By Nick Curcuru
---- — ROCKPORT — The Rockport boys soccer team’s chances of winning the Cape Ann League Small title looked bleak after last week’s 1-1 tie with rival Georgetown.
Following the draw, the Royals stood one point ahead of the Vikings first place and controlled their own destiny for the league crown.
But after the two following games for each team, the power shifted. Rockport picked up a pair of wins over Ipswich and Manchester Essex while Georgetown settled for two draws against Lynnfield and Ipswich, and all of a sudden Rockport found itself in first place and controlling its own destiny for the CAL Small championship.
All the Vikings needed to do to clinch the championship is beat Lynnfield and Amesbury in their final two regular season games. On Monday, Rockport finished half of the job with a 4-0 win over rival Lynnfield at Rockport High School. A victory on the road against winless Amesbury on Wednesday will give the Vikings the CAL Small title.
“We have (played ourselves into a good position),” Vikings head coach Dave Curley said. “The kids have been working hard to get to this point and they have one more game to go. After last week’s tie with Georgetown, we needed a little help. The kids continued to stay focused and play strong and we got the help we needed when Georgetown tied twice.”
Rockport (11-4-2) has picked a perfect time to start playing its best soccer of the season as the team is unbeaten in its last five contests and has gone 3-0-1 in its second go-round in the CAL Small.
The Vikings prowess was on full display on Monday night, which was senior night at Rockport High School. The Pioneers had not allowed a goal in their last three contests and the Vikings carved up their defense with three first half goals.
Defensively, Rockport also stood tall completely shutting down the Lynnfield attack after an early scare.
“(Lynnfield) is not giving up a lot of goals and for our team to put four on them shows how well we are playing,” Curley said. “We are playing quick and playing cleaner with our passing. The boys have really put it all out there to get to this point and I’m proud of them.”
Curley could not single out any one player in Monday’s shutout win because the entire team came to play and play well.
The Vikings got on the board 15 minutes in on a goal from Shaun Aspesi and answered with another 20 minutes later from Andrew Waynrynen to take a 2-0 lead. Aspesi struck again with a nice individual effort, weaving through the Pioneers defense and tucking a shot inside the post to his right from the middle of the field late in the first half and the rout was on.
Jon Ferrante’s goal early in the second half made it 4-0 and the Vikings defense took over from there, holding the Pioneers without a quality scoring chance in the second half.
Curley was quick to praise the effort of Ferrante.
“He’s been working his tail off up front for us all year,” Curley said of his senior captain. “He’s been doing everything but score for us so it was nice to see him get a well earned goal.”