Sam Feeley

Nov 162014
 

EASTHAMPTON — On the scoreboard, it came down to one point. But if you ask Paul Zukauskas what amounted to the difference between his Lawrence Academy Spartans and the Williston Northampton School Wildcats on Saturday, it was simple — love.

“They love the game of football,” Zukauskas said of his Hugh Caldera Bowl champion Spartans, who defeated the Wildcats in a nail-biter, 35-34, to claim the 2014 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Hugh Caldera Bowl championship at Sawyer Field on Saturday afternoon. “They wanted to win and they cared about each other. You can win football games that way,” the coach said.

It was the eighth consecutive victory for the Spartans after dropping the season opener to Governor’s. The team lost one game this season.






After falling behind 27-0 at halftime, the Wildcats — specifically, running back Max Chipouras — came out of the locker room on a mission. Chipouras rushed for four touchdowns and 91 yards in the third quarter alone to give the Wildcats a 28-27 lead. During the furious rally, the Wildcats mixed in a successful onside kick, a diving catch in double coverage by Marshall Rizzuto (two catches = 51 yards), and a firm denial of Lawrence running back AJ Dillon, who was held to just 49 rushing yards in the second half after notching 110 yards in the first half.

After being hit with Chipouras’s haymakers, the Spartans answered the proverbial bell in the fourth quarter and regained the lead. The defense forced a Williston three-and-out, then Jake Cassidy (11-of-22, 160 yards) found Timothy Preston (four catches, 118 yards) for their third touchdown hookup of the game. Cassidy found Preston again on the ensuing 2-point conversion, and the Spartans led 35-28 with just under 11 minutes to go in the fourth.

The Wildcats found the end zone one more time on another Chipouras touchdown. They went for the two-point conversion and the lead, but the Spartan defense stopped Chipouras (265 all-purpose yards) in the backfield, preserving a one-point edge.

“Give credit to both teams,” Zukauskas said. “Both teams came out and played a great football game. [Williston] did an outstanding job in the second half, but our kids responded nonetheless.”

After a Lawrence punt, the teams traded turnovers on the next four possessions, including a bizarre sequence for the Lawrence offense. Trying to run out the clock, Williston took their final timeout after a run up the middle on first down. The Spartans took two knees before realizing that they would have to snap it on fourth down. Cassidy took the snap and tried to run out the clock, but the Williston defense stopped him for a huge loss at the Lawrence 36 yard line with four seconds left, enabling the Wildcats to get one last shot at a game-winning touchdown.

However, the Spartan defense held up, as Williston quarterback John Aywayrd (5-for-18, 91 yards; nine carries, 81 yards) threw his fifth and final interception of the game, and the second into the hands of Christian Garrison, setting off the celebration for the Spartans.

“We had a lot of high hopes,” Zukauskas said. “This was the expectation for the team. We didn’t have a great season last year. They knew it, and there was a feeling that we could have a great season. We lost the opener, but we never looked back. It’s such a strong group of kids, and they really care for each other. They really respond to one another, they have a great time together. It was fun to coach them.”

In the first half, Cassidy and Dillon each scored a rushing touchdown, and Preston had two receiving touchdowns.

“Williston put in an amazing effort. But to see the work that our kids put in, to see they way they responded in pressure — that’s a well coached team and that’s a well-led team,” Head of School Dan Scheibe said, who traversed Massachusetts to watch the Spartans win. “It’s a big tribute to the seniors and a huge tribute to the coaching staff, particularly Coach Zukauskas.”

In the end, though, the head coach said it was the players themselves who should garner the most praise.

“Anytime you win a league and win a bowl game, you need leadership — from the players’ perspective; it’s more important than the coaches’ perspective,” said Zukauskas, who moments before had told his players, “I love you guys. Thank you for what you’ve given this school. Thank you for what you’ve given this team.”


Nov 062014
 

Laura Bieren flies through the air against WestboroughBriana Bozkurt

Laura Bieren flies through the air against Westborough

Wednesday’s MIAA Division 2 Central girls’ volleyball semifinal between the first seed Groton-Dunstable Crusaders and the fifth seed Westborough Rangers started out as a laugher but turned into a squeaker.

In the end, the Rangers defeated the Crusaders by scores of 25-9, 25-11, 21-25, and 25-22 in front of a raucous crowd at G-DRHS.

