After one of their most compelling wins of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 9, the ’s boy’s varsity soccer team fell short of one goal in overtime on Friday to Greater New Bedford, as the Bears stunned the Rockets, 3-2, and punched their ticket to the MIAA Division I South Finals.
“We both fought so hard this game from the beginning whistle to the end. Credit goes out to [Greater New Bedford]. They played really tough, but I thought our guys played their hearts out,” said Needham goaltender Jake Bronstein.
“The kids played hard, they played a great game,” said Needham head coach Don Brock. “They were back and fourth, and I’m not going to take it away from New Bedford, they did what they had to do.”
Needham’s Mac Steeves jumpstarted the Rockets' offense halfway through the first half, as he rifled a shot past Luis Carranza before Greater New Bedford’s Felipe Dias matched his opponent’s strike a minute later.
Nolan Brady then delivered his team’s second goal of the contest prior to halftime before Cory Lopes added another goal to the scoreboard for Greater New Bedford on a penalty kick early in the second half after the referees flagged a Needham defenseman for placing his hand on the ball.
“I really don’t think [there should have been a penalty shot] because it says 'intentional hand' [in the rulebook], and that wasn’t intentional, so that was a big thing there,” Brock said.
The Bears and Rockets then spent the remainder of the match trading shots until Flavio Carvalho converged on Needham’s cage and scored his third game-winning goal of the tournament.
“[It’s] probably [the greatest goal], especially since it’s in overtime,” Carvalho said. “I think it was one of the best goals I have scored this season.”
“Flavio came through again, and that’s three games in a row in the playoffs that he’s scored the winning goals, so he’s a top-notch player,” said Greater New Bedford head coach Henry Andrade.
With the loss, Greater New Bedford not only ended Needham’s state title hopes but also snapped their 12-game winning streak, which dates back to September. However, Brock seemed optimistic that his team would rebound next season, especially because the Rockets will only graduate five players.
“We’ve got everybody back for next year. We’ll be back,” Brock said.