Spartans shutout Cougars to kick off socially distanced soccer season
High school sports are back.
Nearly six months since the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association unanimously voted to cancel spring sports seasons and tournaments, student athletes are now returning to competition, including the Bishop Stang soccer teams.
Players were all smiles behind their masks as they after the team shut out Arlington Catholic High School 4-0 during their first game of the season on Oct. 3.
“It feels good to be out competing in a sport again after so much time off,” head coach Nate Greene said. “We’re very happy with that clean sheet.”
The game itself does play a bit differently.
Throw-ins are now kick-ins with the ball played on the ground, not in the air, players can no longer headbut the ball, and no more shoulder-to-shoulder contact when competing for possession.
The postgame handshake has even been replaced with a nod/wave line — with players remaining at least six feet apart.
“It’s certainly a tough adjustment, but I think each game that goes by, this will get easier,” Greene said.
Even with the new rules, players and coaches were just happy to be back on the field.
“It’s a little different from last year, of course, but I’m very happy we can play,” said sophomore Carter Dennis, who had two goals for the Spartans.
Fellow sophomore Nico Ferreira agreed. The winger noted that he’s gotten used to playing with a mask, but that it does “make the game a little harder because of stamina.”
“They give us a [mask] break between halves, which helps,” he added.
Boys’ soccer was just one of many sports starting up the new fall 1 season. Earlier in the day, Bishop Stang saw wins for the girls’ JV team, and a tie for the girls’ field hockey team
The Spartan golf team, which saw its season start on Sept. 25, is currently undefeated.
“Things are off to a great start,” Athletic Director Dennis Golden said. “We just want to keep going in a positive direction as safely as we can do it.”