Boys soccer takes lead in NEC South


Mark Elliot Graham

Geremy Palacios, shown taking the ball up the field, had his first career hat trick on Saturday against Dracut

ANDREW COELHO, Sports Writer

After a successful week, the GHS boys soccer team takes the lead in the NEC South and is one point away from qualifying for playoffs. The boys soccer team has kept four clean sheets in a row coming away with two wins and a draw last week. 

On Monday, they traveled to Marblehead to play the only NEC South opponent they’ve yet to face, and took care of business. About 20 minutes into the first half, Captain Andrew Coelho found Geremy Palacios on a through ball, who was 1-on-1 with the goalie, until he got fouled in the box before he got a chance to get off the shot. 

Coelho stepped up to take the penalty and scored, beating the keeper to his right. The keeper guessed correctly and got a hand on the shot but it wasn’t enough to stop Coelho’s kick from going into the back of the net. 

The next hour of the game was an absolute battle and Gloucester prevailed. Captain Aidan Almeida intercepted an over the top through ball in the dying minutes of the game to prevent Marblehead from getting on the score sheet. 

After beating Marblehead, Gloucester hosted Hamilton-Wenham at Newell Stadium the following day in a scoreless draw. This game was back and forth for an entire 80 minutes but was highlighted by strong defensive play from Captain Jack Patten. Captain Max Sperry had a few key saves in goal as well. On the last play of the game, Coelho took the ball down the left wing and beat his defender 1-on-1 before getting a shot off. The Hamilton-Wenham keeper made yet another impressive save as Gloucester earned a well deserved point. 

On Saturday, the boys soccer team traveled to Dracut in order to get revenge for 2017, when GHS made its deepest state tournament run since 2007, until they got knocked out by Dracut in a heartbreaking 4-0 loss at home. This was the first time Gloucester has matched up against Dracut since, and they made sure to not forget about what happened 5 years ago. 

Gloucester won 7-0, led by Palacios first career hat trick. Coelho had 2 goals and 2 assists and sophomore Brendan Anderton scored his first varsity goal. Kayky Barbosa added another goal to the count and Yuniel Sanchez Batiz and Almeida each had multiple assists. 

With a record of 8-2-1, they lead the NEC South and face Swampscott at 4:30 pm today at Blocksidge Field.