“I think that the goal definitely set the tone, but right after we scored they were killing us,” said senior co-captain Adam Grammer. “I think we were lucky to get out of that first half without conceding a goal.”
North Andover regrouped at the break and scored the tying goal a minute into the second half. Mike Skarbelis’ shot trickled in after a bobble by Masco keeper Willie Stewart. Stewart has allowed three goals in four games through the tournament and made six saves in yesterday’s win.
Masco held the advantage in corners 4-0, but couldn’t punch anything by North Andover keeper Marc Patnaude on those scoring chances.
Gilbert’s game-winner was executed perfectly. He was awarded a free kick, and the ball was placed on marker for the gridiron 42-yard line. His boot managed to find the back of the net after Panella did an excellent job setting the screen in front.
“My intention was to get a tip on it and I knew as long as I was in front of the goalie something good was going to happen,” noted Panella. “I went for the ball and missed, but knew something happened because the crowd was cheering.”
Both teams entered the game with the same number of goals against — 11 and it was the only second time all season that North Andover let in more than one goal.
“It’s a testimony to the rivalry we’ve had over all these years,” added Mitchell. “We couldn’t have asked for better matchup in that sense. Both teams really emphasize the finer points of the game and you really need to to get to this level.”