MILFORD, Mass. – Junior David Stapleton scored in the 11th minute off a short corner and senior David MacKinnon notched his 13th shutout of the season as Oliver Ames claimed the Davenport Division title, 3-0 over Milford.
If the league newcomers had beat OA, they would have shared the title with the Tigers, but without leading goal scorer Justin Asam, the Hawks were unable to muster up any threatening scoring chances.
“The boys played well,” Oliver Ames head coach John Barata said, moments after getting an ice bath from his team. “They earned it. They played a very good Milford team, I mean very strong.”
Oliver Ames took advantage in a defensive lapse as Stapleton and junior Lucas Araujo both stood over the ball in the corner. Milford only sent on defender and the two played a quick give and go, allowing Stapleton to have an open shot. His low shot made it through traffic and into the back of the net.
Oliver Ames had two more solid chances in the first half, but Milford freshman goalie Mike DaSilva made a pair of key decisions keeping the deficit at one.
But in the second half, the Tigers came out with a lot of pressure, forcing a handful of turnovers in the first couple of minutes.
“They were just serving the balls over the top. We just wanted to deny the service. If we denied the serve quickly, we could get going on the counter attack, which worked for us.”
The pressure saw results very quickly, as less than eight minutes into the second frame, freshman Chris Romero blocked an attempted clearance, tracked the ball down and served into the box where junior Chris Goncalves doubled OA’s lead.
In the process of the goal, DaSilva was in a rough collision, forcing him to leave the game.
Less than two minutes later, OA struck once more. Goncalves returned to favor, setting up Romero for a shot from 20 yards out that went far post, beating Milford’s new keeper, Andrew Garber.
“This was one of the best games we’ve played all season,” MacKinnon said. “The last few games we’ve come out flying. We haven’t anything go on defense.”
The Tigers have only allowed one goal in their last five games.
Milford will now prep for the postseason as they wrapped up their inaugural season in the Hockomock with a 10-3-5 record.
Oliver Ames will finish their season, weather permitting, on Monday with a game against neighboring Brockton.
“We’re back,” MacKinnon said about the postseason. “We allow way less goals on defense this year. I think we can make a deep tournament run.”