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Pioneers Sports

Somerville wins behind McAdem, Raposo

Varsity vs South Brunswick HS on 4/14/2012
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 by Brad McAdem

Somerville wins behind McAdam, Raposo

Somerville wins behind McAdam, Raposo

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This appeared at first look to be a riveting matchup between a potent Somerville offense and a tough, stubborn South Brunswick defense.

It did not take long, however, for Casey McAdam to turn this contest into a display of complete domination in the middle of the field.

Yes, the Somerville offense was still very good as expected, but the Pioneers--behind talented junior attackman Matt Raposo-- almost couldn't help being effective with the lopsided possession time provided by McAdam. And South Brunswick did often flash signs of its defensive competency, but was forced to labor unrealistically long as a result of McAdam's mastery.

McAdam, a junior verbally committed to Lehigh, won 18 of 19 faceoffs and also recorded two assists for good measure as he directed undefeated Somerville to an 11-4 win in a non-league contest Saturday at Brooks Field in Somerville.

"He's probably the most important person on our team because he gives us possession," Raposo said. He was pretty important himself with a team-high four goals, followed by sophomore Jared DeLouisa and junior Mike Waterfield with three apiece.

"With all those possessions, the offense can score," Raposo said. "And when the other team doesn't have the ball, they can't score."

McAdam made that strategy look almost as simple as Raposo made it sound by using fast hands, quick feet and a variety of polished moves. His Pioneers produces a 39-13 advantage in shots, and only five of South Brunswick's attempts were made in the opening half as they built a 6-3 lead.

"If we can get those possessions, it helps our defense rest, and even when the ball does get to the defensive side, we have a great defense," McAdam said. "We were able to control the ball the whole game."

That control was established by McAdam with a lot of creativity and sometimes even a little daring. He sometimes used a clamped-and-rake, other times a plunger or jam and maybe even tried a laser or two. He won 14 of his draws outright and accumulated a staggering 16 ground balls for the game.

"It depends on what they're doing," McAdam said of his unpredictability. "I switch it up and make sure they don't know what I'm doing every time."

More predictable was the shutoff that Raposo encountered throughout the first half and even into the second. Opponents correctly identify him as the main playmaker of this lethal offense and feel their chance for victory rises in direct proportion to how rarely Raposo possesses the ball.

"I think the teams that come to scout us usually end up locking me off," Raposo said. He came in with 13 goals and 19 assists in the first five games and had 78 points as a sophomore.

"Today we kind of found ways around it and, eventually, they stopped locking me off and we could run our regular offense. The whole strategy today was play the corner and let them play five-on-five."

Raposo scored his first goal in transition off a ground ball and feed by defenseman Chris Contino to open a 3-2 lead 3:30 into the second quarter. He opened a 6-2 lead with a sizzling shot from 15 yards out on sweep with 3:34 left in the period and connected twice in the second half on crafty dodges from behind.

The Pioneers (5-0) were outstanding whenever Raposo was able fit himself into the offensive equation and they were better than serviceable when he was not. DeLouisa scored twice and Logan LeBlond and Waterfield each connected once in the first half. Dan Remoli dished out two assists to help secure that three-goal lead.

And this came against a defense that allowed only an average 4.4 goals over the first five games.

"We've got tons of weapons on our team," Raposo said. "I know that even when I'm getting locked off, we've got five other guys on the field that can score. That's awesome."

Particularly impressive about Somerville's 5-0 start is the youth of this squad under head coach Gil Eaton. Goalie Kyle Lieb (six saves) was the only senior starter against South Brunswick. The Pioneers were 14-5 last season, yet did graduate goalie Steve Ricks and also several talented defensemen.

"We've got a young team still, but every game we're getting smarter and we're getting new guys on the field," Raposo said. "We looked a little young and shaky in the beginning (South Brunswick grabbed a 2-0 lead); we were throwing balls away, forcing some stuff. But we pulled it together and played our game."

Dan Gorzynski scored in transition and Dom Violante converted an extra-man opportunity in the opening 8:12 for South Brunswick. Matt Paradowski scored late in the second quarter off a steal on the Vikings' ride and Colin Quigley struck on an EMO 3:46 into the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to 10-4. That means Somerville's defense--led by Contino, Pat Grega, Mike Dimino, Randy Maroney and Eric Dluhy--did not allow a single goal in a settled, six-on-six situation.

"We've got a good team and we come out to try to prove ourselves and get some respect from people around the county and state," McAdam said. "This shows that we're serious this year and we're coming to play.”

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