AUBURN, Mass. – The Auburn and Grafton boys soccer squads provided an entertaining game on Thursday afternoon in a back-and-forth affair, resulting in a 2-2 draw at Auburn High School.
“Grafton is a very good team, very well-coached and one of the better teams in our league,” said Auburn head coach Christopher Bailey. “It was nice to play a good game against a good team, but it would have been nicer if we could have come out with one more of those missed goals at the end.”
The game was scoreless at the end of the first half, but Auburn came out of halftime with pressure in Grafton’s zone. Auburn senior Kelvin Okyere rocketed a shot off the goal post, which was followed by senior captain Rob Anderson sending the rebound home for the first goal of the game, less than a minute into the second half.
But Grafton came back with a goal seven minutes later. Grafton junior Dustin Cruz dished a pass to senior captain Anthony D’Amico who lined a shot into the back of the net, squaring the contest at one-goal apiece.
Then Auburn took the lead back with about 15 minutes left in the game. Senior captain Leo Williams sent a pass up to sophomore Richie Augusto who dribbled through defenders before striking a shot past a diving Tyler Reilly, Grafton’s senior captain goalkeeper.
However, Auburn’s lead vanished before one could even blink. Grafton junior Henry Edwards had a free kick from outside the goalie’s box; his hard shot deflected off the mass of players for a goal, tying the game at 2.
Okyere had a couple chances for Auburn in the final minutes, but Reilly did a solid job closing the window for Okyere’s shots.
Despite the tie, Reilly was optimistic about the team moving forward at the midway point of the season.
“We have so many seniors on this team, we should be a dominant team come playoff time,” Reilly said.
Auburn’s record moved to 3-3-3 and Grafton is now 4-1-2.
Auburn Field Hockey Beats Grafton, 2-0
Auburn continues to shutout opponents, tallying its eighth one of the season at home on Thursday against Grafton.
Auburn goalkeeper Sarah Palace didn’t need to stop any shots as Auburn maintained possession for a majority of the game, and the defense prevented scoring chances.
Sophomore Jordan Lavallee scored the first goal for Auburn, which was assisted by junior Paige LaPearl. Then junior Jamie McNamara padded the lead in the second half on an unassisted goal.
“I’m real proud. They did a real nice job,” said Auburn head coach Bethann Cormier. “One thing I like about this team is everybody has a hand in manufacturing goals. It’s coming from different directions and everyone’s working together real well.”
The Rockets improved to 8-0-1, and the Indians dropped to 3-3-3.