WEST NEWBURY — It would be foolish to say that the Pentucket boys soccer team has had a good year. The Sachems have had a great year.
After going 14-2-2 in the regular season, the Sachems earned the top seed in the Division 2 North tournament. They posted tournament wins over Dracut and Salem, and are now preparing to face Concord-Carlisle (13-2-2) in the semifinals tomorrow (3:30 p.m.).
The Sachems have been strong both up front and in the back. Two big parts of that well-balanced approach have been league-leading goal scorer and forward Matt Farrell and goalkeeper Cody Sedler.
Farrell, a senior, didn’t start out a forward. In fact, he’s only been at the position this year.
“I was raised as a left midfielder,” says Farrell. “I played center last year, and this year, (coach) put me at forward.”
Farrell’s coach, Christian Langlois, says that he tried to resist the temptation to move Farrell up front, but the southpaw didn’t make it easy for him.
“He made varsity as a freshman,” says Langlois. “And being left-footed, he fit right in at left-mid and was fantastic there, creating goal-scoring opportunities for himself and other people. This year, he came in and said he wanted to play forward, and I put him up there at the end of the Masconomet game, just hoping we’d get something over the top, get a breakaway. And he missed it by like a foot, and then it just kind of clicked for him.”
The move has clicked for the entire team. Farrell has racked up 21 goals and six assists since making it up front in a 0-0 tie against the state’s top team, Masco, to start the season.
“His speed is his biggest asset,” Langlois says of Farrell. “Once he gets going, he gets faster than any kid I’ve seen, and he also can accelerate from stand-still to top speed and blow by people. So you want a kid like that near the goal.”