A blast by Watertown's Vardan Yeghiyan into the top corner of the goal ended any hope for Newburyport in the boys' soccer section semifinal and capped a hat trick for the junior striker Saturday afternoon at Lynn's Manning Field.
The No. 6 seed Raiders' scored an historic victory, said Watertown coach Frank Cacia, as Watertown moved onto the MIAA North Section Div. 3 final.
"At this stage it is whatever team wants it most. We've trained hard during the season, the boys worked their butts off in the off season," Cacia said. "I still believe we haven't peaked as a team. I still think we can get better in finishing the opportunities we had, but we just made history today making it to the finals."
No. 10 seed Newburyport (11-7-2) pressured the Raiders for much of the first half, but Watertown got on the board when Yeghiyan scored on a counter attack and booted the ball past Clippers' goalie Matthew Canning with 18 minutes left.
The Raiders (13-2-6) grabbed a 2-0 lead after the Clippers fouled a Watertown player in the box and referees gave the Raiders a penalty kick with 12 minutes left in the half. Yeghiyan stepped up and converted his second goal of the game.
In the second half, Watertown provided most of the pressure.
"I just thought they weren't really getting into a rhythm as a team, Newburyport wasn't, so I thought we should slow the ball down a bit and knock it around and use our skill to our advantage," Cacia said. "We're just a better second half team. We make adjustments and these guys performed amazingly today."
The final goal came from around 30 yards out as Yeghiyan struck a laser of a shot from about 30 yards out into the far upper corner of the Newburyport goal with 12 minutes left in the game.
Cacia said his striker played great, but he is not the only one who deserves credit for the Raiders' victory.
"(He was) Amazing. He's a powerful forward, big body, but it is a complete team effort, not one person, and that's what it's going to take," Cacia said.
The Raiders play No. 8 seed Weston (12-4-3) in the North Section final Monday at 3 p.m. at Manning Field in Lynn.