MAYNARD -- Sunday evening's Central Mass. Division 3 quarterfinals match between No. 7 Bromfield and No. 2 Maynard was one for the record books, as the two teams battled to a 0-0 stalemate after regulation. During the week, Bromfield practiced penalty kicks in anticipation of a close game, and their work paid off.
Freshman Roman Vellante scored the game-clinching penalty kick in the ninth round to topple the No. 2 seeded Tigers, 4-3 in the shootout.
"I kept my composure and remained calm," said Vellante on nailing the game-winning penalty kick. I knew I had him when I stutter stepped -- he went to one side, and I went to the other."
Maynard dictated the tempo from the opening whistle on a scoring chance in the fourth minute by senior Robert Oliphant that sailed wide right.
The two teams for the better part of the first half had difficulty sustaining a strong push into their offensive third of the field. Bromfield had a stellar chance at goal when junior Mitchell Sklar put a wicked slice on a shot to the right side of the goal, but junior Maynard goalkeeper Ryan Fowler made a diving save with 25:30 remaining in the first-half.
Bromfield's best scoring chance of the second half came with 13:50 left in regulation when Osgood booted the ball towards the top-right post, and Fowler leaped up and made a fantastic save. Osgood and the Trojans offense continued to mount pressure on the Maynard defense; they bent but didn't break, forcing the match into overtime. Maynard was playing four defenders back, making it difficult for the Trojans to break through.
In the first overtime period, junior Ross Cullinane-Brown unleashed a majestic shot in the ninth minute with strong pace towards the top-right corner of the goal, but Fowler leaped up and managed to get a glove on it, pushing the ball out of bounds. Signs of fatigue were shown on the faces of both teams in the final overtime period, resulting in less than stellar attempts on goal. Maynard and Bromfield would need penalty kicks to determine a winner.
Bromfield sent Osgood to the line for the first penalty kick. His shot was a low liner towards the left side of the net that Fowler made a diving save on. Next up was Maynard's Matt Lalli, who caught Ryan Kennedy guessing, and buried his shot right side to give the Tigers a 1-0 advantage. Junior Ben L'Ecuyer got the Bromfield sideline jumping on a laser of a shot on the left side to beat Fowler, tying the shootout at 1-1.
Brandon Llanos toed the line next for the Tigers, and his shot was punched aside by Kennedy. Kennedy dove to his left and made the save on a low shot by Fitzgerald to keep the shootout level. Bromfield senior Charlie Dorward curled his ball a bit too much and pinged the ball off the woodwork, leaving the door open for Maynard.
The Tigers' Colby LeSage lofted his shot towards the top-right corner of the net, and connected to give Maynard a 2-1 advantage. Mark Ferguson kept the Trojans alive with a slow, low-lying shot to the left side to tie the shootout at 2-2. The next two Maynard shooters lofted their penalty kicks over the crossbar, keeping Bromfield's hopes at victory alive. Cullinane-Brown chipped his shot past Fowler top left to give the Trojans a 3-2 lead.
Fowler came up to the line to try his luck and he cashed in, beating Kennedy low left side to tie the shootout at 3-3. Vellante found himself in a pressure situation and blazed a firecracker past Fowler right side to put Bromfield out in front 4-3. Maynard would have a chance to equalize, but Kennedy punched away the attempt by Matthew Hickey.
Maynard goalkeeper, Ryan Fowler made six saves in the shutout. Bromfield's Ryan Kennedy also corralled six.
"Penalty kicks are not any way to decide it," said Bromfield head coach Tom Hill. "It was a great win against a very good Maynard team. We had chances, but we just couldn't put anything in. It was a nice victory, but it wasn't easy."