The Rangers were paced statistically by Gianna Scioletti (29 kills, four blocks), Elizabeth Gallary (41 assists), Emma Smallcomb (eight aces, four kills), and Kaylie Doherty (nine kills). The Crusaders had no answers for the 6’3” Scioletti, who primarily plays middle hitter but also played well on the outside.

“It didn’t matter where we put our defense,” G-D head coach Lisa Lapierre said. “She was hitting where we weren’t. She’s very smart with where she places the ball.”

The Rangers dominated the first two sets, leading by as many as 16 and not allowing the Crusaders to score more than three consecutive points. They had seven aces to just one service error in that time frame. The Crusaders used both of their timeouts in each of the first two sets to try and stop a Westborough run, but each time Westborough powered through and continued the attack.

Down two sets and facing elimination, the Crusaders fell behind in the third set 2-0 before going on a 7-0 run to claim their first — and biggest — lead of the night. A 6-1 run tied the set at 8, before the Crusaders got back to a five-point cushion at 15-10. Even though the Rangers got it back to even at 16, it was clear that they were caught off guard by the Crusaders’ sudden surge. That was exemplified when they failed to return a desperation underhand hit by the Crusaders, and at the end of the set when two consecutive hits out of bounds gave the Crusaders the win.

“The philosophy all season long has been to come out, be competitive, and have fun playing volleyball,” Lapierre said. “I think nerves got to them in the first two sets. After that, I said, ‘Ladies, you don’t have anything to lose here. Go out and enjoy playing the game. Look at the crowd. Look at the fans that are here.’”

The Crusaders rode that momentum into the fourth set, leading by as much as three at 11-8 and holding a lead as late as 17-15 before the Rangers went on a 5-0 run to take a lead they would not relinquish and end the Crusaders’ season.

For the Crusaders, Jamie Debreceni had five digs, three kills, two aces, and two blocks; Taylor White had three digs and two kills; and Samantha Whitney had three blocks and three aces. It was a light statistical night for the Crusaders, but the plays that didn’t show up on the stat sheet allowed them to get back into the match and make the Rangers sweat. The heart and hustle they showed all season allowed them to finish the regular season at 19-1, get the top seed in the district, and advance to the district semifinal for the first time in program history.

“They played with no regrets and played with everything they had,” Lapierre said. “They’re proud of what they did today, and I’m proud of them.”

The Crusaders finished the season at 20-2 in the final game for seniors Debreceni, White, Whitney, and Alex Pray.


Nov 042014
 

Jamie Debreceni played the game of her life to power the top seed Groton-Dunstable Crusaders girls’ volleyball team to a 3-1 victory over the eighth seed Norton Lancers in an MIAA Division 2 Central quarterfinal match Monday evening at G-DRHS.

Debreceni had 11 kills, six blocks, three digs, and four aces, the last of which came on match point to win the fourth set 25-23. She set up the opportunity by softly tapping the ball between two Norton attackers to break a 23-23 tie. She opted for the soft tap over a hard hit throughout the match, and did so to great success, as each time she caught the Lancers off guard, resulting in a kill or forcing a disorganized return. One time she did go for the hard hit resulted in a pivotal point that tied the set at 22. After a wipeout between two of her teammates left the ball in a precarious position, Debreceni leapt and smashed the ball inside the right sideline.

After going back and forth for much of the first set, with neither team able to garner more than a three-point lead, the Crusaders pulled away with a 6-0 run to win 25-17. The eight-point margin was the largest lead for either team over the course of the match. Debreceni’s serves were crucial, fueling a 5-0 run to turn a 10-7 deficit into a 12-10 lead with two aces.

The second set saw the Lancers get out to their most comfortable lead of the match, a five-point lead at 21-16. Once again, however, Debreceni fueled another rally with her serves, cutting the lead to 21-20 and forcing a timeout by Norton head coach Eric Grasso. The set went back and forth from there until a deflection out of play and a return into the net gave Norton the 26-24 win to even the match at one.

The Crusaders won the third set 26-24, but it didn’t look like it was going to be that close initially. The Crusaders held an 18-11 lead, but a 9-2 run by Norton tied the set at 20, causing G-D head coach Lisa Lapierre to call a timeout. The Crusaders recovered, and with the score tied at 24, a lengthy play ensued that involved three desperation saves by Norton — a dig by Kayla Sicard millimeters off the floor and two separate hits from out of bounds in front of the scorer’s table by Ashley Hill. The Crusaders eventually got that point, and Debreceni finished off the set with another ace.

