There were few scoring opportunities for the and Norton High School boys’ soccer teams and after 80 minutes of play, both squads walked off the field in a scoreless draw to begin the 2011 season.
Norton had the advantage in possession, which resulted in more scoring opportunities, but Medfield goalkeeper, Remy Fragola, turned away any real threat the Lancers developed.
“I’m very impressed with [us] coming out with a 0-0 tie and [both teams] had some great opportunities,” said Medfield head coach Jason Heim. “I got to give it to Remy [Fragola], he had a beautiful save there in the first half that kept us in it.”
That save Heim is referring to was the best of the few chances either team saw and came at the 24:48 mark in the first half. The Lancers’ passing created a two-on-one break in front of Fragola, but the junior got a piece of the ball to knock away the shot on net. Norton controlled the tempo for the majority of the first 40 minutes and was aggressive against Medfield’s attack for the entirety of the game.
“Norton has got a great program,” Heim said. “They’ve been getting better year after year. They’re not just a physical team anymore; they’re a skilled team. They can attack, they can play and they do a lot of things.”
Medfield started to shake some early season rust in the second half, creating space with sound passing and great footwork but nothing managed to slip past Norton keeper Ben Donovan.
“We know who we are playing when it’s Medfield, so to get a tie out of them opening day I think is fantastic for these kids,” said Norton head coach Eric Greene. “We looked good, both teams looked good. All things considered, good game.”
Both coaches acknowledged the wet field conditions were a factor in Tuesday’s opener.
“You have two great teams, I think without the rain they may have got one; we may have got one as well,” Greene said. “I don’t think necessarily a team’s going to have a major advantage if it doesn’t rain. It played a role; it was little bit sloppy for both teams with balls running out wide. It would have been interesting out in sun but it was a good game.”
Said Heim: “It’s wet, it’s rainy, it’s tough to play your first game.”
Heim said he wants his team to focus more on possession and creating offensive opportunities moving forward.
“Possession is the key and it is a style of soccer I want these guys to play,” Heim said. “It’s a style that we’ve played for the last six, seven years. We want to control the pace of the game and make them take risks and dictate how the game goes as opposed to the [opponent] dictate how the game goes.”
Medfield (0-0-1) will travel to Hopkinton Friday for a 5 p.m. game.
“We’re going to Hopkinton on Friday so we’ll see how they rise to that, should be a good one,” Heim said.
Norton (0-0-1) will host Dover-Sherborn at 3:30 p.m. Friday.