LUNENBURG -- In the old ABC "Wide World of Sports" opening, Jim McKay spoke of the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." On Tuesday night, the Bromfield boys' soccer team experienced both.
An apparent go-ahead goal with just over 30 minutes left was waved off due to a questionable off-sides call. Just under three minutes into the first overtime, third-seeded Keefe Tech ended things on a Leo Machado game-winner to claim a 1-0 victory in semifinal action.
"This is a game that we should not have lost," said longtime Bromfield coach Tom Hill. "We had chances, but too many of them right at their goalkeeper. I thought we were sluggish early on and settled in nicely, then we got the apparent goal but that got waved off. It is just frustrating because we controlled the second half but couldn't convert and then we made one mistake in the overtime and that was it."
Throughout the first half, the Broncos played the role of aggressors, using pinpoint passing and great midfield play to rack up opportunities. Machado was outstanding, controlling the play in between the boxes and setting up his team's first threat. Eight minutes in, Machado sent a great lead pass to the top of the box, where Igor Pineda beat a defender before lining a shot wide of the left post.
The Broncos came up with a pair of great chances in the final 15 minutes but could not break the ice. Kennedy DeSouza made a great run down the middle of the field before sending a pass to Machado,
It was a contrast in execution in the first 40 minutes as Keefe Tech carried the play. The Broncos held a 7-2 edge in shots on target and passed with a purpose, connecting the dots to lead to chances. On the other side, Bromfield could not get anything going as their timing appeared off and passes were often off target.
"We couldn't get out of our own way in the first half," said Hill. "Every time it would look like we were getting something going, we would send an errant pass. At no point in the first half did we have anything resembling a threat offensively."
Things changed dramatically in the second half as the Trojans found a groove. Eight minutes in, Mark Ferguson slipped past the defense and made a great run down the left sideline before sending a cross towards the middle of the box. Ezra Kraus made a leaping one-timer attempt on the ball, but sent his shot just over the crossbar.
A little over a minute later, it appeared Bromfield had grabbed the lead only to find disappointment. Kraus lined a shot from 30 yards out that got over the head off Keefe Tech goalkeeper Jeff Brown but hit the crossbar. The rebound came directly to Dylan Osgood, who quickly sent a shot into the open net to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead. However, the sideline official made a late off-sides call, roughly 15 seconds into the celebration, disallowing the goal and keeping it a 0-0 game.
Over the next 25 minutes, neither team put much together, but Bromfield came up with a late charge in an attempt to get the game-winner. With six minutes left, Osgood had a shot that was destined for the low left corner saved by a diving Brown. Four minutes later, Ferguson had a shot go just over the crossbar. With a minute left, Kraus made a great feed to Osgood, who lined a shot just wide of the left post from 20 yards. That was the last chance for either team as the game headed to overtime.
After nearly 83 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Broncos capitalized on a mistake to come up with the game-winner. A pass failed to clear the zone and was intercepted by Machado, who made a move to get by a defender before sliding a shot inside the left post from 25 yards to give Keefe Tech the win.
"This is tough because we had a lot of kids give us everything they had tonight and we just couldn't finish our opportunities," said Hill. "Dylan and Ezra were great in the limited chances they had tonight. Ben L'Ecuyer was outstanding as usual. Ryan was strong in net. We just didn't get it done when we needed to in the end."