“When we get to a big game like this, she always gives everything she’s got,” Lapierre said of the versatile Debreceni. “You think a middle hitter isn’t going to play the back row, but she’s digging the ball everywhere.”

Debreceni wasn’t the only Crusader with an impressive statistical night. Taylor White had 10 kills, one block, and four digs; Alex Pray had two kills and three blocks; Emily Figueroa had four blocks; and Laura Bleren had three kills, three digs, and one block.

“The overall team effort got us through,” Lapierre said. “These kids have united and gelled together, and that’s what makes the difference in the end.”

The Crusaders (19-1) will host fifth seed Westborough Wednesday night in the sectional semifinal at 7 p.m. The Crusaders and Rangers did not meet in the regular season


Oct 292014
 

The Groton-Dunstable Crusaders boys’ soccer team needed a win or a tie against the Westborough Rangers Wednesday at G-DRHS to clinch the Midland-Wachusett B Division championship and a top-four seed in the MIAA Division 1 Central tournament. They had reason to be confident, having already beaten Westborough 4-3 on the road earlier this season. But the Rangers scored two goals in the final 12 minutes to steal a 3-2 victory, as well as the league championship, and leave the tournament seedings a mystery.

Jake Pirdy found redemption after scoring an own goal early in the first half by scoring the game winner with under two minutes to play. In a 2-on-1 situation, Jameson Bradley went to Pirdy on the right wing, who got into the box and beat Crusader keeper Tyler Belanger with a grounder to the left to cue the celebration for the Westborough players and their fans.

“(Pirdy) split in between two defenders,” G-D head coach Sean Wisbey said.

“I said to my guys, ‘You’ve got to keep yourselves in front of (Pirdy and Bradley).’ When you’ve got six guys defending the last four minutes trying to keep the game tied, and you fail to do it, you don’t deserve to win.”

Pirdy’s own goal came in the fifth minute when Dean Tornaritis fired a shot that ricocheted off Westborough keeper Griffin Barry (nine saves) and back in off Pirdy.

The Rangers responded just two minutes later when Bradley scored his first of two goals in similar fashion. An initial shot was deflected in the box by a Crusader defender, but the rebound came right to Bradley, enabling him to bury it top shelf.

The Crusaders took the lead back in the 14th minute by navigating some choppy waters. Swarmed by Westborough defenders, Matt Straw found an opening to spring Mitch Wheeler, allowing him to get a dribbler past Barry to make it 2-1.

The Rangers pulled even again in the 69th minute in controversial fashion.

A corner kick led to lots of contact in the box by both teams, but the referees awarded a penalty kick to Westborough, despite the protests of the Crusaders. Bradley did the honors, and fired it into the upper right corner of the net.

“I thought we had control through the middle of the match,” Wisbey said.

“In the last twenty minutes, (Westborough) knew they had to win the game to win the league.”

Wisbey had high praise for Bradley, calling him Westborough’s best player and one of the best in the league.

With the Crusaders and Rangers finishing the season with identical 12-4-2 records, they will likely enter the sectional tournament as the no. 4 and 5 seeds. Wisbey knows that with 11 teams likely qualifying for sectionals, they would meet again next week in the quarterfinals. Which team gets home-field advantage for that game will be up to a coin flip.

“I have to look at the silver lining,” Wisbey said. “We didn’t get it today, but maybe it’s meant to be in the playoffs.”


Oct 262014
 

Yeah, the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders are an all-blonde team.   Whatsittoya?Sam Feeley

Yeah, the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders are an all-blonde soccer team. Whats it to ya?

Both the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders boys’ and girls’ soccer teams won their Senior Night games against the North Middlesex Patriots earlier this week with very different styles and strategies.

Girls G-D 3, North Middlesex 1

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Lady Crusaders came back from giving up an early goal to score three unanswered in the first half and hold on for the 3-1 victory.

Just 2:30 into the game, the Patriots capitalized on their only corner of the game, as Annika Jurgilewicz headed in a bouncing ball after the Crusaders failed to clear it.

But as the first half progressed, the Crusaders found their stride, and finally got the equalizer in the 19th minute as Ariana Lacombe passed to Sydney Volpe on the right wing in the box, who buried it for the score.

