Needham boys’ soccer coach Jimmy Odierna was preparing for the second half, as the Rockets battled a strong headwind during the first 40 minutes of Saturday’s game against BC High on Morrissey Boulevard. Odierna’s plan quickly dissolved, as Rockets center midfielder Marco Flano sprung free on a breakaway courtesy of a through ball on a counter attack, scoring in the second minute.
Fourth-ranked Needham capitalized on two first-half goals and played stout defense in the second half, holding off No. 15 BC High, 2-1, in a nonleague game.
Noah Goldstein pounced on a cross into the box, putting home the second goal of the first half for the Rockets (10-0-4). With a multi-goal lead, Odierna knew he could rely upon his defense, which has conceded only six goals on the season.
“I think that once we got those early goals, that’s where we felt confident that we could carry the game,” Odierna said.
Senior goaltender Ben Wittlin made nine saves for the Rockets. After halftime, the Eagles (10-4-1) aggressively sought an equalizer, even clanking the crossbar midway through the second half. The Rockets adjusted their formation to fit a more defensive-based style and were able to ultimately thwart a strong offensive onslaught.
“BC High came out guns ablazing in the second half, but our defense held up for us,” Odierna said. “They’ve been a strength for us all season and they showed why again today.”
Junior Ethan McCarron, senior Mac Turner, and sophomore Campbell Keyes encapsulate a backline that can routinely win the ball from the opposition. A unit of big and strong backs, the trio finds midfielders’ feet once they have regained possession.
The two teams use the yearly nonleague contest as a measuring stick to see where each team stands, but also as a test before postseason play begins.
“BC High is a great program, so that game will really bode well for us to get some good nonleague experience going into postseason play,” Odierna said.
Milton Academy 3, BB&N 0 — Goals from seniors Henri Richter, Boid Nako, and Matias Kemper-Tapia led the Mustangs (4-0) to an ISL win.
Newton North 2, Cambridge 1 — Senior Emi Gisholt netted the go-ahead goal early in the second half for the third-ranked Tigers (10-0-3) in the nonleague tilt.
St. John’s Prep 3, North Andover 0 — Junior Callum Rigby scored two goals off free kicks for the Eagles (8-3-3), and senior Alex Borkland scored the third in the nonleague contest. Senior Joey Waterman recorded four saves in his seventh shutout of the season.
Weymouth 4, Falmouth 0 — Bruno DeSouza’s three-goal performance powered the Wildcats (5-2-5) to the nonleague win.
Austin Prep 3, Mystic Valley 0 — Catherine Gallagher scored two goals and Sydney DeRoche added another for the No. 5 Cougars (12-1-1) in the nonleague win.
Concord-Carlisle 3, Boston Latin 0 — Sophomore Cara Ubalidini netted a pair of goals for the Patriots (8-2-3) in the Dual County League matchup.
Hingham 4, Weymouth 0 — Goals from Sophie Reale, Kelsey Tarby, Ava Maguire, and Olivia Sharkansky powered the top-ranked Harborwomen (13-0-1) to a nonleague win.
Notre Dame (Hingham) 1, Duxbury 0 — Sophomore Siobhan Colin scored the lone goal to lift the Cougars (10-1-2) to the nonleague win.
Rivers 1, Brooks 0 — Summer Pierson’s second-half free kick found the back of the net for Rivers (6-2), giving the hosts the ISL win over visiting Brooks.
Ursuline 6, Fontbonne 0 — Freshman Kayley DeAngelis and sophomore Ani Fisher each scored two goals as the host Bears (11-2-1) won the Catholic Conference clash.
Wakefield’s Samantha Seabury (18:32.8) crossed the finish line 10 seconds ahead of her closest competition, Nashoba’s Carolyn Collins (18:42.7) to win the MSTCA’s 10th Bob McIntyre Twilight Invitational (Large Schools) at the Barnstable Fairgrounds in Falmouth. Molly Kiely (Andover), Lucia Werner (Brookline), and Katie Sobieraj (Oliver Ames) filled out the top five after all running the course within 14 seconds of each other.
Weymouth won the team competition comfortably, scoring 162 points while Brookline finished in second. Oliver Ames placed third, and Wachusett and Marshfield were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Cumberland, R.I. won the MSTCA’s 10th Bob McIntyre Twilight Invitational (Large Schools) at the Barnstable Fairgrounds in Falmouth riding the legs of senior Henry Dennen (4th, 16:00.5) and Cole McCue (7th, 16:10).
Framingham junior Sam Burgess won the race by 20 seconds after completing the course in 15:30.8. Freddy Collins from Nashoba (15:50.8), Kyler McNatt from Needham, Dennen, and Chris Gould from Cambridge (16:00.7) completed the top five.
Junior Harrison Dow led Concord-Carlisle to a close second-place finish with the time of 16:25.3, and Brookline finished in third with 213 points. Oliver Ames and Wakefield rounded out the top five, separated by two points.
BB&N 3, Milton Academy 0 — Corinne Holness and Avery Hart combined for 10 kills and 4 blocks for the Knights (11-0) in the ISL win. Freshman Emilia Khoury tallied 9 digs in the win.
Greater New Bedford 3, Bishop Feehan 2 — Kylee Caetano posted 3 aces, 10 kills, and 34 digs for the Bears (7-6) in the victory.
Bishop Feehan 2, Austin Prep 1 — Grace Klingaman scored off a penalty corner in the first quarter, with Sam Blette assisting, and Bella Collitti (Alice Taylor) tallied in the second period to propel the Shamrocks (9-1-4) to the Catholic Central win.
Marshfield 1, Notre Dame (Hingham) 0 — MacKenzie Murphy potted the lone goal for the Rams (10-3-2) in the win.
Colin Bannen, Cam Kerry, and Steven Sousa contributed to this story.
Cam Kerry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.