By Matt Williams
---- — It took Edwin Demoya a few years to get to college soccer. It didn’t take him long to make an impact.
A 2011 Salem High graduate, Demoya was Most Valuable Player of the Northeastern Conference after scoring 26 goals and adding 10 assists in his senior seaosn with the Witches in the fall of 2010.
After spending a season at Bridgton Academy in Maine and playing club soccer for the FC Blazers, the talented forward landed close to home at Endicott College.
The 5-foot-8, 180-pound freshman striker notched his first college goal in a 3-2 win over North Shore Cup rival Salem State, then really broke out at Keene State this past weekend. Demoya had his first multi-goal game, scoring twice in the first half to lift Endicott to a 3-2 win. The goals were both unassisted and came 10 minutes apart.
As a result, Demoya was recognized as Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Week. It was the first weekly award for an Endicott player this season.
Interestingly, Demoya is joined at Endicott by fellow Salem High product Brion Likaj, who like Demoya spent a season at Bridgton Academy after high school.
The start of Demoya’s college career was certainly eventful, since the Gulls’ first five games of the season all went to overtime. Demoya, who creates scoring changes with both his speed and his typically accurate foot, hit the crossbar twice in his second game, a 1-0 loss in the Gull Invitational at home.
Since then, he’s started burying those scoring chances and ranks first on the team in goals (3) and third in total shots (18) with seven of those shots being on goal.
Endicott is 1-0 in Commonwealth Coast Conference action and 4-3 overall. It plays again in a league match on Saturday at Roger Williams looking to extend a two-game winning streak.
The Salem State men’s soccer team hasn’t won a game yet, but the Vikings are getting plenty of scoring out of local products. Peabody High graduate Samir Zepaj and Salem native Max Mondestin each have a goal and an assist in three games to lead the Salem State points ledger.
Danvers native Eric Martin has carved out a role for himself as a freshman on the pitch at UMass-Lowell. He scored the first two goals of his college career against Canisius in Buffalo, New York, to lead the River Hawks to a 3-1 win a week ago. It was the first win as a Division 1 program for Lowell, which moved up this year.
No shortage of North Shore products are running for the University of Massachusetts women’s cross country team. The Minutewomen opened their season by hosting the UMass Invitational this past weekend and senior Sarah Barrett, a Masconomet graduate, ran 19:08. Freshman Heather MacLean of Peabody ran 18:31 to finish 23rd overall in the 6200 meter race. Fellow freshman Meg Blatchford, a product of the very strong Hamilton-Wenham girls track program, finished with a time of 20:28.
Masconomet graduate Gabby Russo continues to impress on the soccer field at the University of Tampa. A two-time All-Sunshine State Conference honoree that is now a junior, Russo began the season No. 6 on Tampa’s all-time assists list. She had four goals and three more assists in her first five games this season, all UTampa wins.
On the boys soccer alum side, ex-Masco keeper Derek Grammer earned a three-save shutout in his collegiate debut for Wesleyan recently.
Recent Hamilton-Wenham grad Alana Vecchiarello is scoring at a blistering pace as a freshman at Merrimack with three goals in four games to lead the Warriors. Salem native Desiree DeLeon, a junior, is also coming into her own with two goals so far this fall. They were the first two goals of her collegiate career.
Dan O’Flynn of Ipswich ran 18:15 on the 5K course to finish 11th overall at the Bruce Kirsch Cross Country Cup hosted by Franklin Pierce over the weekend. The freshman helped Merrimack finish third as a team.
Hayley Dowd, the all-time leading scorer at Peabody High and for high school girls in the area, is third in scoring for the Boston College women’s soccer team this fall, with two goals and one assist. The Peabody native’s first goal came in a wild 6-5 win over Hofstra on the road and she also helped the Eagles best a top-25 team at home in a 1-0 win over Ohio State. BC hosts unbeaten Virginia (arguably the No. 1 team nationally after North Carolina’s loss this weekend) Thursday night at 7 p.m.
High-scoring Salem State field hockey star Lauren Pazdziorny has seven goals already this season, which is more than half of the Vikings’ 13 goals on the season. Pazdziorny is from Middleton and graduated from Masconomet and Salem State’s senior captain is Bishop Fenwick grad Stephanie Morrison, a defender. The Lady Vikings’ second-leading scorer is Beverly’s Katie Pietrini, a speedy freshman with two goals.