The Everett High boys soccer team took on St. John’s Prep in a preliminary round game in the MIAA Division 1 North soccer tournament, but the Crimson Tide came out on the short end of a 6-4 decision in a contest played Saturday evening at Everett Stadium.
Everett appeared to have the game well in hand, having led all the way up to a 4a-2 advantage with about 25 minutes left to play. However, the Prep hung tough at every juncture when the Tide had a chance to put the game out of reach and eventually came back to win the encounter.
“We had them on the ropes, but couldn’t put them away,” said EHS head coach Fred Jannino. “St. John’s is a good team and they battled back every time we had them on the brink.”
Felix DeBona, assisted by Eddie DeSouza, gave the Crimson Tide an early 1-0 lead and Alberto Jeanty, assisted by DeBona, gave the home fans even more to cheer about when he made it 2-0 midway through the opening half.
However, in a theme that would be reprised throughout the game, St. John’s notched the all important next tally to draw within 2-1 by halftime.
The relatively low scoring opening 40 minutes of play did not foreshadow the scoring fireworks to come in the second half as both teams came out with their scoring shoes firmly laced up.
The Crimson Tide’s Marcos Rodriguez reached the back of the Prep net shortly after the intermission to make it a two goal game, but St. John’s scored just minutes later to make it 3-2.
DeBona popped home his second marker of the contest with about 25 minutes to play to give Everett some breathing room once again, but the Prep responded in kind within a few minutes to leave matters at 4-3.
At this point the teams began to battle evenly, but the Prep took advantage of some throw ins deep inside Everett territory to execute their set plays, as they lined up five players at the goal line, both to distract the Everett keeper and to befuddle the Crimson Tide defense.
“We didn’t defend against their set plays as well as we should have,” noted Jannino, “and that proved to be the difference.”
St. John’s notched the equalizer with about 15 minutes to play and then rang in two more markers in the final 10 minutes to come away with the see saw victory.
“Obviously we would have liked to have gone further in the tournament,” said Jannino, whose team was seeded 15th in the 20 team bracket while St. John’s was seeded 18th. “We had beaten them 2-1 in the regular season, but we knew it would be a tough game.”
Still, the coach overall expressed a measure of satisfaction with his team’s performance this season. “We had a good year, especially considering the strong schedule we played. We’re going to miss our seniors, but we’ll also be looking forward to next year.”