BILLERICA – The Shawsheen Tech Boys Soccer team isn’t going to let a few injuries get in their way of a successful season. Despite suffering injuries to some key players, including their starting goal keeper, the Rams have continued to battle, including this past week, when they went 1-0-1 in a pair of games against tough opponents to improve to 2-1-4 on the season and keep their post season tournament hopes very much alive.

Shawsheen started their week with an impressive 2-0 non-league win over Dracut in a home game. Junior captain and forward Noah Rizzo of Tewksbury had a goal and an assist for the Rams, while junior forward Joe Woodward had the other goal and senior midfielder and Jeremy Perez of Tewksbury notched the other assist.

Sophomore goalie Nick Gerasimov earned the shutout in his first varsity start filling in for injured senior goalie Tyler Kopacz of Tewksbury. Playing well for the Rams were, sophomore midfielder Brian Duhamel, junior fullback John MacEachern, freshman forward Nico Georgoulis and Jace Trechok

“That was a great win for us, especially with Tyler out,” Shawsheen coach Tom Severo said. “Nick did a great job and the entire team played really well. That was a great team win for us.”

The Rams weren’t able to pick up the win in their next game, when they hosted CAC rival Lowell Catholic, but they once again played very well while earning a 0-0 tie with the Crusaders. Playing well for Shawsheen were junior fullback and captain Cam Camelio, along with Rizzo, Duhamel and freshman fullback Ethan Melanson of Tewksbury. In some ways the game was somewhat frustrating for the Rams in that they dominated play for large stretches of the game, but could not get the win, but overall, Severo was very pleased with his team’s performance.

“We had plenty of chances. I think we out shot them 28-14,” Severo said. “We created a lot of offense, which was great to see. At the end of the game, we were kind of frustrated we didn’t win. We really controlled play, and we had a lot of shots. We played very well; we just couldn’t get the ball in the net.”

Gerasimov once again played above and beyond his experience to keep Lowell Catholic off the scoreboard, earning his second shutout in as many starts. While Severo hopes and expects to get Kopacz soon, he is happy that the team is in good hands with Gerasimov filling in until his star keeper returns.

“Nick played well in both games. He came up very big,” Severo said. “He has been improving, and he showed that he belonged in there. He came up with some big saves.”

The Rams will be back in action on Saturday when they host Whittier at 10:00 am as part of Shawsheen’s Homecoming Weekend, before hitting the road to take on Lynn Tech next Tuesday night at 7:15.

GIRLS SOCCER

Shawsheen’s Girls Soccer team has been steadily improving as the season has gone on, but has had very little to show for it, having lost their first seven games of the season, including a hard fought 4-2 loss to Greater Lowell last Monday. But on Thursday afternoon, the Rams were finally rewarded for all of their hard work, as they earned an impressive 3-0 win over their visitors from Tyngsboro.

Before they could get to their breakthrough win over Innovation, however, they first had a little bit of learning to do in their 4-2 loss to Greater Lowell, a game in which the Rams may have played their best game of the season, but came up a little bit short against their CAC rivals.

The Rams entered the game on the heels of a 6-1 loss to Mystic Valley in their previous game, nearly a week earlier. With some time to practice between games, the inexperienced Rams and head coach Doug Michaud took full advantage and got back to some basic fundamentals in hopes of improving.

“We realized that one of our biggest problems is that we weren’t settling the ball and we weren’t making good passes,” Michaud said. “So, we spent a lot of time working on that and just working on fundamentals and it paid off for us. We played much better.”

Shawsheen played so well in fact, that they jumped out to and early 2-0 lead, behind two goals from freshman forward Kendra Minghella of Tewksbury. Unfortunately for the Rams they were unable to maintain that lead and they entered the half in a 2-2 tie.

“We scored those two early goals and we were dominating the game,” Michaud said. “The girls were ecstatic and we felt like we were going to win the game. But they scored two goals in the last five minutes of the half to tie it up and really took the momentum into the half.”

Greater Lowell would add two more goals to extend their lead to 4-2, and the Rams couldn’t come back. While they were a little discouraged during the game at having given up a two goal lead, at the end of the game, Shawsheen players were able to take some positives out of the loss.

“It was a great game and at the end of the game we were able to say we played really well,” Michaud said. “We were able to look at what we had done at the at the beginning of the game and build on it. It was the first time we had that kind of feeling.

“I was glad they were able to look at it from that side. They could have been discouraged, but instead they were able to take some positives out of, which was good to see.”

The Rams took those positive feelings into Thursday’s game with Innovation, and it paid off, as they continued the trend of improved passing, leading them to a 3-0 win.

