Professional Sports Articles Published in the Newspaper

Huge crowd expected for Revolution-Impact match

On Saturday, the Revolution will play their final home game of the season in front of what could be a record-breaking crowd at Gillette Stadium, as Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact come to town.

Both New England and Montreal will be looking to clinch a playoff spot Saturday.

A win or tie will be enough for the Revolution to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Montreal needs a win to ensure a berth. Both teams could have clinched a spot Friday night, but Orlando City beat visiting NYCFC, 2-1.

According to Revolution president Brian Bilello, attendance Saturday could reach 40,000, which would be the largest crowd in team history. New England’s current record for a regular-season game is 39,256 for an Aug. 30, 2008, game against David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

“You can feel the difference when you are on the field,” said Revolution defender Jose Goncalves. “It’s extra motivation. I like to play in a stadium that’s full, packed with big ambience. It will be a really good game and I’m excited for that.”

This will be the third meeting of the season between the Eastern Conference rivals, with Montreal holding a 1-0-1 advantage. The Revolution hosted the Impact on March 21 in their home opener, playing to a 0-0 draw despite being a man up for much of the second half.

The next meeting came Sept. 19, when the Impact throttled the Revolution, 3-0, in a rain-soaked match at Montreal’s Stade Saputo, as Drogba had a goal and an assist.

Drogba was acquired by Montreal in a trade with Chicago July 27, and in nine games he has tallied a team-leading nine goals.

However, it is unclear whether Drogba will factor in Saturday’s clash. Coach Mauro Biello was cautious the last time his team played on turf, giving Drogba only 30 minutes of playing time in a 2-1 loss at Orlando City.

The Revolution are looking to clinch a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive game. After going 0-2-1 in their last three matches, they hope to find their form as the postseason approaches.

Revolution midfielders Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen are coming off a midweek stint with the US national team, which lost to Costa Rica, 1-0, Tuesday. Jones started but played only the first half, while Nguyen came on as a substitute for the last 18 minutes.

“This is what you play for,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. “We’re excited that it’s going to be a good crowd, and we want to go out there and punch our ticket.”

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Revolution again look to clinch playoff spot

By: Dan Shulman

The last two weekends have seen the Revolution end their winning streak and miss out on two chances to clinch a playoff berth. On Saturday, the Revolution will visit Eastern Conference rival Chicago for a chance to extinguish the Fire and earn their third consecutive trip to the MLS postseason.

The Revolution, who sit in a tie for second place in the East, only 1 point out of the top spot, are coming off a disappointing 1-1 home draw last Saturday against the Philadelphia Union. Despite outshooting their opponents, 11-2, the Revolution were frustrated by Union goalkeeper Andre Blake, who set a franchise record with 10 saves.

The Revolution and Fire have met twice this season, with New England holding a 1-0-1 advantage. The Revolution won, 2-0, at home in June before a controversial 2-2 draw on the road in late July (the Fire tied the game on a penalty call that was disputed by New England).

New England is 6-3-2 against the Fire since Jay Heaps took over as coach in 2012.

The Fire have been eliminated from playoff contention following a winless September, but Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez said they are “still playing for pride. They want to show what kind of team they are. We just have to be ready for that.”

Chicago has undergone a coaching change. Frank Yallop was fired two weeks ago, replaced on an interim basis by Brian Bliss.

“We’re looking at film differently with Bliss there now,” said Heaps. “There’s a little different feel in how they’re set up, but it’s not a total, drastic change. It’s very hard to do that in a short period of time.”

Revolution designated player Jermaine Jones was able to play the full 90 minutes for the second straight weekend against the Union. Jones had hernia surgery in the spring and returned to the field in early August.

“In terms of what Jermaine brought from a physical standpoint, what he brought from a ball-winning standpoint, what he brought from a presence standpoint, from a leadership standpoint — that was well beyond 100 percent,” said Heaps. “I thought he was awesome.”

New England could clinch a playoff berth before the final whistle Saturday — with an Orlando City loss or tie against Montreal; that game begins an hour before the Revolution and Fire kick off at 8:30 p.m.

“We can still clinch a playoff spot, so they’re going to make it as hard as possible to get there,” said Fagundez. “We just have to do everything we can to get those 3 points.”

Revolution vs. Fire: A quick look

A quick look at the Revolution’s matchup with the Chicago Fire Saturday night.

 When, where: Saturday, 8:30 p.m., Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.

 TV, radio: CSN, WBZ-FM (98.5)

 Records: Revolution, 13-10-8 (47 points); Chicago, 7-18-6 (27 points)

 Coaches: Revolution, Jay Heaps; Chicago, Brian Bliss

 Goalkeepers: Revolution, Bobby Shuttleworth; Chicago, Jon Busch

 Formations: Revolution, 4-2-3-1; Chicago, 4-4-2-1

 Referee: Kevin Stott

 Out: Revolution — D Darrius Barnes (knee); Chicago — D Adailton (core muscle), D Eric Gehrig (foot), G Sean Johnson (shoulder), D Ty Harden (adductor).

