For the first time since 2012, the Rockport boys soccer team is heading to the sectional semifinals.
With a 4-0 win over No. 1 Salem Academy on Thursday at Bertram Field, the Vikings have advanced to the Division 4 North Semifinals where they will take on No. 5 Burke on Monday at Winthrop High School (1 p.m.).
“We were in control for most of the game,” Rockport head coach Dave Curley said. “I thought we were going to have to get some of those dirty goals in close with the weather, but they were all nice goals.”
Santiago Perez opened up the scoring, his first goal of the season, about 10 minutes into the first half to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.
That was all Rockport needed with the way it was defending but it added another before the half off the foot of Andrew Guelli to send Rockport into the break with a 2-0 lead. Colby Kelley added a goal in the second half and Benin Murdock capped off the scoring with his first of the season to make it 4-0.
Defensively, the Vikings, led by Austin Matus, Tom Micalizzi and Dillon VanDerPool, had Salem Academy bottled up from the start by attacking the wings and keeping the ball away from the dangerous players in the middle of the field. “They’re dangerous when their players in the middle of the field have the ball,” Curley said. “But we handed the middle of the field and tried to attack them on the wing and it worked.” Rockport improves to 11-4-5 with the win and returns to action with a big test on Monday in Boston City League power Burke. The winner of Monday’s contest will take on the winner of Monday’s second game at Winthrop High between No. 2 Manchester Essex and No. 3 Essex Tech in the sectional finals next Sunday at Manning Field in Lynn.