- Written by Mike Halloran
- Published: 11 November 2010
The Duxbury High School boysâ€™ soccer team has quietly stepped out from under the umbrella of the fall sports season and advanced to the semifinals of the MIAA Division II South Sectional soccer championships after a 1-0 shutout win over No. 14 seed Norton HS on Wednesday night in Duxbury.
Having beaten No. 6 seeded Randolph, 2-1, in the tournament opener, the No. 11-seeded Dragons will now take on No. 2 seeded and undefeated Canton High School (15-0-2), who defeated Duxbury in its season opener, 3-1. The game will take place on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. at Bridgewater-Raynham.
Duxbury dominated play throughout the first half, yet their inability to score hounded them, as they had numerous chances in the first half, yet failed to beat goalkeeper Ben Donovan.
Direct and corner kicks at 26-minute mark failed to dent Donovan, forcing Duxbury netminder Justin Marino to keep the game scoreless on a direct header with 21:09 left in the half.
â€œWe let No. 4 go right up the gut,â€ said Duxbury Coach John Tocci. â€œThank God he hit it straight and Marino was there for a great save. But it was scary.â€
The Dragons â€˜ best scoring chance occurred at the 18:00 mark when Mitch Barrington split the Norton defense and went in alone on Donovan, only to have the netminder sprawl to make a save and do it once again on a follow-up to deny Duxbury the go-ahead goal.
The hosts would continue to get their chances on a direct kick from Jason Marino from 28 yards out that Donovan deflected wide and another direct from Barrington with nine minutes to go in the half.
Several corner kicks in the final 13 minutes proved fruitless, as the Dragons inability to score was frustrating Coach John Tocci and his team.
â€œWe were very nervous and that seems to be our trademark,â€ said Tocci. â€œWe â€˜re going to miss one or two chances we get through hard work, then someone comes down and scores on us and it deflates us. We missed one we should have had, but our defense remained stellar and the center-mids were awesome.â€
Norton came out in the second half with a renewed sense of confidence and blasted a shot on Marino just over a minute into the half. The Dragon keeper showed why he was the Patriot League MVP, as he turned away the screamer to keep the game scoreless.
The Dragons had several chances in the middle of the second half: the most glaring being a header that hit Fenton McCall in the head as it appeared headed for the goal.
It didnâ€™t take long for the junior forward to make up for his â€œheads upâ€ play, as he found senior captain Eric Larsen in the middle of the box, who chipped his shot over the head of Donovan for what proved to be the winning goal with 17:17 remaining in the game.
The Dragons looked like they were on their way to victory when Marino bailed them out once again, diving to his left and saving what looked like to be the tying goal with 13:52 on the clock.
It would be the last serious chance for Norton on the evening.