Lexington and Winchester have been the top teams in the Middlesex League for many years, with Winchester knocking off Lexington to win the League Championship the last two years. In this much anticipated matchup, Winchester dominated Lexington for the entire game and won 2-0 to take the lead in the Middlesex (Liberty) League.
Ten minutes into the game, Vardaan Dawesar was the only defender between an attacking Lexington player and the goal. Dawesar made the stop to keep Lexington off the scoreboard. Two minutes later, Lexington threatened again, but keeper Chris O’Connell came out of net to make a daring save. These two plays set the tone for the rest of the game as Winchester shutout Lexington.
Winchester’s offense put pressure on the Lexington defense throughout the game. At 17 minutes, Marino Espiga and Zach Samson teamed up to get past the defense and just missed an open net. A minute later, John Downs took a nice shot that went wide of the goal. Lexington rebounded with a couple of shots, one over the net and one stopped by a leaping Chris O’Connell. Then with eight minutes left in the half Zach Landau scored, giving Winchester a 1-0 lead--the first time this season that Winchester scored first.
The play in the second half got a little chippy, with Lexington getting a yellow card first. Then Ben Hodges and Evan Carey of Winchester received yellow cards.
Despite the rough play, there was some beautiful passing by Winchester. Ten minutes into the half Espiga and Samson again teamed up, but again the shot was just wide. One minute later, Samson stole the ball and made a long pass downfield to John Downs who put it wide of the goal. Then in the next minute, Zach Landau got his second goal of the game.
There were more fouls, free kicks, and corner kicks, but despite near constant pressure by Winchester on the Lexington defense, no more goals were scored and Winchester won 2-0.
Winchester’s record is now 5-0-2, the best in the Middlesex League. Upcoming games are against the winless Arlington on Saturday (Sept 29), winless Melrose on Tuesday (Oct 2), and winless Burlington on Thursday (Oct 4).