Holliston Boys Soccer Wins Division Title!

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Under the tutelage of Coach Jay Dupuis, Holliston Boys Soccer has seen Division 3-South Tournament play. This year, with strength and experience on their side, they took the title.
Issue Date: 
December, 2018
Article Body: 

The Holliston boys’ soccer team has made it a habit of participating in the Division 3 South Tournament each of the years Jay Dupuis has been at the helm of the program. Over the past three seasons, this year’s seniors have gone 30-11-9 during the regular season. However, upon advancing into the tournament, the Panthers had only won a game each of those three years before being eliminated.
As the seniors began their final year at Holliston High School, they wanted to go out in style, and while this is the dream of just about every athletic senior, the Panthers in fact walked the walk. Holliston finished the regular season with a 12-1-3 record and was granted a three seed in this year’s tournament.
Once in the tournament, the Panthers exceeded their past three years’ win total by taking out four teams en route to the Division Championship. Holliston defeated Old Rochester 4-1, Scituate 3-1, Seekonk 4-1 and Norton 1-0 to grab the title. Wayland ended Holliston’s season with a first round victory in the State tournament bracket.
Having been in the tournament eight straight years under the tutelage of Dupuis, this season was by far Holliston’s best performance, as they captured the Tri Valley League’s large division and for only the second time in school history, they won a Divisional Title; the last being some 30 plus years ago.
“Last year we were one point shy of the league title with a group of young and inexperienced athletes,” Dupuis said. “Thus this year we returned a strong group of players setting our goals to win the TVL and then go on to win the South.”
Leading Holliston this past season were the five captains - Pat Mejia and Jonny Paecht, both two year captains; Jake Heinsel, Evan Katz and junior Ty Cotting. According to the Coach, while the captains supplied a heavy dose of leadership, the combination of experience from the rest of the team on the field also guided the Panthers to the Division 3 South Title.
Paecht supplied the majority of the offense for the Panthers, scoring 21 goals while adding 6 assist in being named the league MVP. Defensively, Heinsel was one of the top goalies in the league as well as in the States only allowing a mere seven goals all season. In addition to Paecht, a lot of other players contributed to the team’s offense giving the Panthers a much needed balanced attack.
Holliston had five players (Paecht, Heinsel, Mejia, Cotting and defender Evans Djohan) earn TVL All Star status. Paercht and Heinsel were also named to the Eastern Mass All Star team where Dupuis will Coach the two senior one final time as he was named the Eastern Mass Division 3 Coach of the Year.
In graduation, seven seniors from the team, Dupuis will be saying goodbye to six starters, who include the four senior captains, center back Yavar Mehidopor, two-year defensive starter Griffin Delin. The final senior leaving will be Dylan Potemri, the heart and soul of the team, according to the coach.
With a lot of talent leaving the program, Holliston will have some very big shoes to fill, especially on the scoring end as well as finding a replacement to be the new goaltender. Cotting will be back in his second season as a captain, while Djohan will have an expanded role in the defensive zone.
Helping Djohan in the backfield will be defenders Thomas Sojka, Carter Mikkelsen and Zach Jacobs. Dupuis also had three incoming freshman who also contributed to the team’s success. Owen Burke, who started about ½ the team’s games; ben Siegel and Brandan Macleoud will all be taking steps forward in their sophomore campaign looking to give Holliston another shot at the Sectionals.
With all the talent the Panthers have returning, they will miss Heinsel’s phenomenal goaltending the most.
“Jake has been the best goalie for the past two years running and his absence next fall will be big,” Dupuis said. “Leadership is once again going to fall on the captains. It will be a challenge, but we’ve done it before.”
In capturing the Sectional Title, Holliston will have a large bullseye on their back come next fall. For the time being that will sit back and enjoy their celebration to the fullest before getting back to business and worrying about defending their title.