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5-1 victory for Sandwich over Nantucket,Capt. Gerald F. DeConto Veterans Memorial Stadium at Sandwich High School.
Oct 18, 2014, 7:13 pm

New DeConto Stadium shines


SANDWICH — The late afternoon sun reflected off the green turf, giving it the look of sparkling diamonds.

The grass is fake, but the moment and the emotion were real.

"I'm so delighted," said Patricia DeConto, sporting a Red Sox cap, sunglasses and a wide grin as her son David DeConto's varsity girls soccer team played the first game Friday at Capt. Gerald F. DeConto Veterans Memorial Stadium at Sandwich High School. "It's been a long time coming."

Jerry DeConto, a Navy captain, was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. The stadium is a tribute to the hometown hero, a star soccer player who graduated from Sandwich High in 1975.

Around the time DeConto was killed, the track that wraps around the high school field was in such bad shape it was condemned by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. The DeConto family took on the track and field project to honor Jerry, putting in a $250,000 donation and working to gather community support.

About 200 people, many of them high school students filled with the spirit of homecoming weekend, lined the fence to watch the girls soccer team play the Nantucket Whalers. Everyone who entered the stadium received a sticker with the number 7. Players and coaches from both teams wore the patches on their left shoulders, as did the game's referees.

"That was Jerry's number," Patricia DeConto said. "He was a standout soccer player."

John Wegman, who handed out the stickers as spectators arrived, said his daughter, Liz, a junior on the Blue Knights soccer team, came up with the idea to honor her coach and the DeConto family. "It's the least we could do," he said. "They've done so much."

Sandwich High Principal Ellin Booras and schools Superintendent Richard Canfield joined the crowd, Canfield giving Patricia DeConto two thumbs up and then a hug before thanking her for her efforts. The $500,000 for the turf stadium was a last-minute gift from state taxpayers with the help of Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, who added the earmark to the state budget just weeks after Sandwich voters rejected paying for it.


Cape Cod Times video: Sandwich Stadium opens


"What could be more fitting than to have the first game with Jerry's brother coaching?" said James Lehane, who helped with private fundraising for the stadium project.

The first game ended in a 5-1 victory for Sandwich over Nantucket, another win in what, so far, is a 10-3-2 season for David DeConto's team. It already has clinched the Atlantic Coast League championship and a berth in the playoffs.

"What a way to christen the field," David DeConto told his players after the win.

The girls surrounded Patricia DeConto, handing her seven white roses.

"This is very emotional for me," she said, her eyes welling with tears.

"What did you think of the field?" she asked the players, and a chorus of superlatives returned. "It's perfect," said one of the players. "We love it," added another.

David DeConto had hoped the high school football team could play its homecoming game on the field Friday night, but a construction problem delayed the lights' being wired.

Football players getting ready to travel to their game at the town's Pop Warner field took turns looking in on the girls' game.

There is still work to be done to the stadium. Work continues on the bleachers and press box approved by voters in May. But the field is ready, and today the boys soccer team will get its chance to play on the pitch for the first time.

Before Friday's game, Taylor Eccleston, 17, a Sandwich High senior, sang a stirring version of the national anthem. "It was awesome," she said of the honor singing at the stadium's opening. "It's so much fun. I loved doing it."

The Blue Knights dominated the play on their new field, but it was Nantucket that got on the scoreboard first.

That is, until Rae Larochelle raced down the left sideline and booted the first Sandwich goal in the history of the DeConto Stadium past the Nantucket goalie. "It was exciting," she said.

"I felt like it gave us some momentum."

When the players were gone and most of the spectators vanished, Patricia DeConto walked across the track and bent down to touch the synthetic grass on the field that pays tribute to her fallen son.



Sandwich Girls’ Soccer Brings Home ACL Championship
Oct 18, 2014, 1:38 am

Posted 10 hours ago


The Atlantic Coast League Champion Sandwich girls’ soccer team worked all the angles Wednesday afternoon, October 15, but just couldn’t slip the ball past Falmouth in a scoreless tie with the Clippers.

 “We have trouble scoring against that team,” coach Dave DeConto said. “The type of passing and crosses that we do isn’t very good against their keeper and they’re a team that likes to kick the ball a mile. It’s difficult to play against a team that just kicks the ball away.”

Maggie LeVangie came up with a couple of big stops in net for the Knights late in the match to record her third shutout of the season.

