“I was shocked by the pace. Walpole is a very good team. We had some room in the middle, and we were threading it outside because there was so much room,” said Criscione. “We took it wide and crossed it in.”
Forbes, who had a goal and two assists, was one of the catalysts. “The man, the myth the legend. He had amazing footwork,” Criscione said.
Pease, another senior, was also excellent on the wing. Cricsione was hard to stop dribbling both inside and outside, and using his speed on stretch runs. His winning goal, his third game winner of the tournament, was jump-started by a speedy sideline run by Pease.
The Chieftains never trailed in the state tournament. A few of their players went the distance after falling in the state final in 2011. Those magic moments that put them over the top were well earned, but they went by so quickly that before Walpole could blink they were down by three goals.
Credit the Cheiftains for remaining composed in the face of those ten fast-paced minutes. They received three yellow cards, and had to keep their wits about them because of rules that might’ve forced a forfeit if they’d gotten another.
The memories of this night, and this season, may go by like a blur. They’ll remember the roar of the crowd, and the sight of their arms in the air as they ran to each other goal after goal.
If it all went by too fast and they ever forget, they can go back to the gym at Masconomet Regional. There, “2013” will be posted as a reminder, forever, next to the two best words in high school sports:
Matt Williams is the assistant sports editor of The Salem News. You can contact him at MWilliams@salemnews.com, 978-338-2669 and follow him on Twitter @MattWilliams_SN.