WORCESTER -- When Bromfield and Sutton last met during the regular season both teams knew that it would not be the last time. On Saturday evening at Foley Stadium in Worcester, the Trojans jubilation from Friday night's semifinals win over Keefe Tech quickly turned into heartbreak as they came up short in the Div. 4 Central Mass. Finals, 2-1.
Bromfield had a pair of solid opportunities to do some damage early in the match, but Sutton's high-powered attack proved to be too much for the Trojans to handle.
'We started off strong and had some chances early on," head coach Tom Hill said. "After that, our defense gave up a few chances, but we finished up strong. We played hard and I think our sportsmanship was good."
The one play that is likely going to replay in the minds of the Bromfield supporters was senior halfback Eli Wood's chance in the third minute. Senior captain Ezra Kraus lured Sutton goalkeeper Gordy Smythe off his line with a well-timed cross to Wood.
Smythe was shaded three-yards to his left, but Wood put a little too much mustard behind his shot and sent it soaring well over the crossbar.
Five minutes later, the Sammies would light up the scoreboard on a beautiful strike from Ryan Elster. Midfielder Eric Bader hit a well-timed cross to Elster who blasted the shot into the bottom right corner off the volley.
"Their speed and quickness was tough to deal with," Hill said. "I thought we played well defensively, and they had a nice outside play in the first half. All-in-all, we played very hard."
Sutton senior captain Riley Steele had another chance at net in the 15th minute. A Bromfield foul just outside the 18-yard box set up a free kick for Steele. Steele lifted his shot towards the right side of the net, but Trojans senior goalkeeper Ryan Kennedy came up with a sensational diving save.
Senior captain Ben L'Ecuyer made a promising run down the left sideline, but he appeared to be tripped up by Sutton defender Jason Dimmick. L'Ecuyer was looking for the penalty, but it never came.
Bromfield's runs fizzled out as soon as they breached the 18-yard box in the first half. The Trojans defense held its ground for the remainder of the half to keep the spread at 1-0 in favor of the Sammies.
Bromfield came out of the half with a hankering to equalize, but it was quickly suppressed by chip shot goal by Steele 1:11 into the second half.
The Trojans first chance of the final half came off a precision pass from L'Ecuyer to Eric McAlpine, but McAlpine's shot went whirling haphazardly over the crossbar.
Bromfield took four free kicks in the final 15 minutes of the match, but not even the strong headers of Roman Vellante and L'Ecuyer, could solve the Sutton defensive puzzle.
The Trojans kept pecking away down the stretch, and they were finally rewarded with a goal by senior Andrew Cullinan in stoppage time.
Sophomore halfback Magnus Hermans dribbled the ball into the goal-box before tapping the ball over to Cullinan, who pushed it into the left side of the cage. Despite the losing result, Hill was still very pleased with the grit his team showed.
"Some of our guys played the entire game at the midfield and on offense," he said. "I am very proud with the way we played. It has been a great a group of kids, it really has. I would pick them over any other group."
Bromfield finishes the season with a 20-2-0 record, both losses came at the hands of the Sammies. The Trojans graduate 11 seniors from their Cmass finals team: Kraus, L'Ecuyer, Kennedy, Wood, Ben Veno, Mitch Sklar, Ross Cullinane-Brown, Andrew Cullinan, McAlpine, Ryan O'Leary and Tom Hill.