LYNN — It was about as even of a game as people were predicting.
Both Division 1 powerhouses, the St. John’s Prep and Masconomet soccer teams played with a tied score for nearly 76 minutes of last night’s North semifinal contest at Manning Field in Lynn.
Eagles senior captain Carter Ocko gave his team a 2-1 advantage with 4:06 remaining in regulation, which paved the way for the win over top seeded Masconomet (18-1-2).
The fourth seeded Prep got by Framingham, Acton-Boxboro and now the Chieftains to advance to the North final against Somerville on Sunday (noon).
“We came in with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder,” said Prep head coach Dave Crowell, whose team moves to 17-1-2 overall. “Because of our lack of success in the tournament that last couple of years, we weren’t getting the recognition we were hoping for. We had something to prove.”
Ocko’s goal came in the middle of the Prep’s late offensive run in the second half, which resulted in several throw-ins and corners for the Eagles. Ocko and company took advantage of what they were given and capitalized on Tommy Buonopane’s throw-in along the left side.
“I was on the back post. Nate (Schmidt) and I were both there and there wasn’t really anybody covering us, I was pretty wide open,” said Ocko. “I saw the deflection and thought the ball was actually going to go over the net. I just jumped up and tried to get my body on it and do whatever to get it through.”
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half after Schmidt headed in a goal past keeper Derek Grammer on a cross from Matt Chilton. Just 44 seconds later, Masco tied the game on a goal by Jack Heintzelman.