“That was a good play on their part,” new G-D head coach Charlie Voracer said of the North Middlesex goal. “But we weren’t too fazed. We responded relatively quickly.”

Just five minutes later, a North Middlesex defender whiffed on clearing an errant ball, leading to a one-on-one between Lacombe and North Middlesex goalie Katherine King. Before she could take a shot, she was tripped up in the box, leading to a penalty shot. Lacombe aced it, going to King’s right to give the Crusaders a lead that they would not relinquish.

Nicole Georges scored an insurance goal in the 36th minute, her first of the season, with Danielle Johnson getting the assist. Johnson’s cross bounced off a North Middlesex defender in front, and Georges was there for the putback.

The Crusaders outshot the Patriots 22-10, a similar result to their game against Marlborough a week earlier, but that game ended in a 0-0 tie. This time, however, the offense responded backed up the defense’s play.

“The defense doesn’t often get accolades, but (Marianna) Murphy and (Brianna) Considine played well back there,” Voracer said. “They’re pretty tough, and they’re very good soccer players.”

The Crusaders (6-4-2, 3-2-2 Mid-Wach B) have had an up-and-down season, with the forced dismissal of former head coach Steve Naboicheck being a big part of that. Needless to say, getting a win on Senior Night was a big boost of confidence going down the home stretch. They can qualify for the MIAA tournament with at least a win and a tie in their final five games.

Boys G-D 11, North Middlesex 0

The Crusaders boys’ soccer team has a tradition of dyeing their hair blonde once they qualify for the MIAA tournament. So the performance they put on could be described as a “blonde bombshell” – an 11-0 skunking of North Middlesex.

Thirteen Crusader players had at least one goal or assist. Although it was Senior Night, it was underclassmen who paced the offense. Junior Matt Krikorian, who has been on fire all season, leading the team in goals, had a hat trick. Sophomore Dean Tornaritis chipped in two goals and two assists, and junior Mitch Wheeler added a goal and an assist.

Three senior reserves factored in the first four Crusader goals. Pedro Devens got the assist on Krikorian’s first goal in the second minute. Keenan Kimmeto, who looked like Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli with his blonde Mohawk, scored in the 10th minute, making two touches to get free of his defender before beating the goalie short side. Four minutes later, Evan Lexo got the ball past the diving North Middlesex goalie and tapped it in to make the score 3-0. Devens would wrap up the first-half scoring in the 27th minute.

“I was pleased that I got to start all my seniors,” Crusader head coach Sean Wisbey said. “It was nice to spread the wealth a little bit and give everybody an opportunity.”

The Patriots, a young team with a first-year head coach, came into the game with tired legs, having played Sunday night at Quabbin and against Gardner on Monday.

“Three games in three days is way too much for any team,” Wisbey said. “Tonight’s result was reflective of that… it’s kind of an expected result.”

Crusader Goalkeeper Tyler Belanger had a night that may never be replicated in the history of organized soccer. He performed an excellent rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on his electric guitar before the game, then made two saves before being pulled for Chris Werner, and finished the night playing midfield and registering an assist on the final goal of the game.

The Crusaders (12-3-1, 8-0 Mid-Wach B) were scheduled to travel to Hudson Thursday, but the game was postponed due to weather. If the Crusaders win their game, they will clinch at least a share of the Mid-Wach B championship.

“We’d really like to win these last two games to position ourselves in the top four (of the MIAA Division 1 Central standings),” Wisbey said.


Oct 192014
 

FITCHBURG — The Groton-Dunstable Crusaders were blown out of the water Friday night by the Fitchburg Red Raiders in a 46-0 shellacking at Crocker Field.

Things looked bleak for the Crusaders right from the opening drive as a high snap on a 3rd & 7 play was recovered by Fitchburg’s Bruce Johnson. That set up the Red Raiders on the G-D 39 yard line. Driving down field, Darius Flowers (8-for-12, 108 yards) threw his first of three touchdown passes, a 10-yard strike to Nick Myles (five receptions, 62 yards) to put the Red Raiders up 7-0 with 6:50 to play in the first quarter.

