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Following a 1-0 September win by Walpole at Sprague Field in Wellesley, the Wellesley High varsity boys soccer team traveled to Walpole to face the undefeated Rebels (8-0-2) on Wednesday evening at Bird Middle School.
After a tough 0-3 start to the season, the Raiders (3-5-2) have since rebounded, earning at least a point in five of their next seven matches. Tim Mason’s team kept up their improved play on Wednesday night by fighting to a 1-1 draw with the Herget Bay State Divison-leading Rebels on their home turf and kept themselves in third place in their division ahead of Dedham, Milton, and Norwood.
Raiders goalkeeper Ander Pineau (nine saves) kept the Rebels off the scoreboard with a first-half shutout despite incredible scoring chances by Walpole’s Justin Burns and Jonathan Sarkis. Rebels goalkeeper Devin Moore (six saves) was also able to do his part by defending the pipes to a tee in the first half, as the Rebels and Raiders entered halftime knotted at zeros.
Tyler James got the Rebels on the scoreboard with a header past the outstretched reach of Pineau to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead midway through the second half, seizing the momentum and creating the impression that the Rebels were about to pull out the W.
However, the Raiders stayed true to form and kept fighting in an attempt to knot the game at one, and their hard work would pay off. With just minutes remaining in the match, Colby Stakun-Pickering fired a shot towards the left post and past the reach of Moore to tie the game.
The Raiders and Rebels both played lockdown defense the rest of the way and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Rebels will look to stay unbeaten when they travel to Milton on October 14 before hosting Dedham on October 18, while the Raiders will try to keep up their impressive play when they play on back-to-back days with the hosting of Norwood on October 14 and a non-conference trip to Boston Latin on October 15.