Lucas Plotkin helps Arlington cross-up Masconomet for D2 North title
Lucas Plotkin is not the leading scorer for the Arlington boys’ soccer team, but the senior midfielder has now scored two mammoth goals in the MIAA tournament this year.
After 55 minutes of scoreless play Monday night, Plotkin spurred the Spy Ponders to a thrilling 2-0 win over Masconomet Regional in the Division 2 North final at Manning Field in Lynn.
The Spy Ponders (16-3-3) will face South champion Nauset (22-0) Saturday at 3 p.m. at Xaverian High School for the state title.
“[Plotkin] is smooth, and calm,” said Arlington coach Lance Yodzio. “He’s a smart player, he’s always in the right position. And he’s very calm under pressure.”
In the 56th minute, Arlington striker Sean Connelly delivered a perfect cross to the far post for Plotkin, who headed the ball past keeper Zach Rock.
“I just saw Sean going down the line, and I knew he was going to put it in, so I held my run, and he put a great ball in and I was able to head it,” Plotkin said.
Plotkin also scored a key goal in Arlington’s semifinal win over North Andover on Saturday.
Both teams were well stocked with firepower Monday. Arlington featured senior mid Francesco Valagussa, who led the Middlesex League in scoring. Masco (18-3-2) had Josh Rubin, who led the Cape Ann League in scoring by a long shot. But the first 55 minutes were scoreless.
Yodzio credited senior Tiago Gomes with anchoring his back line, and the center back was joined by Ilan Saenz Grant and Nick Karalis, smothering the Masco attack that tried unsuccessfully to feed long balls to Rubin and Co. all game.
“Gomes is the senior that’s been the glue that’s kept them all together,” Yodzio said. “Nick Karalis, give him credit. He wasn’t a defender. He filled in for [an injured teammate]. And that was one hell of a save by Henry.”
He referred to a 72nd-minute save by Henry Fox Jurkowitz, which preserved Arlington’s 1-0 lead. Masco sent a cross into the box that was deflected goalward, but the senior keeper dove to his right and caught it.
Connelly gave the Spy Ponders an insurance goal in the 73rd minute off a corner kick.
Division 1 South
Wellesley 2, BC High 1 — Oskar Haeberlein delivered the winning play at a pivotal moment of the Division 1 South final.
With the score tied, 1-1, in the 67th minute, the Wellesley junior collected the ball at midfield and sent a pass ahead to teammate PJ Genta, who completed the give and go, finding Haeberlein on a beautiful cross inside the box.
Haeberlein deposited the feed, helping the fifth-seeded Raiders secure the win over 10th-seeded BC High at Hingham High for the program’s first sectional title.
“It was a great feeling, I’ve never had it before, the best feeling ever,” Haeberlein said. “I knew I would get [the ball] back. It’s not the first time [Genta] has given it back to me for a goal this season.”
Wellesley (14-3-2) will take its 12-game winning streak up against North champion Lincoln-Sudbury in a state semifinal Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Manning Field in Lynn.
BC High (12-7-3) jumped ahead in the 48th minute when senior Luke Reid connected on the third header of the sequence, sending it into the top left corner.
But Wellesley knotted the score two minutes later on a BC High miscue. After an errant pass to the keeper sailed over his head, Raiders forward Chris Kolb chased down the ball, slid at the goal line, and kicked the ball into the net from his back.
With the game seemingly headed for overtime, Haeberlein and Genta teamed up.
“We haven’t gone behind for a while and I think that of kind of lit a fuse, it was sink or swim,” Wellesley coach Tim Mason said. “It’s a very determined group, very resilient, and I think it lit a fire and that was it.”
Division 4 South
Cohasset 2, Carver 1 — All season, the Skippers have preached the importance of connecting on crosses into the box. In the South final at Holbrook High, a pair of crosses into the box led to two second-half goals — including an own goal for the winner — sparking the fifth-seeded Skippers (16-4-2) to their third straight sectional title.
Cohasset will take on North champion St. Mary’s of Lynn (19-4-2) in a state semifinal Wednesday at Marshfield High (7 p.m.).
“We said at halftime, ‘We’ve got to cross it more,’ ” said Cohasset coach Jim Wills. “[Carver] defends the middle so well. We really picked up the possession and the pace in the second half.”
Trailing 1-0, the Skippers came out firing. Carver goalie Ben Vitale had turned aside all four shots he faced in the first half. But the fifth, just two minutes into the second half got through.
With the ball bouncing around the top of the box after Carver (12-4-3) failed to clear a cross, Cohasset senior captain Michael McDougald sent a rolling shot through traffic to tie the game. It was his 18th goal of the season.
“We had a big talk in the second half, our coach told us to get more shots,” said McDougald. “We weren’t creating any chances in the first half, then came out in the second half and did just that and got two quick goals.”
Cohasset kept pressing and got the eventual winner via an own goal with 28 minutes to play as a lunging Carver defender was unable to clear the ball in the box.
The Skippers outshot Carver, 16-12, including a 7-3 edge in shots on goal. The Crusaders’ lone tally came in the 11th minute by sophomore Michael Sawicki.
“We knew they were going to come at us hard,” said Carver coach Mark Alessandri. “These are what our games are like with them. It’s just a tough way to get beat.”
Globe correspondents Matt Doherty (Division 1) and Dan Shulman (Division 4) contributed to this report.