BILLERICA — The Shawsheen Tech Boys Soccer team has established a fine winning tradition over the past several seasons, and last season was no exception. The Rams powered their way to a 9-5-4 regular season record, before suffering a 1-0 loss to Lynn Classical in the first round of the Division 4 North Sectional Tournament.
The 2018 squad accomplished their great season despite losing 12 seniors from the year before. While the numbers are not quite so staggering this season, the Rams still must overcome the loss of seven seniors from last year’s squad as they try to earn what would be their third consecutive state tournament berth, as well as their fifth in the last six years.
Shawsheen coach Tom Severo, entering his sixth season as head coach of the Rams, is confident that they will be able to overcome the loss of so many talented players. Some of the key losses for the Rams include leading scorer Jared Rizzo of Tewksbury, along with Lowell Sun and CAC All-Stars Gavin Pigott Mike Reppucci. Reppucci, of Tewksbury, was a three-year starter in net for the Rams.
“Last season was a wonderful experience,” Severo said. “We exceeded expectations. Led by many outstanding seniors including Pigott, Reppucci and Rizzo. Rizzo scored many clutch goals for us.
“Losing at least seven starters from last year will present a new challenge for us this season. That being said, high achievement takes place in the framework of high expectations. So, our aim is high, making the state tournament again as well as the Vocational tournament and winning a tournament game are all on our radar this season.”
Reppucci may be the toughest of all to replace after what he brought to the team in terms of both skill and experience in recent years.
“Mike had been our goalie for the past three seasons so he will be hard to replace,” Severo said. “But we have two good candidates in juniors Adam Kearns and Tyler Newhouse (Wilmington).”
Kearns and Newhouse will not be the only players that Severo will be counting on this season, as several players who gained some valuable experience last season will also return to the lineup.
“Our captains are seniors Dan Archibald and Matt Pustizzi both of whom are year varsity members,” Severo said. “We also have high hopes for Dan's brother, junior Tyler Archibald. He has a high ceiling in his skill level and game knowledge.”
While the Rams will be looking to continue a winning tradition this season, they will also not be alone in terms of talented teams in the CAC. Severo is confident in his team, but he also knows they will have to be at their best in every game if they hope to contend for league honors.
“We will be facing some great teams in our league, with perennial power Chelsea as well as Lynn Tech, Northeast, Mystic Valley and of course Greater Lowell among others,” Severo said. “The boys are in shape and working hard in the preseason.”
Shawsheen opened the 2019 season on Tuesday at home against Gr. Lowell with results not known as of presstime. The Rams will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Lynn Tech before coming home on Tuesday to face Whittier Tech, both games are 4:00 pm scheduled starts.