“She had two huge saves,” DeConto said. “She made one with time expiring on a shot from the top of the 18.”

With the tie the Knights remained undefeated in the league at 6-0-2. Sandwich is 9-3-2 overall and will host Nantucket October 17. If ready, the team will be the first to play on the new turf surface at Sandwich’s DeConto Memorial Stadium.

“I think all five of our defenders played very well today,” the coach said. “Colleen Macdonald did a great job at marking back, Liz Wegman did a nice job at left marking back and junior Hailey Whelan played well at center back. Senior Rachel Lake had a good night. She runs the back line and sophomore Olivia Horman came off the bench and played some quality minutes.”

The Knights had a couple of scoring opportunities early in the match off crosses inside from Stef Briggs and Sara MacFarland.

“They were nice crosses,” the coach said. “We just couldn’t put the ball in.”

Julia Hanson and Megan Forrester added some quality minutes for the Knights.

The Knights brought home the league title and punched their postseason ticket last Friday, October 10, against revenge-minded Marshfield. Sandwich defeated the Rams in their first meeting and did it again Friday by a score of 2-1.

Tatum Tropp put the Knights on the scoreboard in the 17th minute, but Marshfield answered before the break to leave the two knotted at 1-1 at halftime.

Caroline McKenna broke the stalemate midway through the second half, taking a pass from Becca Mandy, beating the defense and drilling the back of the MHS net.

Maggie LeVangie made the one-goal lead stand for the final 18 minutes to ice the win.


Sandwich Blue Knights Clinches ACL Crown
Oct 12, 2014, 2:59 pm

Girls soccer: Sandwich clinches ACL crown

MARSHFIELD — The Sandwich girls soccer team faced the unenviable task of facing a team that was looking for revenge on its own pitch in front of a Homecoming crowd. They responded with a championship effort.

The Blue Knights clinched the Atlantic Coast League title and a berth in the postseason with a 2-1 victory over Marshfield on Friday evening.

Caroline McKenna scored the game-winning goal just past the midway point of the second half as the Blue Knights improved to 9-3-1 overall and 6-0-1 in the ACL. The Rams fall to 5-2 in the league, having lost at Sandwich in the first meeting between the clubs.

"I usually don't get real excited — but I'm excited now," said Sandwich coach Dave DeConto. "I told them before the game that there is no pressure on us. They're at home and they have to win."

Tatum Tropp scored the game's opening goal in the 17th minute, shortly after entering the game, to give the Blue Knights a 1-0 lead. Marshfield pulled even four minutes later and the teams went to the half even at 1.

Sandwich broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute of the second half as Becca Mandy sent a long ball to McKenna, who split a pair of defenders for the ball and then beat the keeper for the goal.

Maggie LeVangie had several stellar saves in net for the Blue Knights to preserve the win while Rachel Lake did an outstanding job of marking the Rams' leading scorer. Liz Wegman and Colleen Macdonald also excelled defensively for Sandwich while Bella Collentro starred in the midfield in place of an injured Rae LaRochelle.

Knights Pick Up Win Over Nauset
Oct 12, 2014, 2:56 pm

Posted 2 days ago

Rae LaRochelle scored twice as the Sandwich High School girls’ soccer team rolled to a 5-3 victory over Nauset Wednesday afternoon, October 8.

 The Warriors opened the scoring in the 10th minute on a breakaway. LaRochelle quickly evened the score as she collected the ball in a scramble in front of the Nauset net two minutes later and beat the keeper.

But the goals kept coming as Nauset pulled ahead a minute later.

The Warriors held a 2-1 lead until the 22nd minute, when Becca Mandy hit the back of the Nauset net. The Warriors came right back four minutes later and again pulled ahead, but in the 27th minute Caroline McKenna drove home a perfect, head-high cross from Stef Briggs to tie the game at 3-3 at the break.

Eleven minutes into the second half Sara MacFarland put the Knights up 4-3 when she slipped a ball into the short side. LaRochelle hit her second for a little insurance in the 38th minute of the half off a corner kick by Mandy that hit the post and went into the net.

Maggie LeVangie took care of business in goal for the Knights with a couple of nice saves.

“Rachel Lake did a nice job on their best player,” SHS coach Dave DeConto said, “and Staci Hopkins had a good game at striker and Liz Wegman played a good defensive game.”



Sandwich tops Barnstable
Oct 8, 2014, 4:52 am

Blue Knights 3, Red Raiders 1; After a scoreless first half and a quick 1-1 tie early in the second half, Sandwich pulled away from Barnstable on Monday for a 3-1 non-league win.

