As Oliver Ames' David Stapleton lined up a penalty kick to potentially win the game during Sunday night's South Sectional first-round match-up with Franklin, you could have heard a pin drop in the packed Muscato Stadium.
After he nailed it, you couldn't hear yourself think.
No. 6 Oliver Ames defeated No. 11 Franklin in a penalty shoot-out to advance to the quarterfinals of the South Sectional tournament. One David MacKinnon save and OA makes from Christopher Goncalves, Evan Coose, Jack DeDonato, Adam Borbeley and Stapleton sealed the thrilling win for the Tigers.
The game went to PK's after a 100-minute defensive struggle between two of the top teams in the Hockomock League this year. For Oliver Ames coach John Barata, it was something the Tigers had been gearing up for.
"We’ve been working on them quite a bit in the last couple days," he said. "It paid off quite a bit. We buried all five and Dave made a great save."
It was no surprise that the Tigers and the Panthers ended up in a shoot-out. Every match-up between the two defensive juggernaughts ends in a low-scoring tie.
"The last three times we’ve played Franklin the last few years have been 0-0, 1-1, 1-1, 1-1: this ended 0-0 and we knew it was going to be a battle," Barata said. "They’re so tight defensively."
"It was a great game," added Franklin coach Fran Bositis. "That’s the way they’ve been every time we’ve played them the last few years – actually the last four years they’ve all been like this. They’re an excellent team. John’s a great coach. They’ve got a great program. It’s a tough way to lose, but somebody had to and unfortunately it was us. I was proud of the kids they played great soccer and good luck to Oliver Ames."
The Tigers are slated for a home game against No. 19 Walpole scheduled for Tuesday. The time of the game is still TBD.
The Rebels finished the year 11-7-2.
"I know that they’re strong, they’re fast, they’re aggressive," Barata said of Walpole. "They’re a team that plays in the Bay State Conference so I can only imagine how good they are because that’s a very good conference."