by Jacob Schwartz
Boys’ soccer, 0-1, struggled in Thursday’s season opener against Braintree, losing 2-0 at home.
For most of the game, the Tigers were not able to take well-positioned shots. However, toward the end, the team had some closer opportunities that they just couldn’t finish.
Braintree’s first easy goal came with 28 minutes left in the game, after senior Andrew Leaper ran out of the goalie box but couldn’t retrieve the ball.
According to coach Roy Dow, the intensity of Braintree’s offense was a difference-maker in the loss. “Their forwards really died in the box,” he said. “It wasn’t a pretty game. They put themselves on the line.”
Senior Zach Balder got a taste of Braintree’s physicality in the second half when a Braintree forward elbowed him in the face. After sitting out for a few minutes, Balder reentered the game, playing with as much fervor as before.
Although Dow said that the Tigers did not “put themselves on the line” for the full 80 minutes, freshmen Zev Hattis and Conor Larkin stepped up.
Hattis, a defender, and Larkin, a midfielder, “showed why they’re the two freshmen on varsity,” Dow said. “Those two brought intensity to our game.”