 Miscellany: Chicago matched its club record with a fifth consecutive loss in a 3-2 defeat by Toronto FC . . . The Revolution are 5-12-8 on the road against Chicago.

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Revolution eye playoff berth in matchup vs. Union

The Revolution look to clinch an MLS playoff spot for the third consecutive year as they host the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

New England saw its eight-game unbeaten run end last Saturday with a 3-0 loss to the Montreal Impact.

“It’s a good wake-up call, so that we know how difficult the next games are and that we have to be focused,” said midfielder Jermaine Jones.

The Revolution will face the Union for the third and final time this season, winning the first two matchups on the road. In each of the their past four meetings, the visiting team has won.

The most recent game was Aug. 29 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., with the Revolution blanking Philadelphia, 1-0. Diego Fagundez scored the goal, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to reach the 25-goal plateau for his career.

The match was marred in the closing seconds, however, when Union midfielder Cristian Maidana spat on Lee Nguyen. Maidana was shown a red card and suspended two games.

According to reports earlier in the week, the Union plan to rest some regular starters.

“You will see a different lineup,” Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin told philly.com.

The Union, in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, want to win the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City. With a win, the Union would qualify for the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League.

The Revolution, however, want to solidify their lineup ahead of a playoff run. Jones played the full 90 minutes at Montreal, his first full game since returning from sports hernia surgery in early August.

“I know it’s tough after injuries to come back, but it’s getting better,” said Jones.

On the other side, the Union are fresh off a 2-0 home win over Houston last Sunday.

Saturday’s game is the first of two remaining home games for the Revolution in the regular season.

“They’re huge,” said midfielder Scott Caldwell. “We’re not in the playoffs yet . . . so we have to take care of the games one at a time, starting with Philly.”

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Revolution look to stay on a roll in Montreal

The Revolution will look to clinch a third consecutive playoff berth and extend their winning streak to a club-record seven games as they head to Canada Saturday night to face the Montreal Impact.

The Revolution, who are 13-9-7 overall and 7-0-1 since July, are the hottest team in MLS. Meanwhile, Montreal (9-11-6) is unbeaten in its last three contests.

This marks the Revolution’s only visit of the season to Montreal’s Stade Saputo, a venue where they clinched a playoff spot last year. In their last four visits to Montreal, the Revolution are 2-1-1.

New England earned a 0-0 draw with Montreal at Gillette Stadium back on March 21 in the home opener. The Revolution also close out their home slate against Montreal Oct. 17.

Diego Fagundez has been leading the Revolution offense, with goals in four straight games. On the other side, Montreal’s Didier Drogba recently broke the record by former New England striker Zack Schilawski for quickest MLS hat trick, with Drogba getting one in just his second game.

“He’s world-class any way you slice it,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said of the former Chelsea striker. “He can score goals, hold up the ball, find different ways to beat you, and he’s still a physical presence.”

Defensively, Montreal will be without Ambroise Oyongo, who was shown a red card in a 1-1 draw at San Jose Wednesday.

The Revolution, however, will get back Jermaine Jones, who missed Wednesday’s match with the New York Red Bulls because of yellow card accumulation.

The Revolution have struggled on the road this season — registering just 14 points in 14 games, with a minus-11 goal differential — and the Impact have been tough to beat at home, earning 23 points in 13 matches, with a plus-8 goal differential.

“Any time you go on the road, you’re going to have to be turned on and tuned in to every play,” Heaps said. “I thought that our last couple games weren’t our best from a play standpoint. I think we have more to offer.”

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Revolution travel to face Toronto FC Sunday

The Revolution head north of the border Sunday to take on Eastern Conference rival Toronto FC. The Revolution are trying to duplicate their late-season surge from last year, which started in Toronto with the debut of Jermaine Jones.

New England is making its only trip to BMO Field in 2015, after winning both matches at Toronto last season. The Revolution are 1-0-1 this season against Toronto FC, drawing, 1-1, in May before earning a 3-1 victory last month, both at Gillette Stadium.

In their last five trips to Toronto, New England is 2-0-3. However, Toronto has won four of its last five home games, outscoring opponents, 14-6.The Revolution are riding a league-best six-game unbeaten streak, including four straight victories. Jones looks set to return to the starting lineup after missing last Saturday’s match against Orlando City SC due to a call-up to the US national team.

For Toronto, MVP candidate Sebastian Giovinco returns after suffering an adductor strain that caused him to miss Italy’s European Championship qualifier last weekend. Giovinco has 17 goals and 13 assists this season.

The Revolution sit in fourth place in the East with 40 points, 3 ahead of Toronto FC.

This is a tough stretch for the Revolution, who return home to face the powerful New York Red Bulls on Wednesday. Next Saturday, the Revolution head back to Canada to play Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact.

