photos by: Jay Feinstein
by Kristian Lundberg
For boys’ soccer, the story of the match was all too familiar.
The Tigers had their chances. They just failed to score on any of them.
Framingham shut out boys’ soccer 2-0 Monday at Cold Spring Park, as the Tigers were once again thwarted by their inability to put the ball in the back of the net. Junior Kevin Santos netted a brace for the visiting Flyers, single-handedly sending the Tigers to their third loss of the season. The Tigers and Flyers evenly shared possession, and the Tigers created a few bona fide opportunities, but there was no breakthrough for a side desperately searching for goals.
“We can play with anyone, but Framingham was the better team,” coach Roy Dow said.
“Our defense was decent enough, our midfield was getting there and possessing the ball, but we’ve got to finish. Teams that finish are remembered.”
According to Framingham coach Dan Avery, “It was an evenly-matched game between two well-coached teams.”
“North was all over us in the beginning of the first half, but we were able to take control by the end of the half.”
The quality of play was sloppy in the first half, as the muddy conditions hindered passing and led to a stalemate in midfield. Just when it seemed as if both teams would head into the half scoreless, Framingham won a corner with under five minutes left. Framingham’s corner sailed over the box, but Flyers’ freshman Bryant Nardizzi ran down the ball in the opposite corner and floated in a second cross. Santos rose and headed the ball into the net, beating Tigers goalkeeper senior Nick Knaian to his right.
The goal, with under five minutes left in the half, dealt a psychological blow to the Tigers, who for the fifth time in seven games this season were forced to play from behind.
In the second half, the Tigers, looking for an equalizer, came out firing, sustaining possession in the offensive third. The team was most dangerous on set-pieces, as senior Tim Stanton and junior Matt Callahan combined to deliver balls that consistently threatened Framingham’s defense. About 15 minutes into the second half, Callahan delivered a beautiful corner to the back post. Junior Mike Kaye headed the ball down, but senior Carter Tiernan hammered a lunging volley over the bar.
Five minutes later, a stretch of quality possession led to an attempt from Callahan at the edge of the box, but his right-footed shot sailed well over the bar.
“In beginning of the second half, just like in the first, North was all over us,” Avery said.
The Tigers best chance to score, however, came off a free kick on the right side with about 15 minutes left. Stanton, the Tigers’ left back, crashed into the box and won a clean header eight yards from the goal. He knocked the header straight to the goalie, who held the ball.
With the Tigers tiring in the last ten minutes, Framingham stepped up the pressure and launched a counterattack. Santos ran down a through ball in the left wing and raced toward the net. He had pushed a shot wide from a similar location a few minutes earlier, but this time, Santos did not miss. From 15 yards out, he blasted a shot far post, scoring a brilliant goal and leaving Knaian motionless. The insurance tally sealed the win for the Flyers, as the Tigers failed to threaten seriously in the final few minutes.
“We created some chances for ourselves, but a lot of our shots weren’t on target,” Dow said.
“Scoring goals is kind of like playing the lottery, but we have to try to take more chances.”
This season, the Tigers are winless after conceding the first goal, salvaging only two points, and two goals, from those five games.