Div. 4 boys soccer: Frontier blanks Burke in game halted early after referee altercation

  • Frontier’s Matt Sicard, left, contends for the ball against Burke’s Jose Alves in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Tyler Dubreil (13) celebrates after getting past Burke goalkeeper Neuton Lopes to score in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Tyler Dubreuil (13) gets past Burke goalkeeper Neuton Lopes to score in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Devin Niles (12) one-times a shot past Burke defender Carlos Barbosa (23) and goalkeeper Neuton Lopes to score in the first half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Devin Niles (12) celebrates after scoring against Burke in the first half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier celebrates after a goal by Devin Niles against Burke in the first half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier celebrates after a goal by Devin Niles, right, against Burke in the first half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier celebrates after a goal by Devin Niles against Burke in the first half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Brady Burch (9) carries the ball on a breakaway past Burke defender Rick Barros (3) in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Tyler Dubreil (13) crosses the ball against Burke in the second half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • The Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game between Frontier and Burke was ended with 16 minutes left after a Burke player made physical contact with a referee Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • The Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game between Frontier and Burke was ended with 16 minutes left after a Burke player made physical contact with a referee Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • The Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game between Frontier and Burke was ended with 16 minutes left after a Burke player made physical contact with a referee Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Devin Niles (12), right, dribbles past Burke Defender Jose Alves (11) in the first half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Devin Niles (12), right, traps the ball against Burke’s Lucas Pires (9) in the first half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Cairn Bright (8) heads the ball over the Burke defense in the first half of the Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game Wednesday night in South Deerfield.

For the Gazette
Published: 11/10/2021 9:51:49 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Wednesday’s Division 4 boys state soccer tournament game was proceeding about as well as Frontier could have hoped — just not for the full 80 minutes.

The Redhawks downed Jeremiah Burke of Dorchester, 3-0, in a second-round game stopped with 16 minutes, 48 seconds left in regulation after a Burke player made physical contact with the referee.

Frontier (14-2-4), the No. 4 seed in Division 4, advanced to a home quarterfinal Saturday against the winner of Wednesday’s late second-round game between Cohasset and Amesbury. Game time is tentatively set for noon.

“I’ve seen these kind of things, and it could have gotten a lot worse,” said Redhawks coach Evan Horton. “These are heated games, state playoffs, tempers were flaring, and we don’t want to get involved with that. You see one of your teammates get hit, and I’m proud of my guys for holding restraint.”

Two goals from sophomore Devin Niles seven minutes apart in the first half put the Redhawks in the driver’s seat. Senior Tyler Dubreuil popped in Frontier’s third with 22:45 left in regulation.

About six minutes after Dubreuil’s goal, the game ground to an early and unfortunate halt after some clearly building frustrations on the field. Burke’s Jair Depina, who had already received a yellow card in the first half, was carded a second time. Depina approached the referee, lashed out with his left foot and missed, delivered a short left hand to the ref’s chest and then missed with a spinning back kick as he turned away.

While players from both teams interceded, Depina was pushed off to the side by Frontier’s Dante Ruggiano, who Depina then struck in the face with a straight left hand.

A few more pushes and shoves ensued between players, though nothing more serious, before the teams were separated and retreated to their bench areas. Two Deerfield police officers stepped in to help calm matters down.

After a few confused minutes and continued conversation between coaches and officials, the referee and the two linesmen donned their warmups and prepared to leave, signifying an early end to the night’s action.

“It’s a bummer way to end the game with 17 minutes left,” said Horton. “I told the guys, ‘I’m bummed I don’t get to watch you play for another 17 minutes,’ because we were playing a phenomenal game. It was the best game we’ve put together all year.”

Niles got on the business end of a pair of deep right-wing crosses to boost Frontier into their early 2-0 lead. With 18:43 left in the half, Brady Burch sent a ball across the face of goal to Niles in front of the left post. He redirected it back through the goalmouth into the right-side netting, good for a 1-0 lead.

The second goal came a bit easier, with Dubreuil swinging in the cross at ground level from the right corner. This time Niles had a simple tap-in inside the left post at the 11:55 mark.

Frontier held a 11-2 advantage in shots over the first 40 minutes as freshman goalie Owen Babb didn’t get much work. The Bulldogs’ best chances came shortly into the second half, one from Depina and one by Kevin Barbosa, whose 18-yard blast from on top was tipped away by Babb and off the outside of the left post with nine minutes gone.

The clincher came when Burch’s left-wing cross skipped past a Burke defender and goalie Ruben Goncalves into empty space on the right side of the box, and Dubreuil guided the ball inside the right post to make it 3-0.

The Bulldogs, seeded 20th in the Division 4 field, wrapped up at 12-4-4.




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