Shawsheen jumped on top quickly in this one, taking a 1-0 lead just ten minutes into the contest on a penalty kick goal by junior midfielder Brielle Pigott. Shortly thereafter, senior captain Ella Malvone of Wilmington doubled the Rams lead, and Shawsheen would take their 2-0 lead into the half.

“It was good for them to hold onto the lead this time and take that lead into the half,” Michaud said.

Freshman forward Judith Sloman pretty much sealed the victory for Shawsheen with a goal midway through the second half, and the Rams picked up their first win of the season.

“It was great for the girls to get a win,” Michaud said. “It is great for them to see their hard work paying off. Sometimes it can be a little mundane working on fundamentals, but they did a great job putting in the work and it was nice for them to see it pay off.

One player whose hard work has definitely been paying off has been freshman goalie Sydney MacPherson of Tewksbury, who earned the shutout in Thursday’s big win.

“She is getting better and better. Every game she is improving,” Michaud said. “She is so much better than at the start of the year. She listens, she takes coaching well, and she is only going to get better.”

Shawsheen will be back in action on Saturday when they host Dracut in a non-league match at 1:00 pm as part of Shawsheen’s Homecoming weekend.

GOLF

With another successful week behind them, the Shawsheen Tech Golf team improved to 12-0 on the season, while also closing in on a 17th straight CAC championship. After an incredibly busy week, the week before with five matches, the Rams hit the links just twice this past week, on Thursday and Friday. But busy or not, it hardly mattered to the Rams, who beat CAC rival Nashoba Tech by a score of 126-100 last Thursday at Patriot Golf Course in Bedford, returning to Patriot the next day to take on Bedford High and come away with a 43.5-28.5 victory.

In the win over Nashoba, the Rams were able to roll to victory behind several strong efforts, led by freshman Tyler Tsoukalas, shot a 37, which was good for 30 points. He was not alone, in his strong efforts however, as sophomore Derek Nazzaro put up 22 points, as did fellow sophomore Liam Milne. Sophomore Colin Lawson put up 18 points for the Rams, while fellow sophomore Brendan Lee earned 17 as did freshman Aidan Fortunado.

“We played some of our younger players. We were able to get them some playing time and they responded very well,” Shawsheen coach Tom Struthers said. “Really all season long we have been playing all freshman and sophomores, which makes things all the more promising. We have a lot of kids getting better and better as the season goes on, which is great to see as a coach.”

Tsoukalas has been of those players who has impressed his coach the most, coming in as just a freshman and firmly establishing himself as the Rams number two player behind sophomore captain Matthew Tramonte.

“He is just a freshman, but he is just outstanding,” Struthers said. “Even though he hasn’t been playing very long, it seems like he has. He is just that strong. Having players like him as a freshman and then Tramonte as a sophomore at the top of our lineup is very good for this year, and or our future as well.”

Nazzaro and Lawson each also put up impressive scores in the win over Nashoba, continuing what has been steady improvement all season long.

“Derek has been finding his game. It’s nice to see that he is playing well this year. He is only going to get better,” Struthers said. “And Colin is a sophomore, but this is just his first year with us. He tried out last year, but just didn’t make it because we had so many seniors. He came back this year and has been even better. He scored 32 points for us in our win over Burlington and he is just going to get better. He is such a great player and such a great kid. I am really happy for him.”

In the win over Bedford, the Rams had several outstanding performances, starting with Tramonte, with the Tewksbury native and number one player for the Rams, coming away with an 8.5-0.5 victory.

Tsoukalas earned a 5.5-3.5 victory as the Rams number two player, while Nazzaro came up with victory by the score at number four. Liam Milne, meanwhile, suffered a loss at number three, but still earned the Rams some key points in a 5-4 loss.

Freshman Aidan Fortunado (7-2) and sophomore Sean Schlehuber (6-3) also came up with big wins for the Rams.

“Bedford is not as strong as they have been in years past, but they always have some very good players, so it was great to see our guys play so well,” Struthers said.

The Rams were back in action on Wednesday, playing in the State Vocational Tournament at Acushnet River Valley Golf Course. Results were not available as of the Town Crier’s press time, but expectations were high for the Rams heading into the tournament.

“I feel pretty confident, and I am really hoping we can come away with a win. I think we are capable of it,” Struthers said. “Hopefully we can play well throughout our lineup. It will be the first vocational tournament for a lot of our guys, so I am hoping they respond well.”

The Rams will resume their regular season schedule on Thursday when they hit the road to take on Lowell Catholic before returning to Patriot Golf Course on Friday to once again take on Bedford.

VOLLEYBALL

After winning just two matches all of last season, the Shawsheen Tech Volleyball team has matched that total in just the past couple of weeks, picking up a pair of victories over CAC opponents to improve to 2-4 on the season, and even more importantly, offer some hope that more victories could very well be on the way this season.

