ROCKPORT— One sign of a good team is the way it handles adversity.
In Saturday night’s Division 4 North First Round tilt between No. 2 Rockport and No. 15 Lynn Tech at Rockport High School, the heavily favored Vikings handled some adversity and showed why they were crowned Cape Ann League Small champions in the regular season.
Although it controlled play from start to finish, Rockport found itself tied at 1-1 with 10 minutes to play in the first half after the Tigers scored off of a corner kick opportunity. Lynn Tech had the momentum at the time, but the Vikings made sure the game swung back in their favor.
Two goals followed in the next six minutes and the home team held onto that advantage for the entire second half en route to a 3-1 win. The win moves Rockport (13-4-2) to the Division 4 North Quarterfinals where it will host No. 7 Hamilton-Wenham tonight at Rockport High School (6 p.m.).
“I think we kind of relaxed a little after we got up 1-0,” Vikings senior captain Jonathan Ferrante said. “But after they tied the score we knew we needed to answer quickly and we did. We were able to stay on the attack the rest of the way and come away with the win.”
A first half goal wasn’t the only thing the Vikings had to deal with on Saturday night as the win or go home scenario of the state tournament had both teams playing aggressive and physical soccer. Tensions boiled over at times and a shoving match ensued in the middle of the second half. But Rockport was able to keep its composure and never relented.
“Our physical and mental toughness was put to the test tonight,” Vikings head coach Dave Curley said. “It was a physical game at times but I was happy with the way the kids went about their game in a methodical manner. They stayed composed and played within themselves. It was a workmanlike effort. I don’t think the score shows just how much we controlled the game tonight.”