The Hopkinton High School boys soccer team came up just short in its bid to return to the Division 2 state championship game, dropping a thrilling semifinal game to Wakefield that was decided via penalty kicks Wednesday night in Woburn.
Hopkinton trailed 2-0 in the penalty kick shootout but rallied to force extra kicks. It took 20 total kicks before the result was finalized, with Wakefield goalie Andrew Valley ultimately making the winning save.
Eighth-seeded Hopkinton (15-3-4) and fifth-seeded Wakefield (17-3-2) played to a 2-2 tie in regulation, and neither team scored in a 20-minute sudden-death overtime.
The other team in the championship game will be sixth-seeded Oliver Ames (18-3-1), which defeated seventh-seeded Melrose, 2-1, in overtime Wednesday.
Hopkinton twice had one-goal leads in regulation, but Wakefield was able to find the answer.
With 32 1/2 minutes left in the second half, Hopkinton’s Jan Antvelink broke down the right side and fired a perfect cross to a charging Tim Zakharov, who smacked it into the net.
With about 10 minutes left, Jack Ianelli was stuffed on a breakaway, and moments later at the other end, HHS goalie Owen Silva turned the tables, making a diving stop on a Wakefield breakaway.
With 7:54 left in regulation, shortly after a timeout, Wakefield’s Marc Laverdiere received a pass about 20 yards in front of the goal. He made a move to the right, got the ball on his right foot and delivered a low shot to the left corner that eluded a diving Silva and deflected in off the post, sending the game to overtime.
Hopkinton opened the scoring 14 minutes into the contest, as Will Bialobrzeski took a throw-in a couple of yards up from the left corner flag. His throw sailed in front of the net, and Federico Rossi jumped up and headed it toward the back corner. Drew Bialobrzeski stepped past the defense and smacked the ball over the sliding goalie and off the bottom of the crossbar, and it landed just behind the goal line for a 1-0 lead.
Wakefield had two solid chances to tie the score about 15 minutes later, first on a header off a corner kick that hit the crossbar, and the second about a minute later when Wakefield sent a long, high shot toward Silva. A Wakefield player jumped in front of Silva in an attempt to head the ball, perhaps blocking Silva’s view of it. The ball appeared to deflect off Silva’s arm and then the crossbar before bouncing in front, where it was cleared by the defense.
With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half, Wakefield broke through. Darragh Casey got a step on the defense and calmly stuck a low, left-footed shot past a charging Silva.
Early in the second half, Ianelli was able to break through three defenders, but the Wakefield goalie raced out and smothered the shot.
A few minutes later, Wakefield had two solid chances, one on a long shot that goalie Silva dove to stop, and the second on a corner kick where the ball was loose in front, but no Wakefield player was able to get a leg on the ball and finish it.