By Sean O’Brien
This past Thursday night the Oliver Ames Boys Soccer team beat the Walpole Rebels an overtime thriller at Oliver Ames High School. Coming off a 4-0 win against Whitman-Hanson in the first round, and Walpole coming off a 2-0 win in their first round game, both teams had momentum.
OA had the ball to start and they went right on the attack, pressing very hard on the young Walpole defense. The Rebels were getting barely any shots on net early in the first half. Oliver Ames had a few but the Walpole goalie made some great saves to keep the score at 0-0. A little bit over the midpoint of the first half, captain Matt Campbell broke through Walpole’s defense and had a beautiful assist to James Gillespie who buried into the back of the net. The tigers were up 1-0 as the fans went crazy. The rest of the first half was pretty much back and forth but Oliver Ames possessed the ball well. A great half by the Tigers concluded at 1-0.
In the second half the game was really slow with rarely any defense breakthroughs. Walpole made many great passes and plays but OA’s defense was anchored really well by all four defenders. Oliver Ames was able to bring it down until the final five minutes of the game still in the lead 1-0. Both goalies had phenomenal second halves and it looked like OA was going to seal the victory and be on to the sectional semi-finals. However, the Walpole Rebels sent a strike to the box and a bouncing ball was tapped into the upper right corner as Jack Carroll was blinded by the amount of people in his area. Regulation ended 1-1 and OA was getting a real test at home versus the Rebels.
It came down to sudden death; first team to score walks away with the victory. Two ten minute overtimes and then if needed, penalty kicks. In the first overtime there were no real shots on net by either team. It ended and it was still tied so the teams switched sides and they were off again. Really early in the second overtime, Walpole had a very crucial corner where they almost ran away with the upset if it wasn’t for OA’s awesome defense led by captain Chris Lawrence. The Tigers then built off that great defense and marched down the field sending a cross into the box. The ball was bouncing around and Mason Galbato tapped it to his left and James Gillespie was once again in the perfect spot. Walpole’s goaltender had no chance and Gillespie buried it. His second goal of the game but better than that, he saved Oliver Ames’ season.
The boy’s next game is at Milford High School at 2 p.m. against the number one seed, Nauset, in the south sectional semi-finals. They look to keep this miraculous run going with a victory against Nauset.