WILMINGTON – Back on Tuesday, October 29th, the Wilmington High School boys soccer team's season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to Billerica. It was a tough season record wise for the Wildcats, but certainly not effort-wise. Save for maybe one game, Wilmington never stopped pushing and improving all season long, despite finishing with a mark of 1-15-2.
"We had a disappointing season," said head coach Steve Scanlon. "We had a lot of limitations as a team. Not being able to score goals puts a team in a bad spot every game. Injuries hurt the team all season long, as we did not have a lot of depth. I admired the players for their work ethic and credit the seniors for helping lead the way when things were not going well."
The signs of improvement were on full display in the team's second round match-up with Watertown on Wednesday, October 23rd. In the first meeting, the Red Raiders came away with a 4-0 victory, but this time at their place, the two teams ended in a 2-2 tie.
"We came from behind twice," said Scanlon. "We were down 1-0 and Aiden McGrath scored on a penalty kick after being taken down from behind in the '18 yard box. Then we were down 2-1 and Rocco Scalfani hit a curling ball from 22 yards out that caught the right post and shot into the left corner of the net. It was a real dramatic goal. It was a good tie against a good team."
Certainly that tie, the 4-1 loss to Lexington (2-1 game until ten minutes left) and several other games stick out this season. The one win came against Burlington (1-0), while ties came against Watertown and then Melrose (1-1).
Wilmington will lose seven seniors off this year's team including Kevin Palmerino, Aeden Vitale, Ryan Clarke, Taylor Padlusky, Rocco Scalfani, Jon Alvarez and Domenic Ardizzoni.
The team will return several talented players including field players Aiden McGrath and Alex Fitzler, who will return from a season ending injury, and keeper Justin Healey, who had a strong season.