PLYMOUTH 50-for-50: All the stars aligned for Plymouth-Carver boys soccer on its run to state title in 1986 – Milford Daily News

Posted: August 29, 2020 at 7:56 am

without comments

The 1986 Plymouth-Carver state championship boys soccer team had nine players move on to be a captain on their college soccer team.

What started with heartbreak ended with absolute elation. That was the journey this weeks 50-for-50 profile, the 1986 Plymouth-Carver boys soccer team, took while on its way to the Division 1 state championship.

We had a great team in 1985, said John Tocci, a tri-captain on 86 title team alongside Archie Harlow and Doug Coggins. We beat a really good Needham team in the South finals and then went up against Lexington in the next round and were absolutely crushed, 7-1.

We got our butts kicked that game, but it also lit a fire inside all of us that fueled what we did the next year. It was a defining moment for all of us and as soon as we got off the bus after the Lexington loss we all had the same attitude that this was not to happen to us again in 86. That loss locked us in. We had 80-90 guys working out in the summer before we won the state title that were determined to bring that team to the next level.

The passion was there at the start of the new season, but the results were not. P-C started out slow with a record of 1-2-1 before winning 19 of their next 20 games on their road to the programs one and only state championship.

It was an ominous start to the season, Head Coach Emerson Coleman admitted. We were all disappointed in the way we got out of the gate because we knew we were a better soccer team than what we had shown. (The players and coaches) all had to look inside themselves and find what we needed to be the kind of soccer team that we all thought we could be.

That kind of introspection seemed to flip a switch in the Blue Eagles and they were determined not to be stopped until the Div. 1 championship trophy was in their hands. They soared to a league title in the incredibly competitive Old Colony League and began the playoffs with a win over Brookline before getting the better of familiar foes Needham, Marshfield and then Bridgewater-Raynham to win the South sectional championship.

Wakefield would fall in the Eastern Mass. finals, putting Plymouth-Carver exactly where they wanted to be all along in the state title game opposite Wachusett Regional. Not surprisingly, the victory 3-2 didnt come easily for P-C. The issue wasnt decided until Jeff Schultz scored in the opening minute of the second overtime period giving the victory to the Blue Eagles.

What I remember about that season is what a great group of players and people we had on the team, said Schultz, who went on to be a captain at Boston University. We had a really talented group of players and there were leaders up and down the roster. Everyone knew what their role was and everyone played those roles very, very well.

Archie Harlow got the scoring started for P-C in the state title game when he converted a penalty kick. Wachusett answered back twice and held a 2-1 lead for a good portion of the game until midfielder Doug Coutts scored with five minutes left in regulation to tie things up before Schultz ended the long journey to a state championship with his OT winner.

Peter Kasarjian was on the bench alongside Coleman for the title run along with freshman coach Larry Sheely and junior varsity coach Russ Govoni.

The quality of people and soccer players that were part of the team that year was off the charts, Kasarjian said. There may have been three captains on the team but there were leaders all over the roster and there were also some terrific soccer players on that team.

On their way to the state title the Blue Eagles scored lots of goals (123) and let up precious few of them (19). According to Coleman the eight seniors on the 86 team finished with an impressive varsity record of 68-10-7.

Jim Prouty, Harlow, Jason Malone, Andy Moreland and David Whitaker were up on the attack with Schultz, Coutts and Tocci holding down the midfield. P-C was very fast and athletic on the back line as Mike Barton, Coggins, David McStowe and Chris Nardone tried to keep things safe and sound in front of goalkeeper Doug Maccaferri.

According to Coleman this group always took it as a personal attack if their team was not in possession of the soccer ball.

I used to tell them we are nothing until we have the ball and they really took that to heart, said Coleman, who would go on to coach the Duxbury High girls soccer program to a state title in 2008. If we lost possession of the soccer ball all 11 players on the field were committed to getting it right back. We had a very strong defense that season and a big reason we did so well was there was a total commitment given by everyone to the team.

Tocci, the current head coach of the Plymouth North boys soccer team, said the 86 team was a group of misfit toys that worked perfectly together.

We had talent on the field and off the bench and the key part that made this all happen was everyone in the program was on the same page. Everyone was willing to play their role to help us succeed as a team, Tocci said.

Youd be hard pressed to find a team with more quality soccer players and quality people, said Coleman, pointing out that nine players from the 1986 team would move on to be a captain on their college soccer team. You cant just be a pretty good team to win a state title. You have to have that something special. The 86 team had that something special. They werent playing for themselves, they were playing for each other.

Tocci said the familiarity the teammates developed with each stemmed from their days playing Plymouth Youth Soccer together. It was an important building block to the success theyd have at the high school. Toccis father, Richie, is one of the original founding fathers of Plymouth Youth Soccer and was president of the league for many years.

Plymouth Youth Soccer was huge when I was growing up. No matter what sport you played, it seemed like everyone was part of the league back then and we all grew up playing with and against each other in the town league, Tocci explained. By the time we got to high school we already knew each other pretty well and what everyones strengths were.

Regular season games against talented Old Colony League foes like B-R, Marshfield, Silver Lake and Weymouth got P-C more than prepared for what theyd see in the playoffs each year, Coleman said. I think the OCL was up there with the toughest leagues in the state. Every game was a battle and I knew that after playing our league schedule that wed be ready for anything wed see in the tournament.

The talent in the OCL was incredible. It was really an honor to make the OCL All-Star team, Tocci said, who did so twice. Everywhere you looked there was a great player and all of the teams were good. Wed go so hard against one another for 80 minutes but there was also so much respect between all of the teams at the end of those games.

Success was spreading all over the Plymouth sports programs in the 1980s. Football (two) and boys cross-country also won state titles and the girls soccer and basketball teams were all putting together some incredible seasons. The excitement from one sports season bled right into the next as each team tried to top the success of the one before them.

The fan support in school and at the games was incredible. You really had to be there to experience it, Tocci said. We used to play a lot of boys/girls doubleheaders under the lights at the old Romano Stadium and the atmosphere was awesome when wed walk down the hill to get to the field.

Wed all be bummed out when we saw wed have a day home game on the schedule because the night games were always packed with our fans and the atmosphere was electric.

Each week during 2020, the 50-for-50 project will profile a Plymouth person or state championship team that positively impacted the town in the last 50 years. To nominate someone, email Sports Editor David Wolcott Jr. at with information on the nominee.

Read the original:
PLYMOUTH 50-for-50: All the stars aligned for Plymouth-Carver boys soccer on its run to state title in 1986 - Milford Daily News

Related Post

Written by admin |

August 29th, 2020 at 7:56 am

Posted in Personal Success