SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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November 14, 2013

Final item on Masco soccer's to-do list: win state title tonight

(Continued)

“We had someone watch their (South) final against Oliver Ames and they are a fine team,” said Masco head coach Dave Mitchell. “They’re well coached and execute well. They play in one of the toughest conferences (Bay State) in the state, so a team coming out of that conference is seasoned for the challenges of the tournament.

“We had a great day of practice (yesterday) and we’re ready and looking forward to the challenge.”

In his third season as head coach, Mitchell has earned his second trip back to the state title game.

Grammer’s MVP status has opponents marking his every move, but the Chieftains remain one of the most complete teams in the tournament. They have weapons at every position on the field and don’t rely on one single player.

Fellow senior captain Jeff Panella played limited minutes in the opening rounds of the tournament due to an injury, but has seen his time increase the last two games and earned himself an assist in Monday’s North final win over arch rival North Andover.

P.J. Criscione and Edison Forbes have combined for six goals this postseason and are fearless in front of the net, and Kevin Gilbert has been stellar on defense.

“I think the best part of our team is just the chemistry we have,” said Grammer. “All of us get along on the field and off the field; we’re all good friends who hang out. These boys are my second family.

“A goal I personally had at the beginning of the year was to win my last game as a senior. The only way to do that was to win a state title.”

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