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Cora, Bulldogs down Vikings for first win

English’s Julio Cora, right, tries to keep the ball away from Winthrop’s Rilma Bytini. (Item Photo by Katie Morrison)

LYNN — Behind some great passing and two goals from junior Julio Cora, the English boys soccer team took down Winthrop, 4-1, at Manning Field on Tuesday evening. The win breaks the Bulldogs’ winless streak on the year.

“I thought we really moved the ball well the whole night,” said English coach Kerry King. “We were able to possess the ball and get our guys into position for shots. We’ve had some trouble finishing for much of the year, but tonight we were able to finish.”

Senior defender Noe Macario and senior goalkeeper Billy Allen also added goals in the win. Senior Muhammad Diallo and freshman Juan Perez each had one assist. Allen made nine saves in net as well.

“Billy’s a senior captain for a reason, he’s steady and consistent,” said King. “He’s been like this his whole career, and we’ll sure miss him once he’s gone.”

It was a very even matchup to start the game, with the two teams battling back and forth for possession. English started to gain a foothold around 15 minutes into the game, getting several runs at the net. Then, with about 22 minutes left in the first half, Diallo sent a pass ahead to Cora, who blew past his defender for an open look at the net. He buried it in the left corner from about 10 yards out to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.

Almost nine minutes later, it was Perez who sent a high, lofting pass over the defense to a waiting Cora, who once again got behind the defense and scored in a one-on-one opportunity with Winthrop keeper Corey Cherico to make it 2-0.

“He’s a supremely skilled player, even as a first-year varsity player,” King said of Cora. “He’s still got some learning to do out there, but he can really impact the game for us.”

With about seven minutes remaining in the half, Macario cleaned up a rebound in front of the net and buried it to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead going into the break.

Winthrop came out with energy to open the second half, getting a number of runs at the net over the first 10 minutes. One of those runs ended up paying off for the Vikings when Luke Evangelista got taken down in the box to earn a penalty kick with just over 24 minutes left. Evangelista scored on the PK to put Winthrop on the board and make it 3-1.

But the Vikings couldn’t build momentum off of the goal, as Cora got taken down in the box just three minutes later to earn a penalty kick for the Bulldogs. Allen was chosen to take the kick, and he buried it to extend the lead back to three goals.

Now at 1-10 on the year, English is simply looking to win out to finish the season with some momentum.

“As I said before, we’ve had trouble finishing goals this year, so we really want to work on that,” said King. “We have a lot of talent here, but they’ve got to focus that talent all in the same place more often. If we can do that and grab a couple more wins before the end of the year, that’ll be great to build from.”

The Bulldogs will look for their second win on Thursday when they take on Malden.

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