East Boston won its second consecutive girls’ soccer City League championship, shutting out O’Bryant, 1-0, Wednesday at Madison Park and extending the Jets’ winning streak to seven games.
For the second time this year, the Jets (14-4), led by sophomore forward Vanessa Mejia, ground out a hard-fought win over O’Bryant (9-6). Behind a masterful defensive performance and some top-notch ball handling, East Boston collected its 11th shutout of the season.
Mejia, who scored both goals in a come-from-behind 2-1 semifinal win over New Mission, came up big again, assisting on midfielder Ruth Rivas’s winning goal 30 minutes into the first-half.
While she did not score, Mejia had more shots on goal (11) than the entire Tigers team (7).
“Sometimes we have to rein her in a little bit, she’s like a wild stallion,” East Boston coach Richard LeCara said of Mejia. “She’s just a big ball of energy. And though she didn’t score today, she’s effective. And when it’s all said and done, she’ll probably be the leading scorer in East Boston history because she’s only a sophomore.’’
Mejia also led the defensive charge as well.
“I don’t like to play and stay in just one place, I like to run a lot and scoring goals, but not today,” she said smiling. “I felt it was the best assistance from me to help on the score today.”
Also spearheading the defense were captains Pamela Sepulveda and Hannah Lunetta, part of a back line that held O’Bryant strikers in check.
“They’re both superstars,” said LaCara of his two defenders. “Our defense has guided us. We win or lose with our defense. Did you notice our goalie today? No. That’s because of our defense.”
East Boston will play Salem on Sunday in the first round of the Division 2 North MIAA playoffs.