Scarlet Knights Keep Rolling With Win Over Wilmington
After a closely contested first half, North Andover went on to grab a 3-0 victory to advance to face Concord-Carlisle in the North Division 2 boys soccer title game.
Bill Tarbox is heading into retirement after this season. The North Andover boys soccer coach hopes to bring a title with him.
The Scarlet Knights are one step closer to helping their coach reach that achievement after they toppled Wilmington in the North Division 2 semifinal by a 3-0 margin.
“It’s the only way to go out,” said Tarbox. “Never plan this way, but if you’re going to retire there is no better way to go out than with hard working kids and skillful kids.”
Following a defensive first half, North Andover and Wilmington appeared poised to enter halftime in a scoreless game. But as the Scarlet Knights began to ramp up the offensive pressure late in the frame, Alex Tustin cashed in on a scoring chance and made it 1-0 with less than one minute to play.
Early in the second half, Evan Dudney made it 2-0 on a highlight reel goal. Dudney, standing about 30 yards away from the goal, had a ball bounce at his feet. Instead of settling it down to the turf, he booted it off the bounce and found the back of the net just under the crossbar with 24:59 left in the second half.
The Scarlet Knights added another tally with less than a minute to go in the game, sealing their semifinal victory.
As a reward for the win, North Andover earned a spot in the North Division 2 final against Concord-Carlisle, the bracket’s No. 6 team. The game is set for 5:30 p.m. on Monday on the pitch of Manning Field in Lynn.
Depsite the possibility of entering his final game, Tarbox said he doesn’t expect to feel nerves.
“When I was younger in my 20s, I would have been hyped up and nervous,” said Tarbox. “Now that I’m in my 60s, I’m not as hyped up and nervous. You go with the flow, but realize you don’t have control. You can give as much guidance, advice and knowledge to the players, but you want them to get on the field and play as they know how to play. And that’s what they’ve been doing.”