Senior striker Felix De Bona scored the only goal of the game two minutes into the second half, and Somerville overcame a stifling St. John’s Prep defense to win the Division 1 North title, 1-0, at Manning Field in Lynn on Sunday.
De Bona collected a pass down the wing from Julian Murphy, turned on two defenders, and ripped a shot from the right side of the box that Eagles keeper Ben Alpern could not contend with.
“That was the hardest defense I have played against all year,” said De Bona. “It’s very satisfying to get the game-winning goal.” The second-seeded Highlanders (20-0-2) elected to give themselves the wind at their backs in the second half, but playing into the wind in the first half proved to be tough against the Eagles’ swarming defense.
“We told the guys that with the wind in the first half we were focused on getting a zero to start,” said Somerville coach George Scarpelli. “Right off the bat we came out in the second half and it worked out.”
Helping the Highlanders hold fourth-seeded St. John’s (17-2-2) to that zero was keeper Luis Guerra (five saves), who came up with a key kick save off of a point-blank shot from Matthew Chilton in the eighth minute.
Division 1 South — Needham beat Bay State Conference rival Weymouth, 2-0. After a scoreless first half, Nolan Brady put the Rockets (19-1-3) up off a throw-in from Mac Stevees. Brandon Miskin scored the final goal. The Wildcats finished 17-2-5.
The teams put on a show in the first half, with both teams exhibiting talent at midfield, but neither could find the net.
The game remained scoreless until 9:56, when Steeves sent a throw in from the 10-yard marker to the far post. Weymouth keeper Lucas Rezende-Verge made a spectacular catch over several players, but on the way down, the ball popped loose and Brady knocked it home.
The Wildcats pressed hard for a late equalizer, but Miskin, whose speed and footwork at forward opened chances for Needham all night, put the game away with a goal in stoppage time.
Division 3 South — A year after falling in an eight-round shootout in the sectional final, Dover-Sherborn took care of business in regulation.
The 11th-seeded Raiders dominated top-seeded Nantucket, 3-0, at Braintree High School, giving the Raiders their second sectional title in three years.
“We lost last year in the shootout to Cardinal Spellman, and I think nobody besides ourselves in the state gave us any chance to be back here,” said D-S coach Joe Gruseck. “It’s pretty special.”
The Raiders (17-5-1) grabed a 1-0 lead less than 12 minutes in. Walker Littlehale found Sean Forward on a one-time pass from just outside the 18, which Forward blistered past Whalers goalkeeper Christian Lombardi.
Less than five minutes into the second half, the Raiders made it 2-0 when Steven Aston headed in a corner kick from Littlehale. With 22:39 to play, Johnny Coutts’s shot ricocheted into the net.
The Raiders, who have outscored opponents, 19-0, in the playoffs, will meet the Division 3 North champion Tuesday night.