When the final whistle blew, Concord-Carlisle was overcome with relief and joy.
Relief because the top-seeded Patriots had spent the previous 80 minutes keeping Needham off the scoreboard, somehow turning away countless opportunities from a dynamic Rockets offense. And joy because that final whistle meant Concord-Carlisle was the Division 1 state champion thanks to a 2-0 win on Saturday night in front of thousands at Walpole High.
“Until the whistle blew, we didn’t really believe we were in a position to do this,” said Concord-Carlisle coach Ray Pavlik. “I’m just thrilled for the kids. These guys played their hearts out. Needham is an unbelievable club and we knew it was going to come down to who handled their opportunities.”
C-C struck in the sixth minute. Brady Poor sent a long throw into the box and Sean Fernandez-Davila stuck his head out, depositing a bouncing ball into the net. Poor, one of two All-Americans in the state, converted in the 67th minute when he curled a left-footed free kick around the defensive wall and into the top corner.
“That was definitely the knockout punch,” said Poor. “They have a great goalie but he was too far to the right so I knew I had to send it far post,”
In between the goals, the top two teams in the bracket wore each other down with physicality.
Needham, playing in its third state final in four years, nearly found the equalizer on many occasions. But two shots off the crossbar, three over the crossbar, and a number of free balls bouncing in front of the net were cleared by a defense led by Sean Trudeau and keeper Ben Wasserman. The Rockets (17-3-2) finished runner-up for the second straight year.
“We had a lot of opportunities and we were pressing them well,” said Needham coach Jimmy Odierna. “We had so many chances but we couldn’t get the goal in and they did.”
After the final whistle, Concord-Carlisle celebrated with hugs centered on Pavlik, who captured his sixth state title but the first in Division 1. The Patriots won five Division 2 crowns from 2006-17 under Pavlik, who started at his alma mater in 2002.
This team may be his best. Conconrd-Carlisle (20-0-1) allowed seven goals this season and trailed for nine minutes, in the first game of the season against Algonquin.
“It was an incredible season,” said Pavilk. “Something about these guys, they rise to the occasion. We played as a team tonight and just battled. I’m so happy for them.”
Division 2 State
Oliver Ames 1, Wakefield 0 (OT) — Joey Carney had a decision to make a week before the season; stick with his plan and join an MLS Next club or return to Oliver Ames for a final ride with his high school team. He chose the latter because he believed the Tigers could be back-to-back state champions.
Three months later, that belief paid off.
Carney scored the overtime winner for the Tigers (19-3-1), a drilled shot four minutes into the extra period, to power sixth-seeded Oliver Ames past No. 5 Wakefield at Manning Field for its second straight Division 2 championship.
“I know later, the emotions will really settle in and I’ll know it’s finally over,” Carney said. “But to end on a note like this, you can’t get anything better.”
The Bentley commit skipped past one defender on the outside and turned on the jets to accelerate past another. With a tight angle, he fired a low shot past Wakefield goalie Andrew Valley.
Division 3 State
Norwell 2, Pembroke 1 (SO) –– Joshua Kue had never scored on a penalty kick. The senior center back hadn’t even scored a goal since his sophomore year.
But Kue slotted the ball into the bottom right corner to secure a 5-4 advantage in the penalty shootout, lifting third-seeded Norwell to a 2-1 victory over No. 4 Pembroke at Scituate High School. The Clippers (20-2-2) earned their second title in three years, their last coming in 2021.
Junior Nolan McKenna set up Kue’s heroics, sprawling to his right to make a save on Pembroke’s fifth shooter, senior Thomas Halloran.
Kue provided the assist in regulation to equalize in the second half, lofting a free kick into the box and onto the foot of junior Gavin Blake, who buried it after entering as a substitute.
Division 4 State
Lynnfield 1, Monomoy 0 — Lynnfield junior Dillon Reilly dreamed about playing in a soccer state championship as a youngster.
On Saturday night, Reilly netted the game-winning goal that lifted the Pioneers to the program’s first state title.
With 17:34 remaining, Reilly fielded a pass from junior Alessandro Raimondi and dribbled up the sideline before launching a 20-yard shot inside the near post past Monomoy senior goalkeeper Paul Carlson.
That was all second-seeded Lynnfield needed to upend ninth-seeded Monomoy at Scituate High.
“Greatest moment of my life,” Reilly said of the goal. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid. For it to come true is crazy. It’s surreal.”
Lynnfield (19-2-2) played on its heels for much of the second half as Monomoy (16-4-3) increased pressure with strong winds at its back.
While Lynnfield junior Kelan Cardinal (five saves) kept Monomoy off the scoreboard, Reilly made the most of one of the few chances the Pioneers created in the second half.
The junior’s heroics were the story of the team’s historic postseason run.
“[Reilly] scored seven of our eight goals in the tournament, including our last seven,” Lynnfield coach Brent Munroe said. “He’s a big-time scorer and a special player.”
Munroe’s 2006 and ‘07 teams were runners-up in Division 3. He said it was a shock to see his 24th season end with a state title.
“We were just trying to hold on,” he said. “I’m shocked we were able to.”
Division 5 State
Westport 1, Douglas 0 (SO) — A potent offense helped the Westport boys’ soccer team roll to a league title, but its defense helped deliver a state title.
The eighth-seeded Wildcats captured the program’s first championship with a 4-2 edge in the shootout against No. 2 Douglas after the sides played to a scoreless draw over 110 minutes in the Division 5 state title game in Leominster.
Westport (22-0-1) scored on all four shots in the shootout, with junior Nyzaiah Pacheco securing the title, tucking his shot inside the right post.
“This feeling is unreal, like nothing else I’ve experienced,” said Pacheco. “Winning a championship with this team. We had an amazing run all season. We went undefeated. It’s just great to get that plaque and put that banner up on the wall.”
Douglas scored on its first two attempts, but Logan Hooper shot high and Will Quinlan converted to put Westport in front.
Westport goalie Noah Amaral dove to his right to deny Evan Wheeler, giving Pacheco the chance to clinch the victory. Amaral had an inkling Wheeler might try that direction.
Douglas defeated Bromfield in penalties in the semifinals and Amaral and the Wildcats were getting a live scouting report in a group chat.
“I just did my homework, and that’s what pays off at the end of the day,” said Amaral, who recorded four clean sheets during the playoffs. “You do your homework and take the extra time and give you those slight advantages and it paid off.”
Westport conceded eight goals during the season while scoring 104.
The two successful Douglas kicks in the shootout went in an opposite direction from the semifinals.
Chances were hard to come by over 80 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of sudden death.
Wheeler was denied by the crossbar in the 30th minute.
Ben Novo had Westport’s best chances, forcing Gavin Gualtieri to go down to make a solid save early in the second half, and then fend off a missile from outside the box in overtime.
Globe correspondents Mike Puzzanghera reported from Lynn, Cam Kerry and Brad Joyal from Scituate, and Keith Pearson from Leominster.