CONCORD, Mass. -- Acton-Boxborough had plenty of chances to find the breakthrough, but a missed penalty, a hit crossbar, and several other spurned opportunities left the Colonials wondering how they failed to collect the full points from their top 5 matchup against Concord-Carlisle.
“I thought it was a really good game, two going teams going toe-to-toe,” said A-B coach David Baumritter. “A little unlucky, but you take the good with the bad and over the course of the season things even out.”
The best chance for the Colonials came six minutes after halftime when C-C goalkeeper Cray Novick committed a foul and gave up a penalty kick. Captain Ryan Rose stepped up, but Novick made amends with a solid catch down low to his right.
The save helped preserve a point for the Patriots, who played much stronger in the second half. C-C hearts were nearly broken two minutes from time when Ethan Raymond smashed a shot from inside the box off the crossbar. It was another in a long line of misses for A-B on the afternoon.
C-C head coach Ray Pavlik was proud of the way his team improved and competed against a team he called the “best that they’ve played this season.”
“It’s good. It pushed us to play quicker and to understand that we can’t make mistakes,” said Pavlik. “We played great in the second half and had some great buildups but just couldn’t find the net.”
The first half was dominated by the Colonials, and Rose had several chances to open the scoring. After missing the net on several shots from the outside the box, Rose was played in on goal by a defense-splitting pass by Isaac deSouza but sliced his chance just wide of the post. Several minutes later Rose split the uprights on another shot from inside the box.
The Patriots had one great chance in the first half when senior Gregoire Fauchet combined up top with Wyatt Powell to get behind the A-B defense, but his shot was hit tamely at the keeper. In addition to the penalty save, Novick got his hands on five other shots including a deft flick by deSouza that he turned around the post.
Not surprisingly in a scoreless game, the defenders were excellent for both teams. Thomas Kearns and Kevin Wholihan handled the pressure at the heart of the C-C defense while Andrew Doelp and Ross Schulman stood out for A-B.
As could be expected in a game pitting two of the top five teams in the state, the passing and touch in the midfield was solid for both teams and there is plenty of respect between the programs.
“It was a good team effort and I think it shows on the field that we play that way, you know, and Concord also. It’s just two good teams going at it. It was a lot of fun.”
Acton-Boxborough (9-0-2), whose other draw was also at the Concord-Carlisle fields during the Kicks for Cancer tournament, will face St. John’s Prep on Monday in its next game. Meanwhile, Concord-Carlisle (9-1-1) will face Boston Latin in its next game.