Those two points clinched a share of the Davenport division title, and by the end of the night, because of Foxboro’s win over Canton, Sharon clinched the title outright.
The 2-0 win over Stoughton gave Sharon its first ever boys soccer Davenport title and first league title since 1994.
“It was tough conditions today. The wind, the shorter field, the narrower field,” Sharon head coach Bryan Kelly said. “They clearly knew how to play the field – I’m going to chalk it up to that. As far as possession, we had to change formations a couple times to find the right one and we found it in the second half and we started to get possession a little better. They definitely had it in the first half, luckily we got that early goal and it kind of led us to victory. Once we established in the 4-4-2, we were set.”
Stoughton set out to use the wind to its advantage in the first half but Sharon registered the first two chances on goal. In the 6th minute, Ben Stamm sprayed Jake Teven wide along the right sideline. Teven put in a service over the Stoughton keeper the died in the area but Andrew Reyes-Jones’ close bid hit off the far post.
Just two minutes later, the Eagles once again were able to escape the pressure from the Black Knights. Stamm found himself on the right sideline wish possession and again, floated a ball that fell to the back post where Reyes-Jones redeemed himself with the close tap in to make it 1-0.
It looked like Stoughton would pull one back immediately as Loubensky Lucas used a nice move to get into the area along the touchline and had his cross knocked down on a handball. However, Sharon sophomore keeper Ethan Kantor used a diving save – his feet stopping the shot down the middle to keep the Eagles up.
For the rest of the first half, Stoughton was on the front end of things but couldn’t convert a dozen crosses into the area. Conor Kavanaghhad one cross hit off the crossbar and cleared and then another fall right through the area without a recipient latching on to it. Rami Hourabidelivered a tempting free kick right into the area but again, Stoughton couldn’t pounce on the loose ball in the area.
The pressure continued into the second half, despite the Black Knights playing against the wind. Noah Schulze connected with Lucas, who had a neat touch to put Jordan Asnes into the area but his bid rolled just wide at the far post in the 45th minute.
In the 58th minute, Goddy Fombe found Kavanagh in the area but his tight angle shot found the side netting on the outside at the near post. One minute later, Kantor had his biggest save in the run of play, robbing the Knights of the tying goal.
Asnes stayed patient as he gained possession in the attacking third, allowing runs to develop and finding a streaking Fabio Ponce De Leon up the middle. Ponce De Leon unleashed a shot that look destined for the back of the net but Kantor made a leaping save, punching the ball clear.
“He’s 3-for-4 on penalty kicks this year, he’s a dynamite goalie,” Kelly said. “I’m glad I have him for another two years too. He’s only a sophomore, he’s been lights out for us all year long and he continued to be today.”
Stoughton continued the pressure as Ponce De Leon connected with Kavanagh for a cross to Lucas, for a touch to Asnes, only for the shot to be partially blocked and smothered by Kantor.
“I don’t know what it is but the final decision, I don’t know what it is,” Stoughton head coach Aaron Salter said. “Not sure if it’s that we just need that one point to get into the tournament or what. We just have had so many games this year where we’ve dominated we just can’t seem to get…I don’t want to say luck, we just can’t seem to get it done.
“We’ve scored enough goals this year but the last few games, I can’t put my finger on it. The boys played well today – I can’t be too upset. We dominated the game. We needed to use the conditions in the first half. I just wish we put our second half performance in the first half and I think the outcome we have been different. To be fair to Sharon, they had two chances and they took them well. That’s what happens in soccer.”
Sharon had a pair of chances on the counter in the 63rd and 65th minutes but both shots were turned away by Stoughton keeper Matt Gallagher.
The Eagles iced the game in the 72nd minute, using the counter to play the ball over the top of Stoughton’s high line. Spencer Hall sprang Marques Benton in alone and he made the most of his chance with a shot into the back left corner.
Sharon boys soccer improves to 9-3-4 overall, and 8-3-3 in the Davenport. The Eagles will conclude the season with a home and home series with Milford, first visiting the Scarlet Hawks on Thursday. Stoughton falls to 8-8-1 overall. The Black Knights will need to get at least a point when they host Canton on Thursday in order to qualify for the state tournament.