ATTLEBORO, Mass. – For the 3rd straight season, North Attleboro boys’ soccer has claimed a victory over their fierce rivals from Attleboro and taken home the Leach and Garner Cup. This is the first of those three wins to also count as two points in the standings, (two years ago North won with a goal in overtime and last year they won on penalties) as a Taylor Christo goal capped a strong defensive performance in a 1-0 win.
Christo, labeled the team’s “engine” by head coach Geoff Burgess, notched his 6th goal of the season and 2nd game-winning goal of the week. Christo was named North’s MVP for the game and also scored the winner against Mansfield on Friday. This goal was a long punt by keeper Matt Lougee that the Attleboro backline could not handle and Christo showed a characteristically cool head to slot home.
“Sometimes games like this, rivalry games, can open up and get you can get more than one goal but today my defense played fantastic,” commented coach Burgess, who is in his second year of Leach and Garner Cup action after taking over from former coach Steve Santos. “I was super happy with my flat four and my goalkeeping. If we play like that for the rest of the year, we’ll be fine.”
With Attleboro chasing the game in the second half Lougee could have expected to be the busier of the two keepers, but North’s defending was stout and the Rocketeers created the best chances of the half. The best chance fell to senior captain Charlie Amaya who rocked the crossbar with a fierce shot inside the 18. Mike Manning followed up but under pressure was only able to hit the post then his 2nd shot was palmed away by Attleboro’s excellent keeper, sophomore Jason Ross.
Following the game, Attleboro coach Peter Pereira noted that Ross was the only player that showed up for his Bombardiers. The young keeper was battling sore ribs that kept him out of their last game, but it did not prevent him from making a string of saves that allowed Attleboro to stay in the contest, “Today they played a lot better than we did. They deserve to win. We never got going.”
North (3-4-1) will now face tough challenges against Milford and at Sharon this week. Attleboro (3-6-1) enters a killer portion of its schedule. The Bombardiers face league-leading Oliver Ames, then a trip to Milford before home games with Sharon and Franklin.