HAMPDEN — All through the playoffs, the Cheverus High boys’ soccer team had sent out tweets with a prophetic message.

Hash-tag: “WhyNotUs?”

Indeed. The Stags completed their improbable run Saturday by winning the Class A state championship with a 2-1 win over Lewiston.

Cheverus, the No. 7 seed in the West, got goals from Andrei Vile and Brady Levesque, and spectacular goalkeeping from Jacob Tomkinson, including a saved penalty kick.

Cheverus (11-4-4) won its fifth straight playoff game. Lewiston (16-1-1) was the No. 1 seed in the East.

“I told my kids before the playoffs to play good defense and capitalize on opportunities and counters, and we can beat anybody,” Cheverus Coach Colin Minte said. “That’s exactly what we’ve done.”


The Stags withstood a furious Lewiston offense, especially in the first half when the Blue Devils owned a 15-5 advantage in shots.

Cheverus got the counter it wanted at 35:05 of the first half. Will Peterson lobbed in a ball. Vile ran to it, a step before a defender, and beat the onrushing goalie inside the far corner for a 1-0 halftime lead.

“I knew I couldn’t head it in so I thought I might as well go for the Hail Mary shot, and it went perfectly,” Vile said. “They were definitely controlling that first half. The whole momentum changed.”

And that’s what Lewiston feared.

“You can’t give a team that has had a run like that any space or any momentum,” Blue Devils Coach Michael McGraw said.

Cheverus got another counter in the second half when Alexander Nason fed Levesque, a familiar teammate who buried his shot for a 2-0 lead at 8:33.


“When I played on the JV team, Alex was my go-to guy,” Levesque said. “It’s unreal to have it happen here, to mean something in the state final game.”

Lewiston needed a break and appeared to get one when a handball was called in the Stags’ box, awarding the Blue Devils a penalty kick at 9:42.

But Abdi Shariff-Hassan shot to Tomkinson’s left, where he dove and smothered the ball.

“He kicked it the same way I guessed and I just dropped on it,” said Tomkinson, who quickly changed the subject, talking about his teammates, especially the defenders – Peterson, Vile, Jonathan Bernier and John Nappi.

They did play strong defense, ganging up on Lewiston’s dangerous forwards. But Tomkinson still needed to make 17 saves. His best grab came early when he leaped, arms outstretched, and stopped a crossing pass as Shariff-Hassan was about to kick it in.

“What can you say about Tomkinson?” Minte said. “Absolutely unbelievable. He’s the reason we’re here. There’s no denying that.”


Lewiston made it interesting when Abdulkarim Abdulle scored at 14:39.

The Blue Devils kept at it. Tomkinson stopped a point-blank header, then swallowed up a crossing pass.

Cheverus then tightened its defense, negating the Blue Devils’ speed. In the closing minutes the Stags began controlling the ball more, with players like Mackenzie Hoglund, Ben Peterson, Derek Hammond and Gerry Wagner keeping possession.

“We didn’t want to risk packing it in,” Levesque said. “We didn’t want it anywhere near our net.”

Soon all the Stags swarmed in front of the net, celebrating a championship that weeks ago, only they could imagine.

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