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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Tuesday afternoon, the Medfield boys soccer team beat Dover-Sherborn on the Raiders’ home field, 2-1, in a low scoring game in which an injury-riddled Dover-Sherborn team looked flat for long stretches.
Disaster struck early for The Raiders when around ten minutes into the game, a Medfield cross bounced off a Dover-Sherborn player for an own goal. From there, Medfield kept pressuring Dover-Sherborn’s defenders, who would occasionally push the ball up the field on the counter but found that no goals ever came from it. At the end of the first half, the score remained 1-0.
After the break, a beautiful half-volley into the top right corner from James Layden made the game 2-0. After a goal from Dover-Sherborn’s Wyatt Goldfisher made the score 2-1, both teams got tight, but neither team could take advantage and add to their scoring totals. At the end of stoppage time, the scoreboard remained 2-1, Medfield.
Dover-Sherborn dropped to 4-3-2 on the year, with coach Joe Gruseck noting the team seemed to lack a certain spark during the game.
“We seemed to lack a little bit of emotion today,” said the coach. “I think we picked it up a little bit, started to push the ball around a little bit here and there, but nothing to the level that we’re capable of doing.”
While the obvious answer for the emotional drain would be giving up an own goal so early on, coach Gruseck disagreed and thought the team may have looked past Medfield ahead of their big weekend trip to Gillette Stadium.
“It doesn’t help when you’re not playing as well as you can and you go down 1-0, but it’s not the first time we’ve given up the first goal. We’ve done that straight through the preseason a number of times and bounced back, so we’ll go back to the drawing board and try to refocus,” he remarked. “Our next game is Saturday. I don’t know if we were looking past Medfield; we’ve got Millis at Gillette Stadium, so I don’t know if that was in our heads. We’ve got a number of injuries, but I’m not making any excuses. We had plenty of talent to where we should be able to play the game at a positive level.”
Still, he saw some good things in the loss and didn’t seem to portray any sense of doom and gloom about the team’s future.
“Senior Erik Niit up front really played hard the whole game and some of the younger guys are stepping up. It’s just the timing of experience combined with confidence, but we’ll bounce back”
The Warriors moved to 4-3-2, with their coach, Jason Heim, noting how much they enjoy coming to play Dover-Sherborn every year.
“We love coming here and playing DS,” said Heim. “It’s always a great game. We’ve had some awesome games the past few years. We know how talented of a team they are. We know what they’re bringing to the game and the guys were ready today. Put a good solid effort in. We were able to find the net a couple of times and held on until the end.”
It’s always more enjoyable to win, and for his team, his two senior strikers were the players he noted played extremely well and led to the victory.
“Both strikers today, both seniors, captain Jack McCordic and Jake Sherman, kind of gave them some trouble up top. There were a couple other shots from in close that I thought they could have put in the back of the net, but I think they did a really great job controlling the pace of the game.”