Watertown boys’ soccer suffers first loss

Raiders fall to Winchester; next game Monday, Sept. 10, vs. Burke at Victory Field

Nathan Follett, Raider Times staff

The Watertown High boys’ soccer team suffered its first loss of the season Friday night as the Raiders fell to the Winchester Sachems, 3-1, at Victory Field.

The Raiders (2-1, 1-1 Middlesex League) jumped out to a 1-0 lead on captain Jafiah Edwards’s header in the second minute, but the Sachems (1-0) tied the game just 37 seconds later. Senior Carlos Diaz went on to convert a header of his own for Winchester in the 26th minute, which stood as the deciding goal.

“If you score a goal, you can’t let down, because that’s when the other team picks up the intensity” said Watertown coach Frank Cacia. “You need to match that intensity. But we gave it right back to them, they got back in the game, and we just have to be better.”

The offense of the seventh-ranked Raiders appeared to be clicking early as they forced a corner kick just minutes into the game. Senior Enrique Duarte lofted a corner kick into the box and Edwards was able to head it home to put Watertown in front.

However, Winchester was not fazed. Senior Will Hofheinz slotted one home in the bottom left corner in the third minute and the game was tied.

The teams went back in forth in the remainder of the first half, until Diaz’s go-ahead goal.

Heading into the second half, the Raiders found themselves down and needing offensive chances. However, they couldn’t seem to gain any momentum or get deep penetration into Winchester’s defense.

“They’re one of the top teams in Division 2,” Cacia said of Winchester. “They’re just very disciplined, organized in the back, and well coached. They were frustrating us.”

In the 52nd minute, a goal by senior Sonny Bizure put Winchester up by two, a deficit which the Raiders couldn’t overcome.

“We can’t allow that third goal,” Cacia said. “It was a back-breaker in the second half.”

The Raiders still have work to do as they attempt to defend their Division 3 North title. They’ll do so without the help of key seniors from last year, including Middlesex League MVP Alex Abrahamyan. However, Cacia is confident that this year’s team can bounce back from this loss.

“We just need to maintain our composure and keep going,” he said.

The Raiders next match is against Burke at home on Monday at 7 p.m.

–Sept. 8, 2018–