By Mike Pratt
---- — CONCORD — The Gloucester boys soccer team took the long ride to Concord-Carlisle Regional High School on Sunday afternoon, knowing that it would have to bring its “A-game” if it wanted to stand a chance against the stacked Patriots.
The Fishermen came into their opening round game as the No. 13 seed in Division 2 North, while the Patriots are not only the No. 4 seed but they are also widely seen as one of the top 10 teams in the state and are even ranked in the top 100 Nationally in some publications.
Gloucester, however, was not about to just roll over to the heavily favored Patriots. With Senior Captain Calvin Kipruto named an All-League player in the Northeastern Conference, and senior captain Alex Dahlmer along with sophomore goalkeeper Treigh Worell making the NEC All Star team, Gloucester had some talent of its own.
Although it wasn’t enough to take down Concord-Carlisle, which lived up to its reputation in a very close 2-1 win, the Fishermen defense was all over the place and Worell played better than you could ask any sophomore to play in that situation.
“I told the kids before the game we had to have a really good game out of Treigh in net, which we did,” Gloucester head coach Armando Marnoto said. “As a sophomore player, he grew up a lot today.
We had to play mistake free ball in the back, which for two of the goals we didn’t, but for the rest of the game I thought they played really well.”
Concord-Carlisle started the game with a very aggressive attack but the Fishermen defense was there every inch of the way.
For most of the first half the Fishermen stopped everything the Patriots threw at them. At about the twenty-ninth minute, Worell made two huge saves during one of Concord-Carlisle’s relentless attacks that kept the game scoreless and Gloucester’s hopes alive. But during the 41st minute, Concord-Carlisle junior forward Mitchell Palmer scored the lone goal of the first half to give the Patriots the 1-0 lead heading into the break.
Gloucester came out in the second half looking like a team that didn’t want its season to end.
The Fishermen picked up their offensive attack and started to give Concord-Carlisle a real tough challenge. As the game went on, the Patriots picked up their defense and kept the Fishermen at bay just long enough for senior forward Karl Kreisher to score a goal during the 57th minute to put the Patriots up 2-0.
The Fishermen, however, didn’t give up as they stepped up their game even more putting a lot of pressure on the Concord-Carlisle defense and senior goalkeeper Gabe Areia.
Gloucester called a timeout with 23:35 to go and coach Armando Marnoto decided to move Dahlmer up to midfield, and it payed off big time. With 18:55 to go, the senior captain scored a beautiful goal from just inside midfield to make it a 2-1 game.
“We had to take chances, we knew this was a very strong program,” Marnoto said of his decision to move Dahlmer up to midfield. “But when the score was still 1-0 I wanted to still hang in there and not do anything drastic and hope that Calvin and Dan could hook-up. Once we were down 2-0, around the twenty-six minute mark, that’s when I called the timeout, changed the formation and started taking chances. That’s when we scored the goal and I hoped that it would carry over and it almost did.”
After the Dahlmer goal, Concord-Carlisle picked their offense back up but Worell was there to answer the call making a save just fifteen seconds later to keep it a 2-1 game. Then at the 14:15 mark junior Dan Carpenter had a nice look out in front that went just wide. Unfortunately, that’s how the game would end.
After the game, Dahlmer had nothing but good things to say about his program and his teammates.
“I had a lot of high hopes for this season and I’m so proud of this team,” Dahlmer said. “We got to where we wanted to get.”
Fellow senior captain and Northeast Conference All-League Calvin Kipruto agreed.
“We started off the season not so good but we really came together as a team to end it.”