Marblehead sixth-grade soccer team advances to state finals  

The Marblehead Youth Soccer Revolution sixth grade boys team recently capped a great, long run in the MTOC (Massachusetts Tournament of Champions).

This tournament, consisting of the best youth soccer teams throughout the state, continued to display Marblehead’s commitment to excellence. After winning the Essex County regional championship, the Revolution advanced all the way to the state finals. 

The Marblehead Youth Soccer boys sixth grade team is shown after winning the recent Essex County championship. They then went on to the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions, where they made it to the state title game before losing to Westford. Team members are, standing, from left, Connor Zundl, Wyatt Goldberg, Nate Bentley, Mitchell Leighton, Ryland Bruell, David Beletsky and Charlie Czapla; kneeling, from left, Philip Druker, Gawain Salzberg, Markus Faust, Joseph Merle and Matthias Herve-Lorenzo. COURTESY PHOTO

The team’s regular season, which began in early April, was filled with many highlights and solid performances, the most dramatic of which was the final game against host Georgetown.

The visitors needed to win the game to advance to the regionals, and the Revolution delivered their best performance of the year to date. They raced off to a 3-0 lead at halftime and never looked back to win the game, 3-1. 

The Marblehead boys were one of six sixth-grade teams invited to the Essex County playoffs and benefited from a bye in the first round. 

In the semifinals, the Revolution shutout Peabody, 3-0, before they outhustled Manchester in the finals, while also avenging their only regular-season loss. 

“As was the case throughout the spring season, inspired goalkeeping along with very tenacious defense and midfield play were the keys to our success, not to mention a sharp, patient passing game,” said coach Rudi Hervé. 

Then it was off to Lancaster for the MTOC. The Essex County champs were one of 12 sixth-grade teams to qualify for the state finals.  

A 5-0 win against Norwell, followed by a 1-0 loss to Arlington left Marblehead needing a victory over previously undefeated Westford to make it to the next round. 

Playing through pouring rain, the locals trailed 2-0 with 10 minutes to go in this quarterfinal matchup. But they showed true grit to come back to tie things up before scoring a truly miraculous goal on the last kick of the game to secure the 3-2 triumph that advanced them to the semifinals. 

On the final day of competition, Marblehead faced off against top-seed Yarmouth, a team that had easily won its league and county playoffs, before registering three more victories in the MTOC, outscoring the opposition, 10-0. 

Still exuberant over their thrilling win against Westford, Marblehead refused to be intimated, taking a 2-0 lead at halftime. But the second half was thoroughly dominated by Yarmouth, with only defensive heroics enabling Marblehead to grind out the 2-1 win. 

The championship game against familiar foe Westford was then played in excruciating heat with limited subs. It was simply a step too far for this courageous group. The Marblehead boys eventually fell to a physically intimidating and revengeful Westford team, who deservedly won the state title, according to the Marblehead coaching staff. 

The Revolution ended up with a 10-2-3 overall record. They scored 35 goals while allowing just 19. The team’s outstanding technique and tenacity was able to extend the season to the last possible game. 

David Beletsky, Nathaniel Bentley, Rylan Bruell, Charlie Czapla, Philip Druker, Markus Faust, Wyatt Goldberg, Matthias Hervé-Lorenzo, Mitchell Leighton, goalie Joseph Merle, Gawain Salzberg and Connor Zundl made up the winning roster. Jason Faust, Rodolphe Hervé and Jim Leighton were their coaches.  

Joe McConnell | + posts

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