ORLEANS — Mauricio Souza didn’t worry about time winding down. Firing a shot on goal was all that was on his mind.
Souza, a Watertown junior, scored the winning goal on a breakaway with 5 seconds remaining to lift fifth-seeded Watertown/Wayland to a 3-2 win over fourth-seeded Nauset in a Division 3 semifinal at Charles Moore Arena.
”I just shot,” said Souza, who snuck a wrist shot through the legs of Nauset freshman goaltender Arthur Figueiredo. “I saw an opening right between him and it ended up in the back of the net.
”It was something I’ve never imagined.”
Watertown sophomore Domenic Movnihan kicked the puck out of the Raiders’ defensive zone after Nauset junior Joseph McManus didn’t get much on a shot from the blue line.
After chasing it down inside Nauset’s blue line, Souza deked twice, and buried the game-winner in front of a capacity crowd that saw some ticket buyers turned away at the door.
”We couldn’t have done it without the boys,” Souza said. “Everyone on the bench, our coaches, peers, family here — everyone that came out to watch us. This wasn’t a close game, so it really meant a lot.”
The win sends Watertown-Wayland (14-6-3) back to the semifinals against top-seeded Scituate (TBA) after the team suffered a 3-2 double-overtime loss to Sandwich in last year’s Division 4 state final.
Nauset, meanwhile, finished 17-6.
”It was a great playoff game,” first-year Nauset coach Connor Brickley said. “It sucks to end like that, but our guys worked hard all season.”
Nauset junior Cam Connery tied the game at 2 with 2:09 remaining in the second period after Watertown/Wayland led 2-1 at the first intermission.
Watertown senior Anthony Venezia gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead 5:44 into the contest before Nauset sophomore Logan Poulin netted his 29th goal of the season to tie it at 1 with 1:43 left in the first period.
Just 59 seconds later, Watertown junior James Erickson scored to give the visitors a 2-1 edge.
It looked like the teams were primed for overtime before Souza’s heroics in the final seconds.
“We knew they were a good team, we knew they had a good coach and good players,” Watertown-Wayland coach said. “We had our hands full, but we knew the Middlesex League is a strong league and we were battle-ready.”