The Sports Buzz for Nov. 8 - 14
The Fastest Three Minutes in Brookline Sports.
Okay, it's Monday, and you know what that means. It's time for the Sports Buzz, the fastest three minutes in Brookline sports, coming your way right now:
First, congrats to sophomore Joe Connelly, of Brookline, who helped Beaver Country Day School capture the New England Prep School Track Association (NEPSTA) Division 5 cross country championship in Carlisle on Saturday.
Connelly led the squad with a time of 17:38 on the 3.1 mile course.
Four other Beaver runners finished in the top 10. Freshman George Wright (17:38), seniors Harry Bachrach (18:34) and Taylor Pierce (18:35), and junior Tim King (18:36) placed fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
Now, we go to Brookline High, and we start with the boys soccer team. The Warriors (14-3-6) got by Lincoln-Sudbury and Somerville, but their state tourney run came to a close in a 2-1 (PK) loss to Bay State Conference rival Newton North in the Division 1 North final yesterday in Lynn. Newton won in penalty kicks, 5-4, after the teams battled to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtimes.
The No. 19 Tigers (12-5-6) overcame the odds all the way through the North sectionals, and will face South sectional winner New Bedford in the Eastern Massachusetts final tomorrow.
Brookline won the regular season series with a win and a tie against the Tigers. The Warriors also pulled off an upset win over No. 5 Lincoln Sudbury in the North sectional quarterfinals, before defeating No. 17 Somerville in the semis.
But, against Newton, the Warriors were the clear favorite. The Tigers sneaked into the tourney with a strong late season run, while Brookline proved to be one of the powerhouses in the BSC.
"This is the furthest we've ever gone and we're happy about that," Brookline head coach Jeff Katz said. "We got the ball to where we wanted to get it. We just couldn't get the right combinations. For a big part of the game, we were impatient."
During the pentalty kick shootout, Newton keeper Matt Dickey made two key saves on Brookline's Teddy Rounds and Zachary Herivaux, and Michael Kay booted home what proved to be the game-winner for the Tigers.
"I know some of those [Brookline] kids," Dickey said. "You can kind of tell which way they're going by the way they start off."
Newton North first-year head coach James Dow added, "You can't ask for more out of your first year. I don't know how else to describe it. If you've got a team that can fight for each other and works hard, anything is possible."
Herivaux gave Brookline the lead late in the first half, when Dickey was unable to corral a shot on goal, and the star freshman midfielder pounced on the loose ball and drove it home.
The Warriors continued to dominate the game with their solid passing.
"There were a bunch of times when we did put it together and we just couldn't put it away," Katz said. "I always believe that if we're good enough, and we know what we can do, then we should be able to figure it out and solve it. "
But Newton's defense was up to the task.
"Our backline has been great all year," Dickey said. "They played physical. Stopping every play, clearing everything. There have been shaky plays, but they come up with everything. We just believed."
The Tigers finally got the equalizer with 18:14 left in regulation. Jackson Moss-Hawkins fired a direct free kick toward the net, and the ball was played in the air by Gianluca Viscomi. Luke Westman then ran in from the left side and sent a lunging header past Brookline goalie Matt Hillman.
"He's usually a box-to-box midfielder," Dow said of Westman. "We asked him to go up top and try and sneak one in, and he did."
"Somebody loses their mark and someone just taps it in, that's it," Katz said. "That's how the tournament goes. You make a mistake, you pay."
To football we go, and vistiting Brookline (1-9) took its lumps, while at the same time showing the promise of its young talent base, during Friday night's 53-14 loss to undefeated Bay State Conference Carey Division champion Weymouth.
Brookline didn't do itself any favors in the first quarter, after Dylan Colarusso's nine-yard touchdown gave Weymouth a 6-0 lead.
The Warriors waited for the ensuing kickoff to bounce in the end zone for a touchback, but the ball instead stalled on the three-yard line, where the Wildcats pounced on it. One play later, Colarusso was in the end zone again, and Weymouth led, 12-0.
Brookline wide receiver Leon Scott showed tremendous talent during Brookline's next possession. Scott ripped the ball from the hands of a defensive back to haul in a 37-yard pass from Erik Dumas. But the Warriors were unable to sustain the drive and had to punt. Colarusso, who totaled 190 yards and four touchdowns, struck again, bouncing to the outside, before racing down the right sideline for a 57-yard TD run.
