LYNN — Senior midfielder Sagan Patarroyo-White scored an early goal and set up a late one, leading Lexington past Westborough, 2-1, in the Division 1 state final Saturday in Lynn to capture the school’s first soccer title.
Neither team was expected to make it this far.
Lexington (16-5-2), the No. 10 seed in the Division 1 North, went 10-5-2 in the regular season before romping through the sectional tournament, where the Minutemen toppled defending state champion Lincoln-Sudbury in the final.
Westborough (14-6-4) was the No. 9 seed in the Division 1 Central, going 9-5-4 in the regular season.
“We weren’t expected to be here, obviously,” Patarroyo-White said. “The past two or three years we hadn’t gotten past the first round of the playoffs, and so we were saying this year maybe we’ll get past the first round. That was our goal of the season. Get past [the] first round. And I think once we got past the first round . . . there was no pressure on us to win, no expectations to win.”
Patarroyo-White opened the scoring just two minutes after the opening whistle, lofting a shot from 40 yards that Westborough junior goalkeeper Matthew Morin fumbled into the net.
“He executed,” Lexington coach Keith Beaty said of Patarroyo-White. “I told our guys once we walked onto the pitch, “It’s a little bit slippery, it’s wet. If you feel like you can put your foot through it solidly and make it a good shot, not make it a wasted effort, you have my green light.’ He got the green light — he did it.”
From that point, the Minutemen hunkered down on defense, playing with a five-man back line. Neither side scored for the next 75 minutes.
With under three minutes remaining in the match, senior forward Hagop Kouchakdjian used his back heel to redirect an errant shot from midfielder Aramazd Havan, putting the Minutemen up, 2-0, and effectively icing the game.
Westborough junior Tyler Stott scored on a header less than 30 seconds later, but it proved too little too late.
“After the first round, we said our engines are just starting, we’re not done,” Beaty said. “There’s no reason to get out of the first round and say you know what, I’m happy. You’ve got to continue to set your goals.”
“It feels great,” Arroyo-White said, “to come out on top.”Griffin Connolly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.