By Gianna Addario
---- — LYNN — There was no shortage of talent on either side of last night’s 18th Agganis Men’s Soccer Classic.
Just as the clouds parted and the sun began to peek through, Masconomet’s Mike Ennis notched a pair of goals for his South team in a matter of three minutes. While Ennis took home MVP honors for his team, the South managed to hold off a late push from the North in a 6-3 victory at Manning Field.
“It was all about the team in this game,” said Ennis who will attend UMass Amherst in the fall. “There’s so many skilled players on this team. One of my good buddies, Eric Martin (Danvers) fed me through twice and I was able to put the ball away.
“It’s nice to be able to throw statistics away and just have fun playing a game. It’s our last hurrah, luckily we were able to end it with a bang.”
Ennis was able to play alongside Chieftain teammate, goalkeeper Derek Grammer, one last time; Grammer made some key saves in the second half to preserve the lead for the South.
“It’s our last game together,” added Ennis. “We’ve been playing together for over 10 years, so it’s nice to be able get this last one in.”
Martin, who had three assists and goal in the game, was awarded the game ball for his efforts in the win. The UMass Lowell-bound Martin played in the Agganis Basketball Classic earlier in the week and had a beautiful header off a corner kick from Lynn Classical’s Salvador Castro, which put the South up 6-1 at that point.
Danvers head coach Mike Chase had the pleasure of coaching his star midfielder, Martin, for a final time before he goes off to college. Chase subbed in many different players throughout the game, even letting all four of his Falcons players (Martin, Matt Hogan, Nick LeBel and Drew Piazza) go in at the same time for their final minutes together.
“As soon as I heard that the guys made the team, we started texting back and forth all excited about it,” Chase explained. “It’s good to get back with these guys. We had four guys here from our program and it’s exciting for them.
“It’s nice to have the kids just kick the ball around. Most of them have never played together before, but they still managed to put together a good performance. It’s nice for their families to come back and see their kids play one last time.”
Salem’s Alex Carvajal netted a goal and an assist and was named MVP for the North. Usually an opponent of the North’s coach Kevin Leahy (Beverly), Carvajal sparked a late run for his team.
“Alex had a great, great game for us,” noted Leahy. “He settled us down and got us somewhat back into the game.”
Leahy’s son Conor, a two-time Northeastern Conference Large MVP, was solid up and down the field last night— showing his versatility at midfield and playing defense when needed.
“I’ve coached this a few times over the years, it’s always been a good time,” added the elder Leahy. “It was nice to be able to coach Conor one last time.”
St. John’s Prep goalie Ben Alpern logged some minutes in the opening half for the North, before coming out with an injury after getting a cleat to the face, while making a save.
Bishop Fenwick’s Mike MacKenzie and Mike Napolitano and Hamilton-Wenham’s Nick Fusco all played significant time for South.