Since the beginning of the season, Shawsheen second year coach Kelsey St. George had talked about how she expected her team to show improvement this season as they moved back to a more traditional schedule than they had in their “Fall 2” season. She had predicted that as they began to spend more time together and got more accustomed to playing together, the results would show up on the court.

If recent matches, including a 3-1 win over Whittier on September 24, as well as a 3-0 win over Greater Lawrence last Friday, are any indication, the Rams certainly appear to be headed in that direction.

The 3-0 win over Greater Lawrence was especially impressive for the Rams, and St. George felt that that the way the Rams won made it even more important.

“That was a really big win for us, and to win it 3-0 was an even bigger boost for us,” St. George said. “They all communicated so well and they all played so well.”

While Shawsheen played very well, the match was not without its tough moments for the Rams, including in the second set when they trailed 10-3. Even that, however, proved to ultimately be a positive for Shawsheen, who would come back to win the set, another sign of their growth from last season to this season.

“I told them that last year that would not have happened, so that was great to see from them,” St. George said. “And we really haven’t had that much time since the Fall-2 season, but we are getting to know each other more and more and overall, just playing so much better. I am very proud of all of them.”

St. George felt that her entire roster of healthy players have helped contribute to the past two wins, including seniors Chloe Gaglione and Bianca Corso of Wilmington, along with Tewksbury residents, seniors Kayla Mirisola, Gabby Ortiz, Isabella Schena, and Darielle Wilson, juniors Gabriella DiSalvo and Kiley McFadden and sophomore Cade Barron.

Shawsheen was back in action on Wednesday in a road match against Greater Lowell, with results of that match unavailable as of the Town Crier’s press time. They will return to the court on Thursday at the Marshall Middle School against Mystic Valley before taking on Greater Lowell in a rematch next Tuesday, once again on the road.

CROSS COUNTRY

Both the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams at Shawsheen suffered losses last Wednesday afternoon in a road meet against CAC rival Greater Lawrence, dropping the boys to 0-4 on the season, while the girls fell to 2-1. That however, was not the biggest story of meets for either team. Rather, the biggest story was the number of Rams who put up terrific times despite the losses.

Technically, the times can not be considered personal best times, as the Greater Lawrence course was only three miles as opposed to the standard 3.1-mile course used for cross country meets. It was also a very flat course, not as challenging as many of the courses that these runners are accustomed to.

With all of that being said, what many of the Rams runners accomplished was tremendous on both sides.

For the boys, who suffered another close loss, this time by a score of 24-31, sophomore Gordon Noble led the way for the Rams, finishing third overall in a time of 18:30. He was followed closely by senior captain Adam Ippolito of Tewksbury, who was fourth overall in a time of 18:42.

Fellow senior John Zembeck was next for the Rams, taking seventh overall in a time of 19:22, followed by sophomore Will Biscan of Wilmington in eighth in 19:27, freshman Noah Brooks in ninth in 19:50 and senior Connor Pyles in 11th place in 20:41.

“I was really impressed with how well so many of them finished,” Shawsheen coach Pat Kelly said. “They all posted some really great times. Despite the course being what it was, they still had to go out and get the job done, and it was still impressive to see so many of them do so well.”

For a team that has now suffered its four losses by seven, five, three and one point, respectively, Kelly is hoping that the boys can carry the momentum from their excellent times into their remaining meets this season.

“Hopefully it is a confidence builder and they take it and run with it, no pun intended,” Kelly said. “They did quite well, and hopefully they can carry it forward.”

On the girls side, they Rams were without their top runner, senior captain Devin Sweeney, as they suffered a 21-38 loss. But much like the boys, several of the girls runners posted outstanding times, led by junior Hannah Lyle, who finished second overall in a time of 23:33, while senior captain Kaylee Gaffney of Tewksbury was fifth in a time of 24:49. Sophomore Anna Andecic earned a ninth place finish in a time of 25:49, while freshman Amelia Matzke was tenth in 26:58 and senior Sandra Watne of Wilmington was 13th overall in a time of 27:39.

“It is always difficult to win without your number one, but we were able to take a lot of positives out of the meet,” Kelly said. “We had a lot girls finish with PR’s and all the girls finished in under 30 minutes, which was great. We have a lot of inexperienced runners. We had two girls running in their second meet ever and one girl running in her first meet, so they did very well. And that bodes well for the future.”

Both the Boys and Girls teams were back in action on Wednesday in their final home meet of the season, when they took on Greater Lowell and Nashoba Tech. Results of that meet were not available as of the Town Crier’s press time, but the Rams will take to the course once again next Wednesday when they take on Lynn Tech, Kipp and Essex Tech.

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