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Scoring, and setting up goals, has been a fun exercise for Cardinal Spellman senior forwards Melvin Alves and Alex Kuzmich this fall.

“We like to set each other up for goals,” Kuzmich said. “I like saying I assisted Melvin, and Melvin likes saying he assisted me, and we try to get hat tricks.”

In a 13-0-3 start for the Cardinals, the pair has been prolific: Kuzmich has 28 goals and 13 assists, and Alves has tallied 21 goals and 10 assists. The duo has contributed goals or assists in 70 of the Cardinals’ 78 goals scored this season, leading Spellman to the Catholic Central League title and fifth place in the Globe’s Division 3 power rankings.


Cardinal Spellman coach Michael Gerrish said Alves and Kuzmich aren’t like many forwards he has seen that aim to blast the ball past the goalkeeper.

“Melvin and Alex can absolutely do that, and they’ve done it a number of times, but they also know when to use finesse and touch,” Gerrish said.

“That’s where they’re so dangerous. They’ll do what’s necessary to score. They’ll know when they have to make the extra move, use touch to go over the top of the keeper, put it in the corner, or the time where you just let loose.”

Although their scoring prowess may suggest Alves and Kuzmich have been playing together for a while, they met during tryouts this summer.

Kuzmich, 17, transferred to Cardinal Spellman from Whitman-Hanson last year. As a member of the New England Revolution Academy his freshman year, he was not allowed to play high school soccer. But he played for W-H during his sophomore year after leaving the Revs to return to his former club, NEFC.

It was his dream to attend the Brockton school, which is a stone’s throw away from his hometown of Abington. So he transferred and joined Cardinals’ soccer team to play with a handful of players he grew up playing alongside.


Alves, a 17-year-old Brockton native who has played on Spellman’s varsity team since his freshman year, chose to sit out of his junior season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But he was eager to come back to the team this season after hearing about Kuzmich.

Once they met and began practicing, they just clicked.

“We understood each other,” Kuzmich said. “We understand each other’s movement and what we’re going to do when we get the ball. Honestly, I’m looking for Melvin a lot when I get the ball because I just know where he’s going to be.”

Alves shares a similar sentiment.

“I can’t explain it,” Alves said. “We’re just that dynamic duo that you don’t usually see in high school. I really appreciate all that he’s done for me with assists and all of that.”

Gerrish said Alves, who “always had a great touch and good skills,” has really developed into a dominant attacking force since his sophomore year.

“He was one of our better players as a sophomore a couple of years ago,” Gerrish said. “He’s outstanding. He has grown so much since I had seen him as a sophomore just in size, strength, and quickness.”

The 5-foot-8 forward said his best attribute is his vision on the field, and Kuzmich said he’s a hard worker that puts the team before himself. Both credit their success to how well the team, which has only allowed seven goals all season, has played together.


Alves, Kuzmich, and Gerrish aim to win the Catholic Central League Cup, and make a deep run in the D3 tournament. The Cardinals will host Bishop Feehan in Wednesday’s Cup final at 5 after Monday’s 11-0 semifinal win Bishop Fenwick.

Senior outside back Nick Crociati expects opponents in the postseason to do everything they can to stop Spellman’s attacking duo, but he doesn’t think teams will be able to prevent Alves and Kuzmich from scoring.

“In other games past, it really hasn’t done much,” Crociati said. “They play off of each other, so it’s hard to cover both of them at the same time.”

Alves and Kuzmich both plan to play college soccer, but have not finalized their choices.

“We understood each other. We understand each other’s movement and what we’re going to do when we get the ball. Honestly, I’m looking for Melvin a lot when I get the ball because I just know where he’s going to be.” ALEX KUZMICH (left), on playing with Melvin Alves (right)
“We understood each other. We understand each other’s movement and what we’re going to do when we get the ball. Honestly, I’m looking for Melvin a lot when I get the ball because I just know where he’s going to be.” ALEX KUZMICH (left), on playing with Melvin Alves (right) Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Corner kicks

▪ Acton-Boxborough (8-2-4) captured the Dual County League Thorpe Division title after defeating Lincoln-Sudbury (1-0) on Tuesday and Waltham (1-0) on Thursday. It’s the Colonial’s first DCL title in four years in a league typically dominated by the Warriors and Concord-Carlisle . . . Medford (11-0-4) stayed undefeated with three wins, including a nonconference victory over a strong Beverly squad, and captured the Greater Boston League title . . . Acton-Boxborough and Medford will square off Monday in a nonleague match . . . After starting the season 0-2, Milford has gone 11-1-3 after Monday’s 1-1 tie against visiting Franklin in a battle for first place in the Hockomock Kelley-Rex Division. The Scarlet Knights, who lost the 2019 Division 2 state title game to Winchester, went undefeated during the abbreviated 2020 season. They graduated All-American Leo Coelho but have not missed a beat.


▪ As we enter the final week of the regular season, here are the undefeated teams left in Eastern Mass: Nauset, Arlington, Newton North, Needham, Hingham, Newburyport, Masconomet, Medford, Cardinal Spellman, Norwell, Rockland, and Brockton.

Games to watch

Tuesday, No. 7 Framingham vs. No 4. Needham, 7 p.m. — A premier crossover battle in the Bay State Conference between two teams that have resided in the Globe’s Top 10 since the preseason. Both teams rely on stingy defenses, having allowed just eight goals all season. This is the first and only meeting.

Wednesday, Catholic Central Cup Championship, TBA The winners of Monday’s semifinal matchups between Cardinal Spellman/Bishop Fenwick and Bishop Feehan/Austin Prep will face off in the championship game. Feehan won last year’s edition, but Spellman is the favorite after a 12-0-3 regular season.

Thursday, No. 1 Nauset at No. 17 Pembroke, 5 p.m. — The top-ranked and undefeated Warriors (13-0-2) face their toughest test of the season when they travel to Pembroke for a nonleague showdown. The Titans (12-2-1) have won 10 straight games in the Patriot League, outscoring opponents 34-9 in the process.

Friday, Dual County League Championships, TBA — The DCL will crown a pair of champions during the postseason tournament that starts Wednesday with semifinal matches. Acton-Boxborough is the favorite from the Thorpe Divison, but perennial powers Concord-Carlisle and Lincoln-Sudbury are contenders. Bedford and Wayland are the favorites from the Foley Division and Cambridge is testy.


Saturday, No. 10 Brockton at No. 5 Hingham, 1 p.m. These two undefeated teams join No. 8 BC High for a trio of matches between Top 10 teams and Division 1 powers. Brockton faces BC High on Tuesday before the Harbormen host the Eagles on Wednesday. That will set the stage for Saturday’s showdown in Hingham. Will they both enter the match still undefeated?

Correspondent Matt Doherty contributed to this story.

Christoper Williams can be reached at christopher.williams@globe.com.