WORCESTER, Mass. -- The brothers Rothermich, Justin and Kevin, each scored a goal on Saturday afternoon to lead Sutton to a 2-1 state title victory over Watertown, Sutton’s second consecutive Division 3 state championship.
Watertown junior James Garbier scored the first goal of the game with a header about halfway through the first half, following a scrum around the net.
The Sammies didn’t wait long for their rebuttal, as senior Justin Rothermich scored on Watertown less than ninety seconds after Garbier’s goal.
“They scored early on, but it was early in the game, we knew we would have the skill to come back, Rothermich said, “we just kept our heads up. That’s the biggest thing, you can’t let yourself mentally drop after one goal.”
Sutton exuded a certain type of confidence all day, even when Watertown was on the attack. This is a concept that head coach Michael Elster says his team really impressed him with over the course of the state tournament.
“When we won districts they were really happy, but I didn’t see them cheering on the bus or anything,” Elster said following his team’s victory. "It was like ‘we’ve got more to do,’ it was this quiet confidence of we know we can get there and do it, and they did. It was nerve wracking, but they did a great job.”
The Sammies were on the attack much of the second half, but were especially on the attack in the final twenty minutes, going up 2-1 with about fifteen minutes to go on a goal by Justin’s younger brother, Kevin Rothermich.
Taking a defender one-on-one to the left side, Justin flew up the sideline, beating his defender and getting a good look at the goal from the left side of the box. After the shot tipped off of Watertown goalkeeper Greg Koutroukas, Kevin recovered the ricocheted ball in front of the net, and kicked in what would eventually be the game winning goal.
“There’s no feeling like it, to play with your brother, and then [for us] to get those two goals in a huge game like that. We can really find each other out there on the field and we played really well,” the older Rothermich said.
Elster said this wasn’t the first time the brothers have led the Sammies this year.
“They’ve had a couple combinations this year, in some important games, and you really can’t do it in any bigger scene," Elster said. "This was nice for them and I’m sure their family is going to be really happy for them.”
Each team will graduate eight seniors in the spring, but both can be expected to right in the thick of things in the Division 3 tournament again next year, as both teams will return several starters on offense.
"[Watertown] is a very good team, they made us work for it there’s no question about it,” Elster said, “I’m proud of these guys; they played a hell of a game.”