Nashoba Boys Soccer Preview

 For the last twenty years, the Nashoba Boys Soccer team has a great tradition of competitive Division I Mid-Wach A soccer. However, throughout the past two years, NBS has had a couple of rough seasons. Recent dissapointing seasons included the 2014 season, which ended with a 4-10-4 (W-L-T) record and last year’s season record of 3-8-7.

2015’s final Mid-Wach A table was an extremely interesting one. Shrewsbury tied 9 of their 18 games, Leominster tied 6 games, Nashoba tied 7 games and Algonquin tied 7 games. In an average season it is much more likely to see 3 or 4 ties per team. From a player’s perspective, reflecting on all the ties in the league is really hard to swallow. “The league (Mid-Wach A) was so tight last year. Every single team was excellent, you couldn’t underestimate anyone,” said senior captain, Jasper Yang, when asked about last year. “We know what it takes to win. It’s all about the effort.”

This upcoming season is a new one for NBS with the Mid-Wach B table being shifted around. Quabbin (1-15-2) and North Middlesex (0-16-2) dropped from Mid-Wach B to Division 2 Mid-Wach C and Nashoba dropped to Mid-Wach B. This creates two, five team Division 1 pools. Although Mid-Wach A teams are typically considered “better” than those in the pool below, last years Division 1 State finalists, Groton-Dunstable, came from the B pool. “Though we had an extremely unlucky first game against Algonquin, we played our hearts out and proved we can play with the best of Mid-Wach A,” said junior Ryan Cudmore. Cudmore’s team-leading 9 points was seventh in Mid-Wach A last year.

Thursday night’s contest with Algonquin was an up and down game for both teams. Algonquin’s first goal, mid way through the first half, was a shot that deflected off the post, hit junior defender Matt Kuefler in the knee, and went in. The frustration set in when Algonquin’s goalkeeper Drew Cammarano made two point blank saves on Jasper Yang and Sebastian Tomassi at the end of the first half. “I cannot believe how unlucky we are at this field,” said senior Jim Ervin. “If we put away the chances we had it’s a 2-1 lead going into the second half… We will keep improving. It was only the first game.” Improve they did.

This past Saturday the team traveled to Leominster for an afternoon game. The game started really strong with 3 goals in the first half for Nashoba. Then, in the second half, Leominster scored a good goal right in front of Nashoba’s goalkeeper Matt Cunningham. Just five minutes later a borderline foul was called just outside the 18 yard box. Leominster’s Nahuel Algibay didn’t hesitate to put the ball over the wall and in the lower left side of the net. About ten minutes later, Leominster got a penalty call and Algibay slotted it in the lower left corner. After being back and forth for the ladder part of the game, it ended in a 3-3 tie.

Though the results are not what Nashoba had wished for, these games show promise for the young team. Algonquin is one of the best teams in Central Mass and proving that Nashoba can put up a fight proves their willingness to battle and persevere. “Finishing our chances” is what they need to work on, said sophomore Nate Buchholz. “We need to play our game and finish our chances. That’s all it comes down to.”