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NICO’S THE ONE! Revere’s Morgira scores lone goal in 1-0 win over host Malden in season opener

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Defense rules as Patriots Goalkeepers Garcia, Espinosa combine for shutout over GBL rival Tornados


By Steve Freker


This one surely looked like it was headed for a double-zero finish, with both teams unable to break the scoring seal in the first game of the season on Tuesday. Then the visiting Patriots of Revere High struck. Revere junior Nico Morgira spun free to the right of the Malden net with just under five minutes to play and booted a shot past the diving Malden goalkeeper and into the net for what turned out to be the lone goal of the entire afternoon.

Morgira’s heroics held up, as Revere held on for a hard-earned, 1-0 victory over host Malden at Pine Banks Park in the season and Greater Boston League (GBL) opener for both teams.

Revere (1-0, 1-0 GBL) was right back in action on Thursday, hosting GBL power Somerville at Revere High at 4:15 p.m. in another early season test, after Advocate press deadline.

Next week Head Coach Manny Lopes’ team stays on the league trail, playing GBLer Lynn Classical on the road at 7:15 p.m. at Manning Field in Lynn on Monday evening and then staying on the road Thursday, Sept. 14 for another game at Manning (3:45 p.m.) versus Lynn English.

Malden hosted the Lynn English Bulldogs at Pine Banks Park yesterday at 4:15 p.m., after Advocate press deadline. Next week, Malden head coach Jeremiah Smith’s Tornados stay on the road against two top GBL rivals: at Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 4:15 p.m. and then at Somerville on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 4:15 p.m.

On Tuesday, Malden and Revere battled each other and the sweltering heat, with both team’s goalkeepers – Revere junior Juan Garcia and Malden senior Nathan Dean – both pitching shutouts in the first half. Malden also got strong play throughout the game from senior midfielder and captain Donny Wright, sophomore midfielder Sandesh Ohmire, junior midfielder Henry Rodriquez Filho and senior midfielder Ali Zoulgami.

“Overall we played a solid, team game and we stayed right with them,” Malden Head Coach Jeremiah Smith – coaching his 20th consecutive season opener – told The Advocate. “We had just the one breakdown near the end and in a game like this, it cost us.”

Revere got strong play from both Garcia in net in the first half as well as from junior Daniel Espinosa, who played goalkeeper for the entire second half and also threw a zero at Malden. The two juniors split the game and combined for nine saves. Revere also got some strong play from captains Bryan Medina, a junior, senior JV Chavarria, sophomore Kenan Batic, who was rock-solid defensively, and freshman Emmanuel Lopera.

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