English defense keeps Swampscott boys soccer team at arm’s length

SWAMPSCOTT – The Brazilians call it “the beautiful game,” – where grace, style and are very evident.Tuesday, at the new Swampscott High School, the Big Blue and Lynn English put on a high school demonstration of “the beautiful game.” In the first 15 minutes, there were no fouls, no substitutes and no one made a mistake.Someone had to win it, though, that that was English, 1-0.Even though the teams play different styles, they were magnificent. English plays a Latin American style with many short passes to get the ball up field. Their entire attack revolves around junior Mubarak Nyang. He has been in the United States for four years, having grown up in the war-ravaged African country of the Sudan.His skills are far beyond his years. He is probably the most marked player in the NEC.Coach Kerry King came into the game looking for his first league win, saying, “our biggest problem is not stopping the other team but in finishing our attacks.”Mubarak gets us up there but we just can’t put it in,” he said.On the other hand, “we have to play a complete game if we want to beat English,” said Swampscott coach Art Simms, who saw his team drop to 4-3-1. “They have played good teams and are getting beat by one goal.”The best chance for English to score in the first half was in the 26th minute when Nyang’s through-ball pass threaded the needle and was picked up by Ulisis Guevara who had the Swampscott keeper, Dean Dennis, all alone. However, Dennis made the save.The four Swampscott defenders, Evan Farr, John Michael Mason, Mike Nimkar and Mark Simms shut down any Bulldog attacks on the Swampscott net.As the first half was coming to a close Swampscott had a glittering opportunity to score. Kyle Taylor had the ball all alone, 5 yards in front of the English net and he was stuffed by English keeper Eric Hamlin.The half came to a close a minute later, with neither team scoring.The second half started as the first finished with excellent skill work and passing. It appeared that one mistake would determine the winner of the match.This mistake came in the 45th minute when English had a corner kick from the left side. All keepers are taught to start the play from the far goal post so they will have the whole play in front of them.Nyang took the kick and it came to the short side about 12 yards from the goal line. Alex Alverez was waiting for the ball and he headed it into the short side. The Big Blue keeper got caught up in the traffic in front of the net and he had no play on the shot, giving English its margin of victory.For the next 30 minutes, English kept the Swampscott midfielders and strikers from doing any damage against the Bulldog defenders except to lob a few balls that Hamlin scooped up.In the last three minutes, an attack by the Big Blue was stopped by the English defense led by Nelson Manuelo, Wally Mendoza and Alverez along with three awesome saves by Eric Hamlin who also kept Swampscott back in its own end with booming kicks deep into the Swampscott end.”It was an outstanding match,” Simms said. “Both teams played as well as they could. One mistake was the difference.”A very happy King was thrilled the Bulldogs got their first win.”We have been playing this way all year. We dominate the midfield but just can’t put it in the net.”English’s record goes to 1-5-2 (1-5-1 NEC).

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