Skip to content




WORCESTER — Sean Wiseby has shown in his brief time as the head coach of the Groton-Dunstable boys’ soccer team that he isn’t afraid to take on any team, anytime, anywhere. This attitude can be seen in a schedule littered with perennial Division I soccer power houses. After taking a season-opening 5-3 victory, the Crusaders matched up with defending DI champion Worcester North for a second time in eight days.

Despite a starting lineup devoid of their three senior captains, Groton-Dunstable held a 1-0 halftime lead courtesy of a Dan McGuiness goal. The Polar Bears quickly wiped that lead away early in the second half, scoring three times in just 6:15 before adding another late goal to take a 4-1 victory at Foley Stadium on Saturday morning.

“This season is a marathon, not a sprint, and while getting wins early would be nice, we are building ourselves up to be ready for the districts,” said Wiseby. “We got a lot of the younger kids valuable playing time today and this will pay off for us as the season progresses.”

Statistically, Worcester North dominated the game throughout, posting a 27-6 advantage in shots on target and holding a decisive edge in time of possession. The reason the game remained close was due to a strong effort in net from John Nyilis for the Crusaders. Despite waves of Polar Bear offense players breaking through a shaky Groton-Dunstable defense, the junior keeper did his best to keep his team in the game, making 13 saves in a stellar effort.

After each team had a chance go by the boards, the Crusaders broke the ice 13:35 into the contest. Off a throw-in by Adam Kmetz, Alex Murphy sent a pass towards the middle of the box. McGuiness was there to flick home a shot from inside of 10 yards into the top left corner to make it a 1-0 game.

From that point on, Worcester North controlled the flow of play, holding a 6-1 edge in shots on target over the remainder of the first half. The best threat came on a free kick following a yellow card just outside the box. Kweku Flynn curled in a shot that bounced just in front of the net, but Nyilis was there to make the save, one of five in the first 40 minutes as Groton-Dunstable took a 1-0 advantage into the intermission.

Three quality bids went by the boards early in the second half before the Polar Bears finally tied things up at the 49:55 mark. Edward Boateng took advantage of a kind wind and skillfully placed a corner kick from the left side into top right corner of the net to knot the game at 1-1.

Just two minutes and 18 seconds later, Worcester North took the lead for good. Johnny Orellana sent a perfect lead pass down the right side to Flynn, who beat a pair of defenders and slid a shot across his body and inside the left post to give the Polar Bears a 2-1 lead.

Nyilis kept it a one-goal game in the 55th minute with a great diving save of a Boateng shot, but just two minutes later, Worcester North struck again. Boateng drove into the box before sending a pass to Orellana, who drilled a shot from 15 yards out that found the inside of the left post to extend the advantage to two goals.

Boateng capped off the scoring with three minutes left, putting a shot inside the left post from top of the box, capping off a half in which the Polar Bears held a 19-3 advantage in shots on target. The Crusaders offense could not muster any quality threats in the second half, as they fell to 1-2-1 on the season with the loss.

“There are some things we have to work on obviously, but today is a great learning experience for our team,” said Wiseby. “I fully expect that we will become a better team down the road because of today’s game, and I know we will straighten out the issues that are plaguing us.”

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.