Nov. 7—The Gloucester boys soccer team showed some serious maturity in Saturday's Division 3 North First Round game.
No. 8 Gloucester was hosting No. 40 East Boston in a big postseason game under the lights, and while some teams would get themselves a little too fired up before a big game, the Fishermen played like they had been there before. They were disciplined and at the same time aggressive enough while not leaving themselves open for a counter. The result was a 5-0 rout at Newell Stadium.
"We were cool, calm and collected and really took care of business today," said senior captain Andrew Coelho, who scored two goals and set the program's single season scoring mark which is now at 28. "We opened up well with a big first half, we played our game and the results showed."
The host Fishermen (15-2-2) jumped right out to an early lead in the sixth minute and never looked back. After East Boston was hit with a hand ball in the box, Coelho scored on the ensuing penalty kick for a 1-0 lead.
Coelho set up Gloucester's next two goals as he crossed to Geremy Palacios in the 11th minute. Just over 10 minutes later he lofted a pass from the left end line that Gino Tripoli caught at the high point for a header goal and a 3-0 lead.
Gloucester's aggressive play style up the wings kept the Jets on their heels throughout the match, dominating possession while allowing just one shot on goal in the first half.
"We really wanted to come out and attack," Gloucester head coach Armando Marnoto said. "We forced them into some mistakes and we really caught fire. And it was all unselfish play, all of our goals were set up beautifully. That first half was great for us and it really set the tone."
In the second half, East Boston came out with the much needed desperation and played its best 10 minutes of soccer. The Jets looked like they had cut into the lead with a nice cross into the box and a hard shot on goal within six feet of the goal. But Fishermen keeper Max Sperry showed off his reflexes with a quick dive to his right for a huge save.
"We were up by three goals but we knew the first ten minutes of the second half or the next goal were going to set the tone for the rest of the game," Coelho said. "That's why it was really important that Max had that save down there, it helped us close out the game."
Sperry's save turned the momentum as less than five minutes later Gloucester added to the lead with a slick give-and-go from Palacios to Coelho for a 4-0 Fishermen advantage.
Gloucester finished up the scoring with another impressive goal in the 67th minute, this one off the foot of Jack Patten on a free kick from about 35-yards out to make it 5-0. Aiden Almeida, Keith Horne, Leo Vitale, Brendan Anderton and Patten all played well defensively while Sperry earned his 10th shutout of the season.
"After Max's big save we really went back on the attack," Marnoto said. "When we got that fourth goal it really put us in control and we finished strong. I'm really happy for the seniors and the captains for the way they have kept it all together this season."
The Fishermen will be back at home in the Division 3 Second Round on Wednesday night with No. 9 Greater New Bedford visiting Newell Stadium for a 6 p.m. kickoff.