Previous Alumni Games
2009 Alumni Game
28 November 2009
The ball enters the back of the net, and Ashland falls to Hopkinton for the second time.
With expanded rosters in advance of the Third Annual Ashland vs. Hopkinton Alumni Game, and filled bleacher seats, the 2009 match promised to deliver excitement and worthy competition.
Instead of the “under the lights” –frigid games that had preceded the third, this year the day was shifted to Saturday, with the warmth of the early afternoon sun.
Ashland boasted the oldest alumnus, Neil MacLennan, of the class of 1989, while Hopkinton’s were over a decade younger, six graduates of the class of 2003. The Clockers were supported by a core of 2008 and 2005 players, while the Hillers drew principally from 2006 and 2003.
As play commenced, neither side was able to register a clear advantage. Although, any confusion tied to having a variety of ages was partially tempered by each town’s participation in the men’s open summer league.
Midway through the first half, Ashland’s Tim Walsh was stripped of the ball at midfield following a poor pass by Jared Alves, which led to a daring strike by the responsible Hopkinton player. The shot, denied by Ashland’s MacLennan, was fumbled to permit a successful rebound by an unmarked Hopkinton striker.
Hopkinton struck again just before the half, with a determined drive down the left touchline to a well-timed pass across the goal. A miscommunication between Ashland’s Daly and Bell, allowed the Hopkinton player to direct the ball past MacLennan to the far post.
Even closer to the whistle, Ashland’s Jonathan Alves sent a cross, punched away by the Hopkinton keeper, which upon landing at the feet of Ashland’s Taksir who propelled it into the goal.
With the momentum tied to the late goal, Ashland pressed against Hopkinton from the start of the second half. Despite the occasional threatening counterattacks by the Hillers, Ashland was able to level the score with a piercing through ball by MacLennan, now a forward, to Ashland’s DeWolfe who finished the resulting one-on-one opportunity against Hopkinton’s keeper.
Seeing the chance to avenge the bitter 4-1 defeat of the 2008 match, Ashland continued to threaten, but to no avail. A heartbreak in the closing minutes saw Hopkinton’s Bernard send a cross reminiscent of their second, to let an unmarked striker score the winning goal.
As the alumni posed for their team pictures, a new tradition was started, with both coming together for a combined show of strength.
2008 Alumni Game
28 November 2008, 6:30pm
Result: Ashland 1 - 4 Hopkinton
Ashland's Eric Mammen scored first, but Hopkinton's Mike Bernard was quick to respond only minutes later. Despite relatively even play for the remainder of the match, Hopkinton exploited defensive holes to score another three goals.
28' Eric Mammen | Ashland
32' Mike Bernard | Hopkinton
39' Dominic Picciuto | Hopkinton
53' Mike Nicol | Hopkinton
85' Dominic Picciuto | Hopkinton
2007 Alumni Game
23 November 2007
Result: Ashland 1 - 1 Hopkinton
Hopkinton tallied the first goal against Ashland's keeper Nick Nybo late in the second half to break the deadlock. After tasting victory for a few minutes, Ashland ruined the Hiller's hopes with a last second goal in stoppage time, sending one past Pat Story.
85' Mike Nicol | Hopkinton
90+ Justin Hart | Ashland