Medford Soccer Team Loses in Controversial Playoff Game

Medford Athletic Director Robert Maloney has said a fifth-year student was added to the team roster by "adult clerical error"

Medford High School's varsity boys soccer team took the field Saturday night amid a legal battle over its team roster.

Although they lost, the team was lucky to have even played in the playoff game.

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAC) disqualified Medford from the playoffs and told them they had to forfeit the season after learning the team had played with an ineligible player all season.

Medford appealed to the MIAC, which denied the appeal Friday.

But the school also filed a lawsuit, and, in a major turn of events, a judge granted a temporary restraining order Friday evening. As a result, the Medford team was allowed to play in Saturday's game against Lincoln-Sudbury.

Prior to the game, fans were relieved and excited that their team was back on the field.

"The city and the administration saw that it was an injustice to the kids," George Scarpelli, whose son is Medford's goalie, said. 

"These boys worked very, very hard to get where they are today. Very, very hard. And they deserve to be here," another fan said Saturday.

One Medford student said he was happy his school made it to the playoffs because they don't often make it that far.

"I'm pumped because that's our school. I want them to win."

After the team's 2-1 loss, some Medford parents said they think the off-field back and forth might have played a role on the field.

"I think that that ref gave them every opportunity to win," Lisa Scire, a Medford parent, said. "They just should have not let them play if they were going to take it from these kids. They worked really hard."

Another fan agreed, but said it was the school's administration that let the kids down.

"The administration fumbled the ball, and I believe if that didn't happen, this wouldn't have occurred."

Medford Athletic Director Robert Maloney has said a fifth-year student was added to the team roster by "adult clerical error." He added that the players did nothing wrong and deserved to play in the playoffs.

If the team had won, the school's attorneys would have returned to court Monday to ask the judge to allow the team to continue to play.

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