FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham High boys soccer team, who were seeded #7 in the MIAA Division 1 tournament, lost to the 26-seeded Leominster High team via penalty kicks last night at Maple Street Field on the campus of Framingham State University.
Leominster and the Flyers were scoreless for 78 minutes of play on Sunday night, November 7.
Framingham got on the scoreboard first, when senior Shea Callahan knocked one past the Blue Devil goalie, who had made several amazing saves during regulation.
“It was a scramble at the net but Shea got the goal. He is tough as nails, and we put him in there to get the tough goals. I think that was his fourth or fifth goal this year. And it’s all those types of goals. That’s what he does for us,” said Coach Jon Wood.
But with less than a minute to go Leominster’s Leo Giglio scored off a kick about 65-to-70-yards away to tie the game, and force overtime.
The Flyers and the Blue Devils were still 1-1 after the first 10 minute overtime, and again were 1-1 after the second 10-minute overtime.
Thus, the game had to be decided on penalty kicks.
Flyers junior goalkeeper Sam Alexander came in for senior Tyler Ingham, who had an amazing game in net for 120 minutes, as the penalty kicks began.
Leominster took the victory via penalty kicks, and the Flyers season came to an end.
Framingham ends the season at 11-3-5 overall.
Coach Wood said the decision was made before the game began that Alexander would be in net, if it came down to penalty kicks.
“Once the tournament starts, we practice every day. The last 45 minutes of practice is on penalty kicks and some goalies are just better at them. Tyler is a better in game manager directing traffic. But Sam was really good at penalty kicks in practice. Over the course of the last week and a half of practice, Sam kind of emerged, as he was stronger at penalty kicks,” said Coach Wood after the game.
Head Coach Dan Avery did not want to talk after the came, but Coach Wood said the it was a “tough loss for the captains and our seniors.”
“Our seniors, as a whole, if we could have had 10 captains, we would have. I mean we’ve never had five captains. It just worked out that way . When we voted for a third captain and the three guys tied for the third captain, I said just give it to them, as they all lead in their own certain way,” said Coach Wood.
The captains for the Flyers this year were goalie Ingham, Tyler Knox, Jack Carney, Liam Gilbert, and Ben Sharon.
#7 seed has not been lucky for the Flyers in the MIAA post-season tournament.
Last year, the Flyers, also the #7 seed, lost to #10-seeded Ludlow 1-0 in the MIAA tourney at Bowditch Field.
The pandemic eliminated the Flyers dreams of a championship in 2020, and in 2019, Framingham was also seeded #7, but lost in the overtime to Lincoln-Sudbury.
“So this is my 29th tournament, as a player and coach and I always say luck has so much to do with it. You could get a bad seed, a bad field, or a bad bounce,” said Coach Wood. “This time it was a 70-yard goal, with one minute left in the game.”
Coach Wood described Leominster’s tying goal with about a minute to play in regulation as “the blast.”
“That goal just catches the off guard. You don’t expect it to be on target from that far away. You can’t blame a goalie for being flat-footed when that is kicked 70-yards away,” said Coach Wood.
Watch the goal below via video from Leominster Athletics.
This game was close, said Coach Wood.
“We hit a crossbar a couple of times. They hit the crossbar a couple of times,” said Coach Wood.
“In overtime, they hit the post. It’s just the luck of the bounce sometimes,” said Coach Wood.