Boston International 3 Manchester Essex 1
The Hornets (8-8-4) ran into a buzz saw that was Boston International in the Division 3 North First Round on the road Sunday night.
“I thought we played them tough,” Hornets head coach Rob Bilsbury said. “They’re a quality team with a lot of good players. I definitely thought we brought some good energy but they kicked their game into another level of physicality and talent that we weren’t ready for. I definitely thought we played them tough but they got the better of us.”
Boston International took a 1-0 lead early and extended that lead to 2-0 late in the first half when the Hornets defense lost a Boston International forward on a perfect corner kick.
Midway through the second half Boston International struck again to push the lead to 3-0. Manchester Essex cut into the lead in the waning minutes when Sean Gutierrez, normally a defender, headed in a long indirect floated by Will Nadai.
Although Boston International picked up the win, Manchester Essex polished off a strong season where it competed in the shark tank that is the Cape Ann League and qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2006.
The highlight of the year for Manchester Essex came in the final week of the regular season where it went 3-0-1 to get into the tournament and then picked up a dominant tournament win at home against Maimonides on Friday.
“This was an awesome season, a season I will never forget,” Bilsbury said. “This is a great group of guys and it was an unforgettable last couple of weeks with great team performance after great team performance.”
Manchester Essex 17
The Hornets move to 2-7 on the year and picked up a much needed NEC/CAL Tier 4 win on the road Friday night.