The Marblehead High boys soccer team (2-5-2) plummeted back to earth last week, losing three straight games after it previously had defeated Peabody and Saugus.
On Saturday, Sept. 23, the Magicians traveled to Andover to face the Golden Warriors, only to lose by the narrowest of margins, 2-1. It was also the first time this fall they had played on natural grass.
Host Andover was able to surge ahead to take an early lead after striking a bullet through traffic midway through the first half. They then scored another one just before halftime.
With little room to invoke their aerial attack on a smaller field, the Marblehead boys struggled to sustain an offense as their long passes were continually intercepted by Andover’s goalie.
However, momentum started shifting in Marblehead’s favor, which slowed down the Golden Warriors attack. Midfielder London McDonald then scored on a broken defensive play to trim the deficit in half, 2-1. But the home team was able to hold off the visitors from that point on to win this close contest.
The Magicians then faced two high-caliber opponents, Northeastern Conference North Division foe Masco (5-0-1) on the road in Boxford and Division 1 powerhouse Concord-Carlisle (5-0-0), also away from home.
In a face-paced battle, Masconomet first edged the locals, 1-0. The Chieftains’ superb defense kept the Magicians from sustaining any type of offensive attack inside the 18-yard line throughout the entire game.
Concord-Carlisle, a quarter finalist in last year’s state playoffs, before losing to eventual champion St. John’s Prep, was by far the most skilled opponent the Marblehead boys had gone up against so far this season.
Though the locals were competitive in the first half, trailing by only a slim 1-0 margin, the Patriots’ discipline and speed proved to be too much for Marblehead to overcome in the second half.
Concord-Carlisle made the necessary adjustments at halftime, and began using lateral runs inside the goal box to find seams in the defense. They crossed the ball from the sides to the center, before firing a consistent barrage of shots on net. The Patriots also capitalized on several direct kicks to break open a close game to win going away, 8-0.
The Magicians followed up that loss with a game against winless Waltham (0-5-1) on Oct. 2. They will follow up that contest with a short trip to Salem (2-4-1) to face the Witches Oct. 4, starting at 4 p.m., before heading to Beverly for an Oct. 9 morning game against the Panthers at 10 a.m.