Raiders right back where they left off

Two goals apiece for Caiden Kiani and Rodrigo Freitas propel Watertown boys' soccer in MIAA tourney; Raiders to host Pentucket on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Nathan Follett, Raider Times staff

Sophomore Caiden Kiani and junior Rodrigo Freitas each scored twice for the Raiders as the Watertown boys’ soccer team stifled Gloucester, 5-1, in first-round MIAA Division 3 playoff action at Victory Field on Friday night.

No. 4 Watertown (13-5-1) opened their North championship title defense with a comfortable win against the No. 13 Fishermen (5-12-1). The Raiders, who are also the Middlesex League Freedom Champions, next face off against No. 5 Pentucket (12-4-3) on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Victory Field. 

Watertown got the scoring going early, as Kiani, a sophomore defender, found the back of the net just two minutes into the game.

“We wanted to come out of the gates quickly,” said Watertown coach Frank Cacia. “Our goal was to score in the first 5-10 minutes.”

Cacia said Watertown always emphasizes setting the tone early in games.

“It’s all about confidence and not keeping teams in the game,” he explained. “Every time we score a goal we yell, ‘Two minutes’ because that’s when the opposing team raises their intensity level and looks to get the goal back. We want to be able to do the same and match it.”

Gloucester wouldn’t go away easily, and responded to the deficit by kicking it up a notch as Cacia expected. Three minutes after the Raiders scored, a miscommunication by the Watertown backfield during a Fisherman set piece allowed senior Elijah Elliott to tap in a goal to even the score at 1.

After this mistake, Watertown took control and didn’t look back. With 29:30 left in the first half, Freitas took a through-ball from senior Alex Egan (three assists) and slotted it home to put the home team ahead, 2-1. Kiani netted his second goal of the game three minutes later and the Raiders held a 3-1 advantage.

Cacia credited ball possession as a major factor in the Raiders’ solid all-around victory on Friday.

“[After the goal] we made some changes and we took it to them,” he said. “We wanted to knock the ball around and find seams, and we wanted to make the ball do the work and play two-to- three-touch soccer.”

After a flurry of Watertown offensive chances, senior Enrique Duarte scored from deep to put the Raiders up, 4-1, heading into the half. Coming out of the break, Freitas beat the keeper with a move and tucked his second goal of the night inside the left post to make the score 5-1.

Watertown stayed strong defensively all night, with keeper Devon Breen not having to face much action.

Despite the win, Cacia is already looking ahead to the Raiders’ next opponent. He expects Pentucket will be a tough test for Watertown on Sunday afternoon.

“They are a big and athletic team,” he said. “They’re going to pose a different kind of challenge for us, but we’re up for it.”

–Nov. 3, 2018–