“It was an interesting dichotomy because there was this very rich soccer history, but it didn’t go very far beyond Cape Ann,” said Andy Nechtem. “We had a great run in our little corner of the state, but it was time to make it a bigger deal.”
The Chieftains started by edging Lincoln-Sudbury, 2-1, then got by Dracut, 4-3, when Maher scored all four goals (the winning tally with 4:18 to play). Masco then took care of Burlington, 3-1, and finally got by Winchester in the North final on Reece’s amazing goal.
At that point, the quest for the school’s first state title started to become real.
“I remember coach telling us this was our chance to be the star of the show and you don’t get many of those in your lifetime,” said Peter Nechtem. “That opportunity on a big stage, relatively speaking, doesn’t come up. We felt an air of destiny about us.”
Soucy scored twice in the state semifinal win over Plymouth North (”less heralded than Evan but every bit as good in my opinion,” Peter Nechtem said), and the Chieftains were in the state final for the first time.
Masco actually trailed David Prouty in that state final and had to rally to win in the second half (after a scathing, and inspiring, speech from Emmons). Geisel had the winning goal midway through the second half, after Masco adjusted to the more physical style and asserted themselves.
“The state final (in Worcester) was so cold and we had never played on artificial turf before,” Peter Nechtem said. “Things just weren’t working for us in the first half, but we grinded through. Kent hit this ball on a hop that took a crazy, banana curve and went into the upper corner. We were all shocked. It was pretty special.”