HAMILTON — The Hamilton-Wenham boys soccer team leaned on senior captain Russell Grigorian for offense late in the second half yesterday while deadlocked in a scoreless tie with Cape Ann League rival Newburyport.
Grigorian made a number of impressive individual runs, even getting a clean breakaway on Clippers keeper Shudee Wu in the final five minutes, to no avail. The senior striker wasn’t able to find the back of the net in the match, but it was his foot that led to the winning goal.
The Generals were awarded a corner kick during injury time and Grigorian placed the ball perfectly in the middle of the box where Aidan Prior headed it past Wu to lift H-W to a 1-0 win.
“It was a good, clean game that was back and forth. You could feel the pressure building. We both had our chances,” said H-W (2-0) head coach Matt Gauron. “Russell’s been our main guy up front and he got through a few times. He was able to finally put the ball in the perfect spot. It was a great ending to win off a hard-working header.”
Prior was rewarded for his hard work on the defensive end throughout the contest. Newburyport’s (1-1) Adam Traxler and Tom Graham are both speedy, dangerous threats and Prior along with senior captain Frank Bucco contained both Clipper stars.
Bucco in particular was extremely effective in the first half containing Graham on outside rushes. Newburyport controlled stretches of play and both teams used their speed to push the offensive initiative.
“It turned into a track race and I like that. I thought we were going to get one (goal),” said Newburyport skipper Shawn Blue. “We were carrying play early in the second half and I thought it was only a matter of time. But give Hamilton-Wenham credit, they settled down defensively.”