Ludlow Boys’ Varsity defends Western MA Title

Heather Roy, Staff Writer

Sun., Nov.13, 2011 is not only a day that will be forever cherished and remembered by the 2011 Ludlow Boys Varsity soccer players, but will also be written down in the history books. The Lions defeated the Longmeadow Lancers, snatching their fifth consecutive Western Massachusetts Division I Title. Since 2007, the Ludlow boys have become one of the top soccer teams at a regional, state, and national level.

Within just the first few minutes, the intensity and desire for the title was very apparent as the boys played very physically and emotionally. Ludlow remained in control of the ball for a majority of the game and their level of intensity was too much for Longmeadow to handle.

Senior Shaun Mello was an important key to the victory over Longmeadow. He scored the first goal of the game from 30 yards out early in the first half, giving Ludlow a 1-0 lead that carried into the second half. Sophomore Jeff Danek scored the second goal of the game, followed by yet another Mello goal less than a minute later.

Senior goal keeper Nick Zucco was another key factor as he made important saves throughout the tournament.  He allowed only one goal minutes after Ludlow gained their 3-0 lead, making the score 3-1 with only minutes left in the game. In the last minute, sophomore Dylan Pereira ensured the victory with the fourth goal for Ludlow.

“It’s an unreal feeling. Last year we had seniors to look up to, to carry us through. Now being a senior and being able to feel what it’s like to lead a team’s unreal. We knew what we needed to do and did what we do best–win games,” states Mello.

The boys moved one step closer to repeating as Varsity Division I State Champions,  and will play a semi-final game against Worcester North. The game will take place at 7:30 on Tues., Nov. 15 at Westfield State.