Tech upsets St. Mary’s, advances to City Tournament final

St. Mary's Nolan Perez is one of 10 seniors on the roster. (Item File Photo)

LYNN — The Lynn Tech boys soccer team held onto a late lead to upset St. Mary’s with a 2-1 win in the Lynn City Soccer Tournament Wednesday at Manning Field.

“We were the underdogs to begin with,” Tech head coach Eric Moreno Sr. said. “Every year St. Mary’s is always the team to win all the tournaments and I told my team, ‘if we play the way we know how to play, keep our formation and play as a team together we can win this game, there is no doubt in my mind.'”

Omer Pojoy and Maynor Geo Ramirez both scored goals for the Tigers while Edin Arreaga had a near perfect game at goaltender.

“Edin did a great job tonight,” Moreno added. “He made a couple great saves to keep us in this game. One shot got by him on a lost ball but overall he was great for us tonight.

“I knew that St. Mary’s would come in strong in the second half,” Moreno added. “So I changed our formation a bit and I told our guys to play more defensively than offensive. We just wanted to keep our cool and play more defensively.”

For St. Mary’s, sophomore Jackson Nickolau scored the lone goal assisted by senior captain Joseph Thongsythavong.

“We are banged up a little bit but in all honesty it just wasn’t there for us today,” St. Mary’s head coach Michael D’Agostino said. “We really didn’t step up and show up to play today. I have to give credit to my goaltender Nicholas Pappas who played amazing and made plays when he needed to. Overall we haven’t lost in almost a year and a half so it’s a tough thing.

“We have to work on just playing as one team and getting the momentum going,” D’Agostino added. “Lynn Tech has definitely worked hard and they have a great coach, we just have to find our flow and our momentum.”

The game started with over 30 scoreless minutes where both teams played solid defense before the Tigers found the back of the net first. Pojoy sent a shot off the crossbar that went straight down into the net to put the Tigers up 1-0 with 8 minutes remaining in the first half.

The Spartans started the second half aggressively on offense and with 28:32 remaining in the game forced a turnover and scored their first goal off of the leg of Jackson Nickolau.

Less than seven minutes later the Tigers responded when Ramirez carried the ball into the box, shook off a Spartan defender and ripped a shot past Pappas to put Tech back in the lead 2-1.

The Spartans saw another scoring chance on a free kick by Thongsythavong, but Arreaga made the save to sustain the lead for the Tigers.

In the closing minutes Tech played solid defense to survive the Spartans last efforts to tie the game and held on to the 2-1 upset victory.

With the win, Lynn Tech advances to the tournament’s final game against Classical Saturday (3) at Manning Field.

“We came in expecting a big game and this is just a big boost for us because at times these kids don’t know they have the skill,” Moreno said. “This is a big confidence thing for us, to get a win against a team that has dominated this tournament is huge for us.”

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