DANVERS – On paper an 11th seed taking on No. 3 should be no contest, but Lexington gave St. John’s Prep all it could handle in the Division 1 North quarterfinals. The visitors owned the first half, outplaying the higher seeded Eagles all over the field, but goalie Zach Rowell came up big when he had to.
The second half belonged to the Eagles, who came out on fire and dominated. The game was scoreless until senior captain Matt Chilton hustled up the right sideline and somehow managing to keep the ball in play before crossing it out front. Junior Paul Magazzu booted it into the lower left corner for the winning goal in the 54th minute of play, and the Eagles went on to win, 1-0.
“What a goal,” said Prep coach Dave Crowell. “This was a great game, and Lexington is a very good team. We weathered the storm early and turned things around in the second half. That was pure hustle by Chilton, who never quit on the ball and managed to keep it in bounds despite being pressured all the way. Magazzu ran to the back post to bury it.”
St. John’s made some key adjustments at halftime that paid off. They limited scoring opportunities by the Minutemen after intermission and created more chances offensively with three corners in the first four minutes and seven for the game.
Michael Lanza had the first real threat for the Eagles when he blasted a high shot that goalie Carter Hochman got his fingers on, and tipped it over the net for a corner kick. Stephen Heintz had a header in front of the net that nearly got past Hochman.
The Eagles kept winning 50/50 balls, something they hadn’t been able to do in the first 40 minutes, and that led to the only goal of the game.