couldn’t get free.”

Towards the end of the game the Lowell player did manage to break through but was stopped by a tremendous save by Shawsheen's goalie Shelby Bourdeau, who came out of her net to challenge the prolific goal scorer.

“She was coming in right from the top of the box, and it was just her and Shelby,” Michaud said. “But Shelby came out and challenged her and held her ground and made a great play.”

The Rams followed up that big win with a 2-1 loss to Innovation Academy on Friday, but even in defeat, Michaud was pleased with how much his team had improved since the last time they faced Innovation and lost by score of 5-0.

Ella Malvone of Wilmington scored the only goal of the game for the Rams, but it was not quite enough to earn the victory.

“It was different this time around,” Michaud said. “The girls were excited to face them and they played really well. They weren’t able to get the win, but they played well.”

Shawsheen traveled to Notre Dame Academy on Tuesday, with the results of the game not available as of press time, and they will be back in action on Friday when they host non-league rival Lowell Catholic at 4:00 pm.

CROSS COUNTRY

Some great individual performances highlighted both the Boys and Girls Shawsheen Tech Cross Country teams this past week, as both teams split their tri meet with Greater Lawrence and Whittier last Wednesday in a meet held at Greater Lawrence.

Both teams split a pair of very competitive meets, with the boys earning a 26-31 victory over Whittier, while they fell by a margin of 24-33 to Greater Lawrence. The girls meanwhile earned an 18-39 win over Whittier, while suffering a hard fought 24-31 defeat to Greater Lawrence.

Shawsheen coach Pat Kelly obviously would have like to see his teams sweep both meets, but he was very impressed with how well all of the teams at the meet competed on the three mile course. Several Rams turned in outstanding times on the relatively flat course.

“That’s a nice course to run on,” Kelly said. “It is fairly flat, but even so, I just felt like so many kids ran a great race. Now, I have coached hundreds of cross country meets, but I would say this was one of the most exciting meets I have seen with three teams competing so well against each other for both the boys and girls. It was very exciting to watch.”

The most exciting runner to watch on either side in this one was Shawsheen junior Rachael Halas, who remained undefeated for the girls with another fantastic race.

Halas was followed closely by senior Rybekah Marsh of Wilmington, who was second against Whittier and fourth against Greater Lawrence, while another Wilmington senior, Jess Stevens was fourth against Whittier and seventh against Greater Lawrence.

The Rams were forced to run without two of their top runners due to injury, freshman Hannah Lyle and junior Susanna Gillis. Lyle has been among the top three finishers for Shawsheen all season, while Gillis has been in the top seven.

“We have been getting such strong performances at the top of our lineup,” Kelly said. “Rachael is obviously one of the best in the league, and Rybekah has been a great addition for us as a senior.

“It’s challenging to be without Hannah and Susanna for a meet like this, but then you see people like Jess Stevens stepping up with a great performance to help us in their absence.”

Rounding out the top finishers for Shawsheen were junior Kelley DeLosh, who was fifth against Whittier and ninth against Greater Lawrence and junior Jamie Odams of Tewksbury, who was sixth and tenth, respectively.

The Shawsheen Girls team is now 7 – 2 on the season. They were back in action on Wednesday in a tri-meet at Chelsea against Chelsea, Essex Tech and Nashoba Tech with the results of the meet not known as of press time.

On the Boys side, junior Alex Smith led the way, earning a second place finish against Whittier and s third place finish against Greater Lawrence. Fellow junior Paul Tower of Tewksbury was fourth against Whittier and fifth against Greater Lawrence, while another Tewksbury resident, junior Dan Lee was fifth and sixth.

Junior Matt Hemenway was sixth and seventh, while sophomore Joe D’Ampolo kept the local beat going for the Rams by finishing ninth and 12th. Juniors Cam Rich and Sam Quattrocchi finished tenth and eleventh against Whittier.

“Smith, Tower, Lee and Hemenway have all just been so outstanding in leading the boys team all year long,” Kelly said. “But I tell you what, Joe D’Ampolo has also been stepping up for us as of late and he is just a sophomore, so that is great to see.”

The Shawsheen Boys team is now 5 – 3. They were back in action on Wednesday in a tri-meet at Chelsea against Chelsea, Essex Tech and Nashoba Tech with the results of the meet not known as of press time.

GOLF

The Shawsheen Golf team has struggled against non-league opponents this season, having posted an 0-3 record against non-league foes prior to this past week.

But last Tuesday afternoon at Patriot Golf Course, that all changed, as the Rams dominated non-league rival Malden Catholic on their way to a 140-107 victory that improved their record at the time to 9-3.

Junior Aiden Sullivan led the way for the Rams, carded a 40 to earn medalist honors for Shawsheen, while juniors Nolan Rexford (42), Sean Murphy of Tewksbury (43), DJ Ducharme (43) followed close behind. Senior captain Brady McFadden of Tewksbury, along with junior Steve O’Connor each shot a 44 to help the Rams cause.

The Rams did not suffer any letdown the next day, coming away with a 145-96 victory over Northeast Metro Tech at Patriot Golf Course. O’Connor led the way in this one with a 38, followed by Ducharme (39) and senior Andre Comeau (42).

The Rams will be on the course on Thursday when they travel to Ready Meadows Golf Course in Lynnfield to take on Essex Tech, before competing in the CAC League Meet on Friday at Far Corners Golf Course in Boxford.

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