On Sunday November 11th, the Holliston High School boys soccer team defeated Norton 1-0 to become the Division 3 South champions.
Senior captain Patrick Mejia found the upper corner of the net in the 71st minute, scoring what would be the game winning goal.
Head coach Jay Dupuis said Mejia’s goal was “just perfect” and that he did “a great job.”
“Mejia’s been a great leader for us all year and it’s fitting captain Mejia got the game winning goal in Milford, his hometown. This is the house that Mejia built, so the fact that he won it for us today is just fitting, just a great job,” said Dupuis.
Junior Carter Mikkelsen nearly got the Panthers on the board with a shot that landed just wide of the net in the second half, but Mejia’s goal put them on top with nine minutes to go.
Senior captain Jacob Heihsel got the shutout making several great saves on long throw-ins towards the goal by Norton.
“We had somebody set up to keep their long direct throw because you can throw it on a dime to somebody’s head so we took that one away and made them just do the long throws that are more like corner kicks. We haven’t given up a corner kick goal all year so we tried to defend it like corners. That was our game plan and it worked well,” said Dupuis.
He added that the team had been “scheming” on the throw-ins for days, but otherwise made few changes to their game plan to face Norton who handed the Panthers their only loss in the regular season.
Dupuis said, “we kind of went with what’s gotten us here.”
Sunday’s win marked the first Division 3 South title for the program, one of the goals the team has been working towards all season.
“We set two goals when the season started. Our first goal was to win the league, we did that. Our second goal was to win the south championship and we did that. And I said after that game we’ll just take it every game at a time but now we want the state championship,” said Dupuis.
Junior captain Tyler Cotting said the victory felt “awesome” as the team had been “working for it all year.”
“Everyone’s put hard work in. Every player, even though some of them don’t play, everyone’s contributing from the bench, cheering us along so it’s a great feeling,” said Cotting.
Holliston who finished 15-1-3 in the regular season will play the winner of Lynnfield/Wayland in the Division 3 State semi-finals at Norwell High School on Wednesday November 14th, at 7:00pm.
all photos by Megan Gentile.