Junior center midfielder Bella Collentro scored the Blue Knights final two goals as they improved to 7-3-1, 4-0-1 in the Atlantic Coast League.

Freshman Sarah MacFarland's fifth goal of the season put Sandwich up 1-0 just five minutes into the second half, her shot from down low deflecting off a defender and into the net.

Barnstable's Katie Harrington's breakaway tally two minutes later tied the game at 1-1.

That set up Collentro's tallies, her third and fourth of the season. Her first came from about 18 yards out after a corner kick was cleared her way, the second a shot into the opposite corner from about 22 yards.

Becca Mandy and Collentro played strong games in the midfield, goalie Maggie LeVangie made a couple of big saves in goal and center backs Rachel Lake and Haley Whalen led the defense for Sandwich.

The Red Raiders (2-8-1) got strong play from Angela McLeod, Isabelle Woods and Halle Dennis.

Blue Knights dropped a non-league match in Dartmouth
Oct 8, 2014, 4:48 am

 Dartmouth 2, Sandwich 1: Freshman Sarah MacFarlane scored her fourth goal of the season but the Blue Knights dropped a non-league match in Dartmouth.

MacFarlane notched the game's first goal off a scrum in front of the net to give Sandwich (6-3-1) the lead 10 minutes into the contest.

Casey Good and Julia Phillips answered later in the half to give the Indians a 2-1 lead at the break.

The Blue Knights turned up the pressure and carried the majority of the play in the second half but couldn't get the equalizer.

Bella Colentro dominated the midfield for Sandwich while Tatum Tropp came off the bench and was a factor on the outside.

The Blue Knights travel to Barnstable on Monday before resuming Atlantic Coast League play, hosting Nauset on Wednesday and at Marshfield on Friday. Sandwich is 4-0-1 in the ACL.

Blue Knights remained perfect in ACL
Oct 3, 2014, 3:22 pm

Mandy got the scoring started in the fifth minute with a long, looping goal, giving Sandwich a 1-0 halftime lead.

Six minutes into the second half Sarah MacFarland hooked up with McKenna on a cross to the far post to double the lead.

McKenna scored her second on a PK after she was taken down in the penalty area and Mandy rounded out the scoring with a goal from 22-yards out.

Junior Helen Calwell got her first varsity start in net for Sandwich (6-2-1, 4-0-1 ACL), turning aside all six shots she faced.

Freshmen Molly MacFarland (center midfielder) and Sarah Murke (forward) along with sophomore Katie Hughes (outside midfield) played well off the bench for Sandwich in the second half.

Sandwich JV 7, Dennis-Yarmouth 0; the Knifhts began there scoring with just five minutes into the first half when Brittany Eccleston scored from a pass from Kylie O'Gara. Six minutes later Lexis Nelson scored from outside the 18 on a pass from Sarah Sutton.  The Knights continued when Sutton set up Maia DeLuca scored her first of the year.  Autumn Cotter scored unassisted 16 minutes into the second half. Allie Learch scored her first of the season when Cotter crossed the ball to her. Cotter finished off with her second goal of the game.

Knights and Clippers Scoreless Draw
Sep 27, 2014, 8:36 pm

Sandwich 0, Falmouth 0: In a match featuring contrasting styles, the Blue Knights and Clippers played to a scoreless draw in Atlantic Coast League action in Falmouth.

Kelly Ferreira recorded the shutout in net for Falmouth (4-1-3) while Sandwich (5-2-1, 3-0-1 ACL) keeper Maggie Lavangie didn't allow a goal at her end.

Sweeper Savannah Jensen and back Kaitlin McManus excelled defensively for the Clippers against the speed of the Sandwich forwards while both Maddi Scavotto and Nicole Gonsalves were strong in the midfield.

Senior sweeper Rachel Lake and junior stopper Hailey Whelan were standouts defensively for the Blue Knights. Sandwich had the best scoring chance down the stretch but Caroline McKenna's blast from the top of the 18 rang off the bottom of the crossbar.

Sandwich JV 2, Falmouth 2; the Blue Knights and the Clippers were scoreless at the end of the first half.  The Knights came out strong in the second when Freshmen Brittany Eccleston scored on a pass from Kylie O'Gara.  Eight minutes later Katie Hughes set up Eccleston for her second of the match.

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