Everything that could go wrong, did, for the Crusaders. Countless missed tackles, five botched snaps, two fumbles, and an interception led to the Red Raiders outgaining them, 287-14. The Red Raiders could have had more yardage, but they were afforded short fields thanks to three G-D turnovers and great special teams play, including an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown by Flowers in the second quarter and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown by Andrew Lara in the third. Lara caught the punt a split second after it left Eric Yanchenko’s foot and ran it in untouched.

“We didn’t show up,” G-D head coach Derek Asadoorian said. “Fitchburg played pretty well, and we helped them out. It was pretty ugly.”

Even when the Crusaders were in a position to make a stop and get the ball back, they could not hold up. For example, late in the second quarter, an interception by Johnson set up the Red Raiders at the G-D 20. On 4th & 17, Flowers hooked up with Manny Payton for a 17-yard touchdown pass, with two Crusaders defenders blanketing him.

The Red Raiders wrapped up their first-half scoring with a safety by Lara to go into halftime up 27-0.

The Crusaders tried to muster some momentum with an onside kick to start play, but it went out of bounds and gave the Raiders excellent field position again, this time at their own 44-yard line. That would lead to a Flowers 7-yard touchdown pass to Payton.

“We’ve had a lot of adversity,” Asadoorian said. “We’re lacking some leadership. We’re trying to find out identity. It hasn’t been easy with two tough games the past two weeks … we couldn’t pull them out, but it was nice to see that we battled, and tonight we didn’t have it. Hopefully we can get back to work and get better for next week.”

The Crusaders’ 2014 campaign has seen a promising 2-0 start give way to four straight losses. A win would have all but clinched a spot in the MIAA Division 4 Central playoffs, as they would have gotten bonus points for defeating a Division 2 team in Fitchburg (2-4). Now they must win next Friday at homecoming against Westborough in order to have a shot at qualifying.

“We just have to play our game and execute,” Asadoorian said when asked what it would take to beat Westborough. “We have to rally around each other. It’s a team game. We have to get a good all-around effort.”


Oct 122014
 

Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Cross Country coach Colleen Naboicheck reports that the team remains undefeated this year, racing past Marlborough 25-30 on Friday, October 10th, hosting on the Groton-Dunstable 3.1 mile course.

She wrote in an email that, “This was a tough race because we ran without our captain and 2nd place runner, Emily McAuliffe. Freshman Emily Willson has earned her fourth 1st place finish. We race our final dual meet on October 20th against Westborough where we hope to finish our season undefeated.”

Results

Emily WillsonG-D20:06
Jillian CaiazziM21:10
Erin GuignoM22:00
Sarah MullinsG-D22:21
Samantha FerraroG-D22:28
Meagan OdellG-D22:29
Amanda VilenskyM23:23
Maria StefanovaM23:26
Kate NashG-D22:27
Emily DicksonM23:49

Oct 122014
 

Matt Tornaritis had a goal and an assist as the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders nailed a second straight 3-0 victory Thursday, this time over the Quabbin Panthers at G-DRHS.

It was also the second straight game for the Crusaders that was scoreless at halftime. Tornaritis opened the scoring in the 49th minute as he hit a free kick pas the Panther wall and into the lower corner, beating Quabbin goalie Garrett Maggio. Mitch Wheeler scored from close range off a feed from Tornaritis five minutes later. Matt Krikorian rounded out the scoring in the 67th minute as he took a pass from Eric Niemoller and blasted it in near post.

It was the third straight shutout victory for the Crusaders, including Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Nashoba and last Saturday’s 1-0 decision over Dracut.

The Crusaders controlled the offensive tempo throughout the game, outshooting Quabbin 21-2. They also had five corner kicks compared to just two for the Panthers (2-7-3, 1-5 Mid-Wach B), and committed fewer fouls (9-4).

Luke Costello, Tyler Potras, Gabe Dingle, and Matt Straw also played well in the win for the Crusaders, (9-3-1, 6-0 Mid-Wach B) who clinched a spot in the MIAA Division 1 Central tournament. They will travel to Marlboro Tuesday night at 7 p.m.


Oct 082014
 

A fluke goal early in the second half opened the floodgates for the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders boy’s soccer team — they came away with a 3-0 victory over the Nashoba Chieftains Tuesday evening at G-DRHS.

Coming into Tuesday’s game, the Chieftains stood at 1-5-2, but had not allowed more than two goals in a game. And after a scoreless, evenly-matched first half, it looked like the trend would continue.

