Boys’ soccer championships: Leonardo Teixeira helps Brockton capture first state soccer title
Leonardo Teixeira, a Cape Verde native who arrived in America just this past year, brought the house down for Brockton in Saturday’s Division 1 boys’ soccer final at Worcester State University.
The junior forward scored a second-half hat trick and assisted on the Boxers’ two other goals and Brockton edged Longmeadow, 5-3, for the program’s first state championship.
Teixeira scored the eventual game-winner in the 65th minute off a 30-yard rip, after having scored a beauty in the 56th when he headed home a curled cross from senior midfielder Odair Monteiro.
“When I scored the goals, I felt so much pride for the team and for this city,” Teixeira said through a translator. “We’re bringing this home.”
While Brockton (21-1-2) raised the trophy, the first half was all Longmeadow (18-3-2), largely because of senior center back William Echeverria. He launched a long throw in the eighth minute, which sophomore midfielder Michael Willis brushed home.
The Lancers made it 2-0 in the 16th minute on a finish from sophomore forward Joseph Cardaropoli but the Boxers were just getting started.
“We took the game for granted and really underestimated our opponent,” said Brockton coach Herminio Furtado. “At halftime, we needed a reality check and I was really hard on them. They disrespected Longmeadow.”
Furtado’s pumped-up speech paid off in a major way, as the Boxers scored four second-half goals within a 17-minute span.
Senior forward Jonathan Rodrigues added Brockton’s third in the 57th, then senior forward Riven Rodrigues iced the game with an insurance goal in the 79th.
“Two years ago I was lucky to get the job, and my eyes were set on this day,” Furtado said. “We have the talent, we have the skills, and tonight it was here for everyone to see.”
Concord-Carlisle 2, Oliver Ames 1 — Running down a pass on the left side on the defensive third, Cameron Emde-Gerdine took a moment to survey his surroundings at Fitchburg State University’s Elliot Field Saturday afternoon.
In the center of the keeper’s box were the junior midfielder’s Concord-Carlisle teammates, battling to position for the impending cross. Following a series of tight dribbles, Emde-Gerdine whipped in a sharp, bending cross. The ball made its way through a herd of friendlies and Oliver Ames defenders, changing course all the while.
Logan Dick didn’t take the time to settle it. The Patriots senior midfielder capitalized with his first touch, directing the ball toward the middle of the goal. Dick’s 98th minute overtime winner gave Concord-Carlisle a 2-1 victory and its fifth Division 2 state championship since 2006.
“It’s unbelievable,” Concord-Carlisle coach Ray Pavlik said. “I’m so proud of these guys. All season, even when we’ve been up against adversity, they’ve just stuck with it and kept digging.”
Oliver Ames (15-3-4) jumped to an early lead on the strength of its long-distance throw-ins. An 18th-minute heave from senior defender Christopher Lawrence found the head of senior Michael Nikiciuk for an effective header.
For most of regulation, it appeared Nikiciuk’s flick might be the final word but the Patriots (14-2-6) finally broke through in the 68th minute. Failed clearance attempts by the Tigers played to Concord-Carlisle’s advantage, with junior defender Kyle Jackson rifling in a low equalizer to force extra time.
“We said if we can get one, it’s going to swing the momentum,” Pavlik said. “I felt like when we got the first one, from that point on we kind of had the run of the play.”
The Patriots proceeded to ride their momentum into overtime, nearly ending the game twice on goals that were retracted by offsides calls. Their patience and persistence finally resulted in hardware three minutes into the second overtime when Dick scored.
“Last year we lost in the first round,” Dick said. “This year, it’s just unbelievable, I can’t really believe that I scored the game-winner on the last touch of my career.”
Bromfield 3, Boston International 0 — Boston International’s bid for the first state title in school history came to an end against a team that won its ninth.
Bromfield (22-1) got a pair of goals from junior Charles Pappas and an insurance score in the 54th minute from John Armstrong at Fitchburg State University.
Though Boston International (17-3-2) could not manage to write the final chapter in what was an otherwise storied run, the Lions’ accomplishments — including a Division 4 North title and the first state final appearance in school history — marked a standard of excellence for the program.
“I didn’t think there was going to be a loser today — somebody’s going to win the game, but there’s not going to be a loser today, after what they’ve done this year,” Lions coach Apolinario Barros said.
What turned out to be the winning goal came from Pappas in the 21st minute, after he beat Boston International’s Helder Vaz-DePina 1-on-1 with a nutmeg finish through the legs of the goalkeeper.
With the victory at Fitchburg State, the Trojans send their coach, Tom Hill, off in style. Hill, coaching in his 41st season.
“It’s been a great pleasure to go out with this group,” Hill says. “I’ve had so many awesome, outstanding kids. I’m going to miss this part. But it’s been so great with these kids.”
Nipmuc 2, Norwell 0 — Nathan Vance, Nipmuc’s go-to scorer all season, saved his best moment for last.
A loose ball ricocheted to the senior forward eight yards from goal in the 16th minute and he poked it past senior goalkeeper Callahan Stoddard, paving the way for the Warriors win over the Clippers at Worcester State University.
“As soon as we got the goal, everyone’s heads were lifted higher and we were all enlightened,” Vance said. “I just knew it would be our day.”
Nipmuc (20-2-2) then added an insurance goal in the 80th minute via senior center back Collin Flanagan. With Stoddard up for a set piece, the Clippers’ net was empty, and Flanagan passed home a 35-yard finish with ease.
Last year, Nipmuc’s hope for a dream season ended the title match to Wayland.
“We have a Wayland celebration newspaper on our bulletin board in our locker room,” said Nipmuc coach Chris Hadfield, “so that’s been our motivation to get back here and fight to have another chance to win the states. Very proud of the boys for what they did this season.”
Norwell (19-3-2) struggled to threaten junior goalkeeper Colby Hegarty. Senior forward and captain Tyler Studley, the Clippers’ leading scorer, tried to play through a strained MCL, but re-injured himself just before halftime.
Senior forward Matthew Cawthorne and junior midfielder Ethan Hayes were Norwell’s most dangerous threats going forward, but Nipmuc’s center back duo of Michael Davidshofer and Flanagan held them at bay.
“We just couldn’t get a whole lot going offensively, so we struggled,” said Norwell coach Jack Browne. “We had a couple of chances, but didn’t come up with much.”
Globe correspondent Ethan Schroeder contributed from Fitchburg State.