GLOUCESTER — The Gloucester boys soccer team moved one step closer to its first state tournament berth since 2010 taking care of business with a 4-1 win over Winthrop at New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium on Tuesday.
At 6-3-3 the Fishermen now need just one point over their final four games to get into the postseason. Gloucester can clinch a postseason berth on Thursday night at Newell Stadium against Swampscott, a team that beat Gloucester in the first meeting between the two teams.
“I liked the way we controlled the game tonight,” Gloucester head coach Armando Marnoto said. “The starters played well and our entire bench got in and contributed, it was a nice team win today. We are building for our showdown with Swampscott on Thursday. A win or tie will get us into the tournament but we really want the win to avenge the loss they gave us earlier in the season.”
As he has all season long, Calvin Kipruto powered the Fishermen offense factoring in on every goal finishing up the night with three goals and an assist. The senior striker continues to be one of the more prolific scorers in the Northeastern Conference with 15 goals and six assists on the season.
Kipruto’s best play on Tuesday was his second goal of the game where he made a nifty move past a Vikings defender on the sideline and made a quick cut towards the center of the field before finishing with a shot from the middle of the box to make it 3-0 Fishermen in the middle of the first half.
“He was like a symphony out there, it’s just beautiful,” Marnoto said. “He’s so comfortable on the field and he is not over thinking things and letting his body take over. He’s been such a dominant player this season.”
Kipruto also assisted on Gloucester’s first goal of the night from Stephen Gross, which gave the Fishermen a 1-0 lead.
Marnoto also praised the play of sophomore Alex King, who returned after missing four weeks with a concussion and created several scoring chances for the Gloucester offense. Alex Dahlmer and Ryan Belanger also had assists for the Fishermen.
With four games remaining Gloucester has a state tournament berth and a Northeastern Conference Small title on its mind. One point gets the Fishermen into the postseason and they currently sit six points behind first place Danvers in the Northeastern Conference Small standings. The Fishermen and Falcons will meet again on October 23 at Newell Stadium.
“A win or a tie against Swampscott gets us into the tournament,” Marnoto said. “That’s our main focus right now. We are playing well as a team at the moment and we are looking to take it one game at a time.”