Unlike the run it was able to complete last year, the Foxboro High boys’ soccer team came up just short in their late-season surge for a MIAA Tournament bid.
The Warrior boys (7-8-3) came up one point shy of the postseason berth following a heartbreaking, 2-0 Hockomock League loss to North Attleboro on Tuesday.
The Rocketeers scored goals on counter attacks in the 22nd and 44th minute and ultimately packed it in defensively as Foxboro could never overcome a suffocating North defense, which is tied for first in the Hockomock League in goals allowed (13 in 17 games).
“You go down against them, how many goals have they’ve given up all year? Not many. So, they stay compact, keep it tight,” Foxboro coach Joe Franchino said. “To be fair, they were the better team. Our passing we just a little bit off. I thought our intensity from the start of the match was not there. So, give credit to them, they came out and beat us today.”
While the Warriors needed just one point, playing a compacted defense, like the Rocketeers play routinely, was not in the cards.
“That’s not the style we play,” Franchino said. “Yeah, we could’ve had a draw to go through, but for me, I was more looking to not play the No. 1 seed and get over these guys. That was my mentality, that’s always my mentality, but possibly we could of.
“But give or take, you look back on it and maybe that was the solution,” he added.
“That’s just not my mentality. I wanted to win the game, be confident and try to instill that in my players. But looking back on it, maybe that’s something we could’ve done.”
Of course, when they scored in the 22nd minute, it forced Foxboro to step it up even more offensively. And when Foxboro pushed numbers up to start the second half, the Rocketeers scored on another counter four minutes after the intermission.
While the Rocketeers held a 12-6 edge in shots, Foxboro had a plethora of late chances. As the Rocketeers covered every angle of Warrior striker Dylan Barreira, sometimes seeing as many as four defenders around him, the senior settled for the majority of his chances on set pieces. He had a direct kick on frame in the 78th minute stopped by North goaltender Kyle Briera (six saves).
Barreira had a give-and-go result in a shot on goal by Max Beigel in the 75th minute; Will Morrison unleashed a shot off a deflection from about 12 yards out in the 68th minute; and Barreira had direct kicks from distance in both the 62nd and 63rd minutes.
Foxboro goaltender Dylan Tierney finished with 10 saves. He came off his line for a kick save in the third minute; had another save on a 1-on-1 in the 32nd minute; and after the Warriors were left with just three defenders, came off his line for the initial save in the 55th minute before Jeremy Neale cleared the ball off the goal line.
E Barreira scored the lone goal in the 22nd minute as the Warriors earned a 1-0 league win over Sharon last Friday.
Joe Cusack assisted on Barreira’s goal as the Warriors held a 6-3 edge in shots. Tierney made three saves for the clean sheet.