Watertown High boys’ soccer needs OT to advance
Abrahamyan scores winner with PK; Raiders to play top-seeded Wayland in Div. 3 North semifinals
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In an intense and hectic game, the Watertown High boys’ soccer team won its MIAA quarterfinal game on Monday night, beating Bedford, 3-2, in overtime at Victory Field.
The fifth-seeded Raiders (13-6-1) will next play top-seeded Wayland (12-1-5) in the Division 3 North semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Woburn High at 4 p.m.
“I’m proud of them of their work ethic,” said WHS coach Frank Cacia. “Their hard work is paying off so I’m super excited.”
Both teams came out strong Monday. Bedford had multiple attacks before the Raiders conceded a goal early on in the game. Bedford (7-11-2) dominated the first five minutes of the game. The 13th-seeded Buccaneers found their luck as the ball came bouncing around with headers and finally they found a open header opportunity to place in the back of the net.
But just moments later, the Raiders came back. In the ninth minute from a corner, Akif Yagcioglu drilled the ball dead center in the box to find captain Robert Danielian for a header that he placed on the right-hand side of the keeper, equalizing the score at 1.
“This is what I’ve been working for, this moment right here,” Danielian said about how he felt to score the goal.
The crowd was starting to get energized and couldn’t get a hold of sitting down. Bedford’s side of the stands were making a lot of noise, as some of them confused the crowd by using horns and bells.
The dying minutes of the first half started to get intense. Watertown come again with another beautiful corner kick from Yagcioglu as he curled it to the back post of the net to find Danielian once again for the header to make the score 2-1.
“Finding my teammates for the goal is all it takes for me,” said Yagcioglu, who said he has 16 assists on the season. “I am truly just the best. I believe we’re gonna win states and I’m going to win MVP.”
Moments after the goal, Watertown conceded a penalty kick as the referees were counting down the last minutes to end the half. WHS goalie Sergio Salas came out big as he eyed the player and got the right direction to save the penalty kick to keep the score at 2-1 at the end of the half.
“It’s amazing, I feel blessed to have another opportunity to keep going and win states,” said Salas. “I honestly wanted to cry, I was so happy and I knew I was gonna save it. I called it.”
The half ended with both teams pulling off four shots each. As the second half began, the weather started to get more colder as the fans wanted more action to get warmed up. Bedford’s side was making all sorts of noise as the crowd was stomping and screaming for its team to tie the game up.
Bedford’s goal came in the 60th minute The WHS side did not agree with the call of the goal as there were many complaints on the goalie being pushed from behind. But there were no changes to the call as the game settled in at 2-2.
With less than 10 minutes of the half, the Raiders kept attacking, trying to get a goal off in the dying minutes on their home field. They kept trying their hardest as there were multiple shots deflected, and couldn’t find the goal they were looking for. Fans of Watertown chanted, “Let’s go Raiders,” over and over again to get their team’s hopes up.
The game continued on to overtime with Watertown having made seven shots and Bedford six.
Cacia had said some encouraging words as Watertown kept pressing and attacking the ball to secure the winner in overtime.
Minutes in, Watertown got the chance it was looking for.
The goal came from a penalty kick as Danielian won possession of the ball and was cutting into the box to pull off a shot, but he was fouled from behind and the referees called a penalty kick.
Captain Alex Abrahamyan stepped up to the mark for the penalty. With no hesitation, he placed a beautiful kick to the bottom right hand corner of the goalie to win the game.
“It was incredible, we were waiting on it for the whole game,” said Abrahamyan. “It had to come, we just had to give it time.”
Watertown’s midfielders — Jose Mendoza, Jafiah Edwards, Samuel Deossa — worked very well with each other and led the game in possession by far.
“Feels good to win, but we have to focus on the next game and be ready for the next game,” said Mendoza.
–Nov. 6, 2017–
Kenan Canca is a member of the Raider Times staff.