Sophomore captain nets three goals to lead team to victory and spot in finals
(Oct. 26, 2018) The Worcester Prep boys’ soccer team not only won its Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference semifinal game on Wednesday, but sophomore captain Vincent Petrera also broke the school scoring record for a single season.
“He’s a special talent. You don’t find many players like this around here and, when you do, you want to step back and marvel at his skill level,” Prep Coach Terry Underkoffler said. “The speed, the technical level and his ability to score is outstanding. He’s a Division I soccer athletes if I’ve every seen one.”
Going into this week, with three games remaining in the season, everyone thought Petrera needed nine goals to break Nate Merrill’s record set in 2004. Turns out, Underkoffler found out Thursday morning, it was actually eight.
Petrera scored six during Monday’s game against Delmarva Christian in Berlin. Worcester won 10-1.
“My shot was really on,” Petrera said.
On Wednesday, again, everyone initially thought Petrera needed two to tie and one to break the record, which was actually 35, not 36.
“I was focused on winning and getting into the finals and if I could get in there and score I would,” he said.
Senior captain Cole Berry kicked off the scoring with a goal 50 seconds into the game. Senior Thomas Fager made it 2-0 less than three minutes later.
Petrera scored midway into the first half then buried another in the back of the net about two minutes later.
“It was a good feeling and it was even better how our team was playing,” he said. “It was just exciting.”
Senior Will Todd added a goal in the second half before Petrera scored his third of the match.
“I felt like it was coming the whole second half. I was getting a lot of shots and we were playing really well,” Petrera said. “It was a good ball in and I just finished it.”
Petrera said netting the shot to break the school record “was just an important goal and one I’ll always remember.”
Senior captain Cooper Richins stopped five Gunston Day shots during Wednesday’s semifinals.
“Our goal was to get off to a fast start, be faster to the ball in the midfield and attack faster and go at them with speed, try and score in the first five minutes and put them under immediate pressure,” Underkoffler said after the 6-0 win. “The first goal set the tone because it was exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to win the ball, get in behind quickly and finish. We got to 3-0 very quickly. We could feel the energy.”
Worcester will host the Salisbury School Dragons today, Friday, at 3 p.m. in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference finals.
“We need to find more than one target in our possession game,” Underkoffler said. “We have to be able to not just find our strikers, but we have to find our outside midfielders and we have to really focus on getting them more involved.”
“We have to focus and win our battles in the midfield and I think we should come out on top,” Petrera added.