The Shawsheen Tech Golf team won its 13th straight league title

The Shawsheen Tech Golf team won its 13th straight league title. The team includes from left, Nolan Rexford, Zach Carpenter, Brady McFadden, Cam LeRoux, Nick Nardella, Aidan Rexford, Kyle Preble, Andre Commeau and Coach Struthers.     (courtesy photo).

Needing a win over CAC rival Northeast Metro Tech last Wednesday afternoon in order to secure a share of their 13th straight CAC league title, the Shawsheen Tech Golf team wasted little time in establishing their dominance, rolling to a 7-2 win over the Knights to improve their record to 7-5 overall.

More importantly, they improved to 7-1 in the CAC, giving them a tie for the league title with Essex Tech, whom they lost to early in the season, but came back to defeat a couple of weeks back to create the deadlock at the top and give them a share of the league.

Winners on the day for Shawsheen against Northeast included senior Matt Irwin, who was the low medalist with a score of 39, followed by senior captain Matt Galinos with a 40, while fellow seniors Nick Nardella and Aidan Rexford also shot 40’s and senior Zach Carpenter fired a 42.

It has been a remarkable run over the past 13 years for the Rams, who started their string of titles in the CAC, before moving to the CAL (Colonial Athletic League) for six or seven years and then moving back to the CAC several years ago.

Regardless of the league, and regardless of the competition, the Rams have continued to win, and their coach Tom Struthers, who has overseen each of the titles, is very proud of what his players have accomplished.

“The thing about our team, is whether or not we cruised to the league title or had to really battle for it like this year, we always seem take a group of kids and make them come together as a family and that is the most important thing,” Struthers said.

“From the beginning, when I first started at Shawsheen and we were playing against Minuteman and Tyngsboro, who were winning the league all the time, it was a challenge for us and the kids met that challenge.”

Struthers has no doubt coached many great golfers during the Rams 13-year run of titles, but to him it has always been about much more than just talent that has made Shawsheen teams great.

“We have been very lucky with our talent, but also with having kids who have the desire to keep getting better and better,” Struthers said. “We want our kids to have fun, and that is a big part of what we do, but we also need them to take things seriously when we need them to, and the kids have always been able to do that.”

This season was no exception to that rule for the Rams, although they found their way to the league title a little different manner than usual, as it was depth rather than top end talent that led them to the championship.

“This year we did not have four top players like we have had in the past, but we found a way to win some big league matches and get a share of the league title," Struthers said. "That was the great thing about it, was that everybody contributed to it. Nick Nardella shot a 40 against Essex for us in our biggest match of the season.

"We had a lot of kids like Kyle Preble (of Tewksbury) and Aidan Rexford step up this year. I think that was one of the biggest things for us this year, seeing so many different players step up."

The Rams will be back in action on Friday when they travel to Hillview Country Club for the CAC Championship Tournament. Galinos, Carpenter, Rexford, Nardella, and Preble will represent the Rams.

While Shawsheen will certainly be one of the favorites, Struthers knows they will have to be at their best to beat teams like Essex Tech and Northeast, who are very strong at the top of their lineups.

"I feel confident because I know we have players capable of putting up really good scores, but can we do it for 18 holes? If we stay focused and play the way we are capable of, I think we can do well," Struthers said. "They are all capable, they just need to go out and do it for 18 holes. Hopefully it will be a good showing, and hopefully we can win."

CROSS-COUNTRY

The remarkable season of the Shawsheen Tech Girls Cross Country team continued this past week, the Lady Rams swept a tri-meet last Wednesday against host Whittier Tech as well as Greater Lawrence Tech to improve to 7-0 on the season.

Shawsheen won in a rout over Whitter, winning by a score of 21-38, but had to fight all the way to end against Greater Lawrence, as they pulled out a dramatic 27-28 victory.

Against Whittier, the Lady Rams failed to take the first place finish, but that was about the only thing that went wrong for them all day, as they took seven of the next nine spots in the top ten to secure the victory.

Junior Ivana Wisky of Tewksbury took top honors for the Lady Rams, finishing second overall on the 2.9 mile course in a time of 21:28. She was followed closely by senior Alesha Talbot of Tewksbury in third place overall with a time of 21:41, freshman Rachael Halas in a time of 22:04 and freshman Jenna Johnson in fifth in a time of 23:08.

After Whittier secured a sixth place finish, junior Hayleigh Perry of Tewksbury took seventh in a time of 24:04, followed by freshman Kelly DeLosh in ninth in a tie of 24:31 and junior Rachel Conway of Tewksbury in 25:03.

Things were much more difficult for the Lady Rams against Greater Lawrence, but they had just enough to pull out the dramatic 28-27 victory.

Ironically, although they did have a much tougher time with Greater Lawrence, Shawsheen was able to take the top spot in the race, Wisky’s 21:28 being good enough to top the field, with Talbot taking second in her time of 21:41.

Greater Lawrence came back however, to take the third and fourth spots to pull closer, and the score remained close when Halas took a fifth place finish followed by Greater Lawrence taking spots six through eight.