“This time of the season, they all [feel big],” said Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell. “But in Toronto, against a team that we know pretty well, especially on national TV, yeah, it will definitely have a big-time feel, especially with playoff implications.”

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School roundup: Triton beats Newburyport in girl’s lacrosse

Kaitlyn Muldowey scored with 2:29 remaining to push host Triton past defending Division 2 girls’ lacrosse state champion Newburyport, 13-12, and into the North semifinals Wednesday.

In a rematch of last season’s quarterfinal, the Vikings were out to exact revenge for an 18-8 loss.

The Vikings (14-8) came out firing and took a 3-0 lead, forcing the Clippers to call timeout. Newburyport (12-6) eventually settled in and cut the deficit to one at the half.The defending champs eventually took an 11-9 lead with 18:11 to go, before the Vikings fought back as Erin Savage, who scored five goals, netted two in quick succession to tie it.

The rally would continue as Muldowey scored the third of her four goals at 8:18 to regain the lead before Newburyport tied it again two minutes later.

“It was a great game, well played by both teams, with back-and-forth action throughout,” said Triton coach Stacey Beaulieau.

Baseball

Triton 1, Watertown 0 — Senior Justin Cashman tossed a no-hitter and helped his cause by driving in the lone run.

Division 4 North

O’Bryant 2, Winthrop 1 — Senior Fernando Burgos struck out 10 and scattered three hits for the Tigers. Jack Wallace pitched nearly as well for the Vikings, allowing three hits and fanning eight.

Softball

Division 1 North

Lynn Classical 13, Peabody 4 — Juniors Courtney Braswell (four hits, four RBIs) and Madison Angelli (three hits) led the Rams (14-7).

Division 2 North

Danvers 3, Pentucket 1 — Daria Papamechail pitched a complete game, Caitlin McBride collected two hits, and Maddie Mucci and Aline Dayaa drove in the runs for the Falcons.

Division 3 North

St. Clement 18, Fenway 17 — Senior Christina Puccio went 3 for 5 with a home run in the top of the third to boost the Anchormen.

Northeast 9, Presentation of Mary 0 — Amanda Carlisle pitched seven innings, striking out six and allowing three hits to earn the win.

Georgetown 7, Essex Tech 3 — Sophomore Maggie Neolk went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and senior Jennifer Nutter was 2 foe 3 with an RBI for the Royals. Freshman Kate Irons scored two runs for the victors.

Division 1 South

Weymouth 4, Dartmouth 0 — Cassidee Fall fanned three in a four-hit shutout for the Wildcats. She helped her cause with a pair of hits and three RBIs.

Oliver Ames 2, Mansfield 1 — Sarah Struzik tossed a five-hitter and Liz Bullock drove in both runs in the top of the seventh for the Tigers.

Division 2 South

Apponequet 3, Pembroke 0 — Senior Jill Miller blasted a two-run homer for the Lakers.

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BC High starts fast, finishes off Catholic Memorial

In the 53d Thanksgiving battle between BC High and Catholic Memorial, BC High took home its 10th straight Pumpkin Trophy, defeating the Knights, 27-14.

This year’s confrontation on Morrissey Boulevard was not for a Catholic Conference title or Super Bowl berth. At stake was pride and bragging rights for schools built on athletic tradition. BC High had won nine straight Pumpkin trophies coming into the game.

Catholic Memorial had lost its last three games, while the Eagles, after defeating Brockton and Newton North, were fresh off a crushing loss to rival Xaverian in the Division 1 South playoff championship.With both teams eliminated from the playoffs, the game was their Super Bowl.

CM received the opening kickoff and after a few big plays, was forced to punt. The first play for BC High was a routine pass for 7 yards from senior quarterback Sean Holleran to Nick Gill.

But the Eagles had bigger things in mind. A lateral pass to Connor Cady sent him 65 yards for a touchdown.

“We ran that play a couple times in practice this week, and figured we could get a big hitter, and it worked,” said Gill.

The Eagles next play from scrimmage was also a pass to Gill, this time for a 66-yard touchdown.

Then BC High forced a fumble and Matt Johnson scooped up the loose ball and ran 55 yards for the Eagles’ third TD in 6 minutes and 27 seconds.

“When things are going like that, it’s very easy to lose your composure. We called them in and told them to get under control,” said CM coach Alex Campea.

The Knights scored twice in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 21-14. Sophomore quarterback Matt Marcantano threw for two touchdowns, a 12-yard pass to Gavin Ajoku and a 23-yard pass to Curt Bletzer in the final minute of the first half.

“We wanted to get back to our power run game in the second half,’’ said BC High coach Jon Bartlett.

The Eagles did just that.

BC High threw only twice in 26 second-half offensive plays.

Led by junior running back Steve Timmins (63 yards on 11 carries), the Eagles consumed a huge chunk of the clock and shut down the Knights’ offense.

A 1-yard rush by Johnson sealed the game.

“I’m very proud of this team and how they played this season, especially today,” said Bartlett.