"We tried to throw the ball today to complement our ground game, but Dylan is our workhorse," Weymouth head coach Kevin Mackin said. "He's a great football player."
After Weymouth quarterback Mitch Temple connected with Khary Bailey-Smith for a 35-yard pass, Rob Barrus broke free of several Brookline tackles and ran for a 25-yard touchdown with 5:17 left before the break.
Brookline countered with its first tally of the day, as Scott again leaped over a defender and came down with Stephen O'Neal's pass of 28-yards, giving the Warriors the ball at the Wildcat one-yard line. Gavan D'Amore scored on the next play to put Brookline on the board and make it 25-7 with 1:06 left in the half.
O'Neal intercepted a Temple pass with 43 seconds left in the half, but Weymouth forced a Brookline punt, which gave the Wildcats enough time to score again before the buzzer. Austin Colarusso turned Temple's short pass over the middle into a 30-yard touchdown, as time expired and Weymouth, led, 32-7.
In the third quarter, a 65-yard run by O'Neal run put Brookline inside the Weymouth five, but Dylan Colarusso picked up a Brookline fumble two plays later and ran it back 90 yards with 9:50 to go in the third.
Trailing, 39-7, Brookline went on a 15-play drive but Weymouth again denied the Warriors inside the red zone, this time on an interception by Ryan Hennessy. The Wildcats and Warriors traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter, as Temple scored a one-yard keeper, and D'Amore scored from 30 yards out to make it 46-14.
"Brookline did a good job of moving the ball today on us," Mackin said. "Without the turnovers, this would have been a much different game."
Weymouth's Dolan Jacobs capped the scoring with a 24-yard touchdown run.
The Warriors will close the season on Thanksgiving against archrival host Newton North.
Now to volleyball, where No. 13 Brookline gave top-ranked Quincy a little scare in the Division 1 Central/East quarterfinals, but the Warriors (13-9) couldn't keep up the pace in the eventual 3-1 loss to the host Presidents (20-2).
Brookline rallied from a 19-11 deficit to steal the second game, 27-25, and tie the match at one game apiece. The win came after Quincy took the opening tilt and played evenly until the Presidents made a late surge for the victory. After the Warriors made their push to win the second game, Quincy took control the rest of the way, knocking Brookline out of the tourney.
Leading up to that game, the Warriors had made a collective smash hit in a 3-0 win over host Charlestown in the first round of postseason play.
"We had some trouble executing in game one, but after that we really began to put pressure on them," Brookline head coach Mike Frank said. "By the third game, we were playing up at the right level and were able to get a good first playoff win."
Junior Katie Shreffler shined in her first game back from injury with 16 aces and 10 assists. Fellow junior standout Maya Midzik had a team-leading 10 kills, while adding eight assists and two blocks.
Midzik, junior Marie Fleming, and senior Janet Ruan were all recently named to the 2010 Bay State Conference girls volleyball All-Star team. Midzik and Fleming garnered first team honors, while Ruan made honorable mention.
Finally, folks, how about our rags-to-riches Pop Warner Patriots? The Brookline-Jamaica Plain teams seem to be following in the footsteps of the real Patriots, who, some time ago, were at the bottom of the NFL heap, before rising to the top. Both "franchises" are now thriving.
The youth Patriots recently completed their march to an unprecedented program-wide undefeated regular season. That's four teams who have not lost a football game.
Tom who? (okay, just kidding).
But, seriously, just five years ago the kid Patriots were routinely routed by opponents at all levels and struggled to win two games. Under the guidance of League President Dr. Darel Moss and Director of Football Ian Cotterel, the Pop Warner Pats have turned the program around.
"The program is successful because kids want to play for us," Cotterel said. "The coaches are fair, the environment is safe, and the atmosphere is positive for kids to learn the game. Even our instructional levels (D Silver and E) were awesome, and that is because we have great people involved top to bottom."
The Patriots have a team in the Eastern Mass. playoffs at every level. Each team will play in a single elimination tournament, vying for the coveted invitation to play in Disney World for a national championship.