As the Davenport Division Champion Oliver Ames boys' soccer team awaits to hear who and when it will play in the Div. 1 MIAA playoffs, the Tigers can be satisfied with the dominant performance exhibited during the regular season.
The Tigers finished the year with a 13-2-4 overall record and a 12-1-3 overall record in the Hockomock League.
Still, the action is just beginning for the Tigers if they hope to make a run in the playoffs. Last year, Oliver Ames fell to Catholic Memorial, 1-0 in the first round of the tournament. Head Coach John Barata said the Tigers need to take advantage of opportunities if they dont' want a repeat performance.
"We have to play strong 'D' and we have to finish opportunities," Barata said, pointing to three shots that hit the crossbar during the losing playoff performance last year.
This year, the Tigers are more likely to score. After only scoring 18 goals last season, a re-energized Tigers offense has taken the reins with 44 goals on the year. Oliver Ames has been led by David Stapleton's 10 goals and 14 assists, Lucas Araujo's seven goals and eight assists, and Chris Gongalves' 11 goals and three assists.
Oliver Ames' trademark is still its stifling defense, however.
David MacKinnon has allowed a league best four goals over 19 games.
"It’s the best I’ve ever had here," Barata. "It’s my fourth season. I’m pretty sure no other goal tender in OA history has ever done that."
Barata said he knew coming into the season that the goalie would play with a chip on his shoulder. The senior captain was looking to avenge the one goal he let by him in last year's playoffs.
"I actually knew he felt like he had something to prove," Barata said.
The Tigers will find out who their opponent is on Wednesday. After that, it will be about taking it one game at a time.
"No. 1 is to win." Barata said. "Win a game in the tournament."
The Oliver Ames girls' soccer will also find out Wednesday who their opponent will be in the state tournament.
Oliver Ames finished the season 14-3-1 overall and 12-3-1 in the league to place second in the Davenport Division to perrenial power Canton. The Tigers fell to Peabody last year in a State Semifinal overtime loss
With Wednesday's announcement, the boys' and girls' soccer teams will join the OA golf and the field hockey teams in the playoffs. Field Hockey finished the season 15-3-2 and and will play Falmouth in the first round of the Div. I MIAA tournament Friday night at home.
The golf team will play in the MIAA Division 2 Championship next Monday at Gannon Municipal Golf Course in Lynn. The Tigers shared the Davenport Division crown with Sharon this year with a final regular season record of 11-5.