LYNN — In what is most likely the first-ever high school athletic event pitting father and son against each other, Classical defeated Tech Saturday in the boys final of the Lynn Soccer Tournament at Manning Field.
Eric Moreno Jr.’s Rams were able to squeak past his father’s Tigers thanks to a booming goal from about 20 yards in front of the net by Gabriel Novoa with in the 31st minute of the second half.
In the girls’ title game, St. Mary’s got a goal at with a little over two minutes remaining in the game to defeat Classical, 1-0. It was the fourth straight city championship for the Spartans.
“Facing my father in a game like this was surreal,” said Moreno Jr. “And that’s because he taught me everything I know.”
Moreno Sr. also spoke of the unique situation.
“I’m proud of what he’s been able to do,” he said. “But it did feel a little weird, because I taught him the game.
“He’s 27 years old and here he is, the coach of a varsity sport,” Moreno Sr. said. “He got his team to the final of this tournament, and he won. That’s pretty good.”
The game itself was very reflective of the similarity in styles between the two coaches.
“We both coach the same way,” Moreno Jr. said. “We play a tactically strong game, and we look for openings when we find them. We pretty much figured this would come down to an opportunity, and today, we got it and capitalized on it.
“(Nova’s) shot was beautiful,” Moreno Jr. said. “A real bullet.”
Moreno Sr. was pretty happy with the way his team played.
“I thought we dominated most of the game,” he said. “We made one mistake, keeping the ball in the middle of the field, and Classical took advantage.”
In the girls game, the Spartans scored on the rebound of a shot taken by Julia Nickolau. It took a short hop before reaching Classical keeper Anna Flaherty, and the freshman had to act quickly and deflect the ball with her shin. However, it came out practically right onto Susannah Cornell’s football, and she directed it home.
“It feels nice to win this, and to know you’re the best in the city,” said Spartans coach Jim Foley. “It’s a great tournament.
“We had our chances, but you have to put them in,” Foley said. “We were fortunate. I credit Classical. They’re well coached, and they gave us a good game.”
Classical coach Mark Ierardi couldn’t say enough about his goalie.
“She’s already good,” he said. “When all is said and done, she’s going to be tremendous.
“It was an evenly-played game,” he said. “We knew it would be. And we knew that one break would make a difference. St. Mary’s is well-coached, and I thought we played them pretty tough.”