Explosive second half lifts Tech boys soccer over St. Mary’s

Lynn Tech’s Brian Barrera scored one goal in the Tigers 6-1 win over St. Mary's (Olivia Falcigno)

LYNN — Despite a back-and-forth game in the first half, the Lynn Tech boys soccer team turned on the jets in the second half and scored five goals en route to a 6-1 win over St. Mary’s at Manning Field Thursday night. Tech also celebrated its Senior Night, honoring seniors Jeisson Alarcon, Andy Carpio, John Diaz, Junior Pojoy and Yunior Ramirez.

“It was a tight game early on, but we didn’t play to our best capabilities in the first half,” said Tech coach Eric Moreno. “We went in and made some adjustments and it really turned things around for us. We were able to move the ball and execute a lot better in the second half.”

Erikson Licardi led the Tech offense with three goals, while Brian Barrera, Manish Polami and Alexis Barrios each scored one goal. Bibek Gurung notched one assist in the win.

For St. Mary’s, Thiago Perreira scored the lone goal on an assist from Ryan Fraher.

“Things just really fell apart for us out there eventually, and there’s not much more to say than that,” said St. Mary’s coach Mike D’Agostino. “We came out flat in the second half and Tech was just able to run away with it.”

The first half was a true back-and-forth battle. Both teams earned a number of quality scoring chances in the early minutes, with time of possession distributed pretty evenly between the squads. But Tech started to gain a foothold about 15 minutes into the game, and not long after that the Tigers scored their first goal. 

With just under 23 minutes remaining in the half, a poor clearing attempt by St. Mary’s led to a loose ball that was corralled by Polami in front of the net, and he quickly knocked the ball home to give Tech a 1-0 lead. 

The score remained there for the next 10 minutes until St. Mary’s got on the board. The Spartans earned a free kick about 35 yards out, and Fraher sent a curving ball from the right side all the way to the left post. Perreira beat his man to the ball and tipped in the shot to tie the game at 1-1, where the score remained until the half.

Things changed dramatically in the second half. The Tigers came out with serious fire, putting shot after shot on net. It paid off early, as Licardi scored his first of the game just 10 minutes into the half. He scored again two minutes later when Gurung set him up with a perfect cross pass, making it 3-1 Tigers. Tech then went on to score two goals in a 21-second span — one each from Barrera and Licardi — to stretch the lead to 5-1 and effectively seal the win. Barrios capped off the scoring with just over 12 minutes remaining.

“We switched around the formation a little bit and just put some more focus on our passing,” said Moreno. “We know how to play the ball on the ground and we know how to move it around, so it was just a matter of focusing and getting it done.”

The Spartans (3-11-1) take on Archbishop Williams Monday (4).

“Now’s the time where we get some of our sixth, seventh and eighth graders some playing time and let them earn some experience out there,” said D’Agostino. “It’s not necessarily about the scores of these next few games, it’s about getting experience for the younger guys now.”

Tech (6-4-4) remains in the hunt for a tournament spot with four games remaining, the next of which will be against Chelsea Tuesday (4).

“We’re aiming to win these last four games so we leave no doubt about our status,” said Moreno. “We’ve got some tough games down the stretch, but we want to get those wins to earn that higher seed and go into the tournament with some momentum.”

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