“(Nashoba is} well coached,” G-D head coach Sean Wisbey said. “They didn’t have the offensive power that they’ve had in the past couple of years, but they still play good soccer.”

But the Crusaders got on the board in the 44th minute. Eric Niemoller lofted the ball towards the net, and the Nashoba goalie went up to haul it in, but didn’t secure it properly. It slipped through his hands and into the net.

“That’s something that will deflate a team,” Wisbey said. “I felt for him.”

Eighty-nine seconds later, Matt Straw took a feed from Gabe Dingle and put a shot off the underside of the crossbar and into the net to put the Crusaders up 2-0. They put the icing on the cake in the 53rd minute when Dingle took a throw in from Tyler Poitras on the left side and delivered a cross to Dean Tornaritis, who headed it home.

“I knew it was going to be a game that was going to go into the second half competitively,” Wisbey said. “They didn’t start out well in the second half. We knew we had to come out and score goals early in the second half to get the advantage.”

With starting goalie Chris Buzan out for another week with an injury and backup Nick Resca out for the season, the Crusaders were forced to put midfielder Tyler Belanger in the gray jersey. He turned in an outstanding performance, making six saves, five in the first half, en route to his second straight clean sheet.

“We’re starting to play better team defense,” Wisbey said. “Thing are slowly starting to come together defensively. When you play big teams like Algonquin and Shrewsbury, you can’t give up goals. They’re going to be tight games.”

The Crusaders have been treading water nicely with injuries, and with most of those players coming back in the next couple of weeks, including Buzan and Pat Keating, that can only mean good things for the Crusaders as they make a run for the state tournament.

“I’ve got five guys sidelined right now,” Wisbey said. “We’re starting to become a healthy team again… We know we have the offense to score goals… I’m pleased to be where we are.”

The Crusaders (8-3-1, 5-0-0 Mid-Wach B) improved to 4-0 at home. They outshot Nashoba 20-9, had all seven corner kicks in the game, and committed just five fouls to Nashoba’s 10. They can clinch a postseason berth with a win or tie Thursday at home against Quabbin at 4 p.m.


Sep 282014
 

It took them over an hour to get on the scoreboard, but the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders boys’ soccer team eventually validated their dominating effort with a 2-1 victory over the Hudson Hawks at G-DRHS Thursday.

The Crusaders dominated the stat sheet, with more shots (21-7), fewer fouls (7-10), and vastly fewer offside calls, while keeping the ball in the Hudson half of the field for the majority of the game. But the Hawks got on the scoreboard first in the 12th minute when Joao Mendes headed the ball in the net off a corner kick from the opposite side.

“This was an important game for us today,” G-D head coach Sean Wisbey said. “We really wanted to win this game so we would be 5-0 (in league play). I was pleased to get the win … I thought we played very flat in the first half. I thought Hudson’s intensity was better. They won the 50-50 balls.”

After the offensive frustration continued into the second half, the Crusaders pulled even in the 64th minute as Matt Krikorian flicked the ball over Hudson goalie Ryan Lyman’s diving attempt. Eleven minutes later, Wheeler sprang Krikorian free down the right sideline, and Krikorian beat Lyman one-on-one for the game-winner.

“I’m encouraged that these guys didn’t give up in the second half,” Wisbey added. “They kept going at it … You have to understand you’re going to have highs and lows. (The North Middlesex game) might have brought our level of play down a little bit today.”

The Hawks (4-4-1, 2-2-1 Mid-Wach B) mustered one last rush toward the goal in the final minutes, but senior goalie Chris Buzan made two crucial saves, one on a bullet right into his arms and another on a leaping deflection. A third attempt sailed wide of goal, and the final whistle blew immediately after.

“It wasn’t our best performance of the season,” Wisbey said. He may be right — four of the Crusaders’ six wins have been by at least two goals, including scores of 6-1 against Tyngsborough, 6-2 against Marlborough, and 8-2 against North Middlesex.

The Crusaders (6-1, 5-0 Mid-Wach B) will be on the road against defending Division 4 state champion Sutton Saturday morning at 11 a.m. On Tuesday, they’ll travel to Algonquin for a game against the Tomahawks, whom Wisbey regards as the best team in Central Massachusetts.

“We’ve got some good tests coming up for us,” Wisbey said. “Overall, I’m happy with where we are.”