It looked the meet and the undefeated season could be slipping away from the Lady Rams, but when Johnson and Perry took ninth and tenth, respectively, both remained intact and Shawsheen was free to begin preparing for this week’s big quad-meet against Essex Tech, Lynn Tech and Chelsea, at Essex Tech

The tri-meet had much different results on the boys side, as the Rams, who had brought a perfect 4-0 mark into the meet, fell by scores 20-39 to Whittier and 21-36 to Greater Lawrence.

Despite the two losses, the Rams did get some outstanding individual performances, none better than junior Ryan Smith, who finished first overall against both teams in a course record time of 16:08.

Whittier however, took the five spots in their meet, before junior Nick Tuccelli stopped the bleeding with a seventh place finish in a time of 17:30, followed by junior Steve Basler of Tewksbury in ninth place, in a time of17:39 and Tommy Strow of Wilmington in tenth in a time of 17:43.

The Rams also fell to Greater Lawrence by a score of 21-36, with Smith’s course record once again taking the top spot, followed by Tuccelli in sixth, Basler in eighth and Strow in tenth.

BOYS SOCCER

What seemed like an impossibility just a few weeks ago now is beginning to look very much within reach for the Shawsheen Tech Boys Soccer team as the Rams continued their unlikely push towards a post season berth with two more big wins this past week.

With their two wins this week, a 5-0 drubbing of Whittier last Friday, and a 1-0 thriller over Greater Lowell on Tuesday, the Rams have now won four of their last five games to improve to 6-7-2 overall.

With three games left in the regular season, the Rams have put themselves in great position to achieve the .500 record needed in order to qualify for the post season.

It will not be easy by any means, as their opponents the rest of the way, Lynn Tech, Essex Tech and Mystic Valley, all defeated the Rams earlier in the season. But this current Rams team also seems a lot different than the squad that struggled to a 2-6-2 first half of the season.

The Rams kicked off their week by kicking off the Shawsheen Homecoming weekend in style with a 5-0 drubbing of Whittier Tech last Friday. Scoring for Shawsheen were junior forward Gavin Pigott, junior forward Jared Rizzo of Tewksbury, senior forward Ioannis Flaounas, senior midfielder Shawn Marshall of Wilmington and senior forward and Robert Danehy of Tewksbury. Assists went to Flaounas, senior fullback Billy Eagen of Tewksbury, senior midfielder Nick Sachetta, senior fullback Joe Genetti and sophomore midfielder Cam Corsino. Also playing well were senior fullback Story Michaud, senior forward Nick Gird, Nick Scaben and Justin Purdue.

That win improved the Rams to 5-7-2 overall, and they would inch closer to the .500 mark on Tuesday with a hard fought 1-0 win over Greater Lowell in a road contest. It was the second one goal victory over the Gryphons on the season for the Rams, having defeated them 2-1 earlier in the season.

The Rams got the game winner midway through the first half when Gavin Pigott scored off of Cam Corsino's corner kick. Also playing well for the surging Rams were Shawn Marshall, Kyle Simonds, Matt Pustizzi and Nick Sachetta.

All of Shawsheen’s remaining games will be on the road, starting with a tilt against Lynn Tech on Thursday, followed by games against Essex Tech next Tuesday, and Mystic Valley the following Monday.

GIRLS SOCCER

The Shawsheen Tech Girls Soccer team went 2-1 this past week, surrounding a non-league loss to Wakefield on Homecoming with two more important CAC victories to improve to 7-7-1 overall and 5-2 in the CAC with two big CAC matchups on tap for this week as the Lady Rams look to not only secure a post season berth, but grab a share of the CAC title as well.

The Lady Rams kicked off their week with a hard fought 3-0 win over CAC rival Whittier last Wednesday in a road contest, picking up the team’s third shutout of the season. Senior forward Shannon O'Grady of Wilmington started off the scoring early for Shawsheen with an unassisted goal, while senior Brittany Malfa of Tewksbury scored the Lady Rams other two goals off free kicks.

Junior Rebecca Smith of Tewksbury and sophomore Taylor Sacco split time in net sealing the shutout for Shawsheen, aided greatly by some strong defense by senior Catherine McKenna, Rachel MacDonald and Jackie Woodward, along with junior captain Monique Kazelyan.

After a 4-1 loss to non-league rival Wakefield on Homecoming Day on Saturday, the Lady Rams were back in action on Tuesday against Greater Lowell in a home contest, coming away with a dominant 4-0 victory over their long time rivals.

Shawsheen got goals from senior captain Angie Bankowski of Tewksbury, along with junior Ryle Lage, Megan Brown and Rebecca Smith. Junior goalie Emily Langone of Tewksbury picked up the shutout for the Lady Rams.

Shawsheen will be back in action on Thursday when they host CAC rival Mystic Valley, before hosting Essex Tech next Tuesday. The Lady Rams lost to both teams on the road earlier this season, dropping 1-0 decisions to both teams.

Wins in both games, coupled with a Mystic Valley win over Essex Tech next week would put Shawsheen into a three way tie for the league title.

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