Watertown boys’ soccer shakes free of Stoneham
Raiders will head to Wakefield on Monday for key Middlesex League game
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The Watertown Raiders boys’ soccer team got its third victory of the season Saturday morning. The Raiders beat Stoneham, 4-1, on their home turf, Victory Field, to improve their record to 3-2 for the season.
Watertown instantly pressured Stoneham at the start of the game. The Raiders went in knowing Stoneham was a weaker opponent, so they wanted to put them out of the game early. This way, they could rest their starters for Monday’s game at Wakefield.
Watertown’s pressure worked out as the Raiders scored the first goal just inside 10 minutes. Xhonatan Kadi and Alex Egan combined for a beautiful goal that Kadi would finish for his first goal of the season.
Despite pressuring the ball, keeping possession, and having many shots, the Raiders had trouble finding their second goal of the game. Stoneham was satisfied while Watertown was furious as the first half ended.
If the Raiders wanted to put this game to bed, they would have to finish their chances in the second half. However, it was the away team that would put its first real chance in the net as Stoneham made it 1-1 at the start of the second half. A mistake from the Raiders defense gave Stoneham striker Mike DiLeo a breakaway, which he finished calmly.
With Stoneham looking more dangerous than it has looked in a long time, Watertown didn’t panic and instead focused on playing its game. The Raiders quickly copped the lead through Gevork Karapetyan. He dribbled through Stoneham’s defense, combined with Rodrigo Freitas, and then finished it with his left foot into the bottom right corner.
From then on, the Raiders just got more dangerous. Egan finished them off as he scored his second and third goals of the season. His first came a little bit after Karapetyan’s. A miss-kick from a Stoneham defender left Egan with a 1-on-1 with a defender. Egan went on to beat him and slot the ball into the bottom corner. Egan’s second was the goal that was really special and knocked Stoneham to the ground. Caiden Kiani gave it to Egan, who beat one defender and nutmeged another before finishing it bar-down with his left leg.
With the score being 4-1, Watertown gave the bench a chance to play. The pace of the game slowed for the last 10 minutes. Unfortunately with only a couple minutes left in the game, Ben Fandetti took a devastating blow to the right ankle. His ankle swelled up seconds after being hit, but Fandetti took it calmly and he didn’t scream in pain. He just sat down and asked for a sub, telling everyone he was not OK. Egan and Kadi would carry him off the field where WHS trainer Eric Trant checked on him.
Shortly after, the game ended and the Raiders had their first Middlesex League victory. Watertown’s next game is Monday, Sept. 17, at Wakefield. It’s a journey, but still come out and support the boys!
–Sept. 16, 2018–
Alex Egan is a member of the Raider Times staff.