Boys’ soccer suffers 1st home loss since ’07By Jay Turner
It was an up-and-down week for the Canton High boys’ soccer team as the Bulldogs followed up a thrilling win at Attleboro with back-to-back defeats, including a 1-0 loss to Franklin at home and a 4-1 road loss to Milford, the Davenport Division’s newest member.
With the two losses, the Bulldogs are now 2-2 and suddenly seem vulnerable following years of Hockomock League supremacy. In fact, not only was Wednesday’s loss their first of the season; it was their first against any league member in over three years and their first home loss of any kind since September 2007.
The two unbeaten streaks spanned a remarkable 39 and 48 games, respectively, and head coach Danny Erickson believes that both could be Hockomock League records.
“I can’t imagine that another team has had anything close to those two streaks,” he said.
As for this year’s squad, Erickson still has high hopes for the season and thought his team played “very well” in parts of all three games last week. Unfortunately, in two of those contests, the Bulldogs gave up early goals and couldn’t recover despite playing a stellar second half.
“That is something we definitely have to address,” said Erickson of the recent slow starts. “We have outplayed our opponent for long periods of time, but that doesn’t count for much when you lose the game.”
Against Milford on Friday, the Bulldogs surrendered three first-half goals before turning things around after the intermission. They simply struggled to find the back of the net, and while they did manage to avoid the shutout — thanks to a well-timed strike by Antonio Klisairis late in the game — it wasn’t enough to erase the deficit as Milford held on for the three-goal victory.
Other top performers in the match included Sam Larson, Bart O’Brien, and Aidan Carr, who looked impressive in his first varsity start.
The highlight of the week, of course, was the Monday showdown with Attleboro, as Canton flashed both its talent and toughness en route to a 3-2 victory.
All of the scoring in the contest occurred after the break, starting with the Bulldogs, who took a 2-0 lead on goals by Michael Denehy and Damian Kozak. The Bombardiers then scored a pair of quick goals to even the score at two apiece, but the game swung back in Canton’s favor as O’Brien came through with a “bomb of a goal” off a Denehy corner kick for the eventual game winner.
Erickson said the defense also played a big role in the win, led by Larson and Jimmy Kelly, and he was impressed with the overall team effort from start to finish. Most of all, he thought his team showed a lot of character in battling back against a talented opponent after surrendering a two-goal lead on the road.
Tonight the Bulldogs will take on Oliver Ames in a key divisional battle on the CHS turf. The action then picks up next week as the team hosts Sharon on Monday and Foxboro on Friday, September 28.
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