-Submitted on behalf of the BHS Boys Varsity Soccer Team
The Bedford Boys Varsity Soccer team made history Thursday afternoon, becoming the first school team to win five straight Dual County League (DCL) titles with a 1-0 victory over Lincoln-Sudbury. The Buccaneers won the DCL Foley division with a 7-2-1 record in league play, are 10-2-2 overall, and are ranked seventh in the Division 2 MIAA power rankings (for the state tournament). The Bucs conclude the regular season with a match at home this Saturday, Oct. 29 at noon.
Tewksbury, Oct. 24 (Senior Night)
On Senior Night at Sabourin Field, the Bucs played a non-league match against Tewksbury and dominated the Redman in winning, 6-0. In front of a raucous crowd celebrating graduating players, the Bucs got off to a fast start with senior Brian Hwang applying pressure up top and keeping the ball in the Tewksbury zone. Senior Wynn Sheridan scored his first varsity goal, collecting a pass from senior Devan Kaushik, taking a dribble past a defender, and drilling it home for a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the game. In the 20th minute, Miles Herzog connected with Kaushik who evaded a defender and played a nice through ball to Spencer Goss who scored to make it 2-0. Tewksbury took a timeout soon thereafter in an attempt to settle down. The Redman had their best chance at 31 minutes, but senior goalie Ansh Aggarwal was up to the test and the game remained 2-0 at halftime.
Some early second half Tewksbury pressure led to Aggarwal making a diving save at 50 minutes, but that would be the best the Redman would do for the rest of the night. In the 52nd minute, Spencer Goss played to senior Luca Melfi who knocked it past the goalie for a 3-0 Bucs’ lead. Six minutes later, senior Tomas Ou took a Max Mezheritskiy pass, dribbled through defenders to create space, and then hammered a shot into the back of the net upping the lead to 4-0.
The Bucs were not done, as Ronan Melfi placed a free kick in front of the net to Owen Savage, Savage connected with senior Mihir Vaze who scored his first varsity goal making it 5-0. In the 77th minute, Ou took a ball at midfield and weaved through defenders before making the pass to senior Connor Lewis who scored his first varsity goal and provided the final margin 6-0.
Seniors Austin Cullis and Ian Grove played solid soccer on the wings, defending well and starting offensive runs, while seniors Colin Viera and Anirudh Kumar created multiple scoring chances for their teammates. Rafael Mense, Sawyer Elliott, Jake Bowman, and Christian Hill were all over the field making numerous hustle plays as the Bucs received contributions from the entire roster in the dominating win.
Lincoln-Sudbury, Oct. 27
With the DCL Foley title on the line, the Bucs generated just enough offense and played solid defense in the 1-0 win over Lincoln-Sudbury (L-S). Bedford started fast, attacking L-S and generating a corner kick just four minutes in, but could not convert.
In the 10th minute Spencer Goss, Owen Savage, and Eshan Pandey each got shots off, but couldn’t get them past the L-S goalie, keeping the game scoreless. The Bucs kept the pressure on for the next 10 minutes.
At the 21-minute mark, L-S had a chance to make something happen, but Austin Cullis, who played an excellent game defending on the wings, shut down the attack.
In the 23rd minute, Bedford broke through on a sensational goal. Ronan Melfi headed a pass to Anirudh Kumar, who passed to Cullis. Cullis found Christian Hill, who took a touch, then played Devan Kaushik streaking down the field. Kaushik collected the pass, deked a defender, and then made a beautiful cross back to Hill, who headed it in for the goal and a 1-0 lead.
The game was relatively even for the next 10 minutes. At 36 minutes, Bedford turned up the pressure spending significant time in front of the L-S net, but was unable to expand the lead before the halftime whistle sounded.
The early second half was not the Bucs’ finest hour as L-S was on the attack and the Bucs were turning the ball over, unable to connect passes. The defense, led by Sean Morrison and Tomas Ou, was able to stem the tide in the early second half, maintaining the one goal lead.
Later in the half, Luca Melfi, Sawyer Elliott, and Max Mezheritskiy were keying the defense and preventing any clean shots from reaching goalie Ansh Aggarwal. Sharp passing from Miles Herzog helped the Bucs regain their flow. A nice pass from Sean Morrison to Austin Cullis at 48 minutes led to a Cullis header that just missed the goal.
The next 10 minutes were relatively even as both teams possessed the ball, but could not generate any real scoring opportunities. The momentum started to shift to L-S at about the 60-minute mark as the Warriors maintained possession of the ball more often. A Warrior midfielder was able to weave into the Bedford zone and strike a hard shot top shelf, but Aggarwal leaped to make the save, preserving the Bedford lead, but leading to an L-S corner kick.
The Warriors continued to pressure the Bucs, leading to another two corner kicks, but the Bedford defense held, finally clearing the ball.
In the 66th minute, Spencer Goss had a chance to score, but the Warriors goalie made a nice save to keep the score 1-0. The remaining 14 minutes were then largely played in the Bedford defensive zone as L-S applied all kinds of pressure. Most opportunities were contained by Ou, Luca Melfi, Morrison, and Mezheritskiy, supported by Akira Ung.
With under two minutes left, L-S was able to create shot opportunities, requiring Aggarwal to make a key save with less than a minute to play. The Bucs were able to hang on for the 1-0 victory and their 5th straight DCL Foley title.
The Bucs conclude their regular season Saturday, Oct 29 at noon at home against non-league opponent Natick, and will then await the tournament brackets to be released on Nov. 2 to find out who they play in the first round of the Division 2 state tournament.