Winchester rallies past Beverly 2-1 in PKs

Winchester mob GK Kyle Ettenhofer after the Sachems win

Kaj Avola (14) and Diego Diaz (7)

(Beverly MA) Winchester will play some more soccer but there were times this afternoon when it wasn’t a certainty.

The #6 Sachems (12-3-5) needed a goal in regulation and a stop in the PK shootout to make it happen……and they got what they needed.

#3 Beverly (12-4-4) had their remarkable turnaround season come to an end.  The Panthers didn’t make the tournament last season.

“I am impressed with what Edgar (Beverly head coach Edgar De Leon) has done with the Beverly program in a small amount of time,” said Winchester coach Vinnie Musto afterwards.  “Beverly has nothing to be ashamed of.”

The crowd was enthusiastic and there was plenty to enjoy.

“It was fun to be here,” said Coach De Leon post-game.  “The atmosphere was remarkable.  It hasn’t been like this in Beverly for a couple of years.”

As the game wore on through a half and then twenty-five minutes of the second half you sensed that a goal would win it, but it didn’t.

The Panthers (Northeastern Conference) broke through with 12:55 remaining in regulation.  “Sam Phillips took a shot from the right that bounced off their goalie,” recalled Coach De Leon.  “Senior Joel Platt was there to put it away.”

Winchester was in trouble, but they regrouped.

“We called a timeout after their goal,” said Coach Musto.  “We regained our composure and realized that there was enough time to come back.”

The Sachems cashed the equalizer 4+ minutes later.

“We’ve worked on building on one side and then moving it to the other side where the open space is,” said Coach Musto.  “The ball came from the right and our outside back (Dylan Ross) had the composure to finish it with a header.”

Dylan Ross celebrates

“The ball came from Ben Van Halle our junior captain,” explained Dylan post-game.  “I was just hoping I wasn’t offsides.  You never know.”

It was Dylan’s third goal of the season.  He also scored in the Sachems 4-0 win over Boston Latin Academy in the previous round.

Into overtime the game went.  Beverly had good chances in both OTs.

Jackson Erwin got in on the left in the first overtime, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.

Beverly pressured Winchester in overtime

In the second OT, Nick Braganca had his head on a corner kick, but his shot went directly to Winchester GK Kyle Ettenhofer.

In the shootout, Beverly took the advantage when GK Finn Crocker lunged to his right to stop the 4th Winchester shooter (Dylan Ross).  The future of the Sachems soccer season was now on the shoulders of first-year senior Kyle Ettenhofer.

Beverly goalie Finn Crocker stops a PK

Kyle did his part, made a save and the two teams continued alternating shots.

Kyle’s next save won it for Winchester.

“I was shaking in my boots,” recalled Kyle of his game-winning stop.  “The kicker was a lefty. I thought about going right and just went left to get it.  It is all guesswork.”

Kyle Ettenfofer stops the final Beverly PK

Onto the field poured the Winchester faithful.  The team from the Middlesex League will play again on Wednesday against Belmont at Manning Field in Lynn.

Nick Braganca (Beverly) and Will Hoffheinz (Winchester)

The pressure on teams and individuals in these shootouts is enormous.  Each participant gets a long, lonely walk from midfield to the penalty line before getting their opportunity.  The result is the classic “thrill of victory and agony of defeat.”

Winchester’s Dylan Ross experienced both sides.  He had the goal that tied the game and then in the shootout had his shot deflected by Beverly GK Finn Crocker.  “That miss in the shootout brought me back down to earth in a hurry!” exclaimed Dylan.

Coach De Leon: “This is what tournament play is all about.  Two really good teams going at each other.  I couldn’t be prouder of my boys.  They defended their hearts out.”

Coach Musto: “The shootout is an awful way for someone to go out.  Our keeper (Kyle Ettenhofer) was fantastic today.”

I’ve been told that MIAA does not stand for Missing In Action Always.  You wonder, however, when you come to a tournament game and there is no charge, no programs, and little crowd-control presence.  Fortunately, the two officials did a remarkable job of making sure that the crowd was controlled and the game, itself, went smoothly.

Beverly missed the tournament the last two seasons.

Winchester is now 7-1-2 in away games.

In 2014, Beverly lost to Winchester in PKs.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Coaches confer before the shootout

Beverly goalie Finn Crocker

Darrugh Williams surrounded by Sachems

Diego Diaz shoots

Beverly pressures in regulation

Winchester goalie Kyle Ettenhofer

Kaj Avola (14) and Diego Diaz (7)

 

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury on to D4 North semi-finals after 4-2 win over Winthrop

Grace Doherty (18) between Emma Holmes (24) and Alex Gibbons (8)

Alyssa Pettet (2 goals) defended by Jenna Dorr passes ahead to a teammate

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury started tourney play with a 4-2 D4 North quarterfinals win over Winthrop tonight.

The Indians will play Essex Tech in the semi-finals next Monday (2PM) on Whittier’s new turf field.

Junior Alyssa Pettet paced the Indians (12-1-6) with two first-half goals while her sophomore teammate MK McElaney added a goal and two assists.

Junior Maura Dorr (with over fifty career goals) added two more to her total for Winthrop.

Alyssa Pettet breaks past Julia Marcoccio (16) for a shot

Amesbury applied most of the pressure during the game, but Coach Adam Thibodeau wasn’t pleased with his team’s style of play in the early going.

“We hadn’t played for a while (eight days) and it showed in the first 10-15 minutes,” he recalled.  “We didn’t have the energy, so we relied on long balls.  We should have been passing to feet and sending players into space.”

“Passing to feet,” and “sending a player into space” kicked in for the Indians at 25:14 as Lilly O’Neill and Alyssa Pettet worked together on a nifty give-and-go.

“Lilly sent a pass between the sweeper and stopper,” recalled Alyssa, “and I just needed a step to be in on goal.”

Lily O’Neill (16) and Alex Gibbons (8)

Amesbury’s first goal was Alyssa’s 20th.

Nine minutes later the Holy Cross commit had her 21st off MK McElaney’s corner kick.

“MK and I have done a good job of connecting on CK’s,” said Alyssa.  “She places them perfectly.”

“It was a great kick by MK,” added Coach Thibodeau.  “She’s been working on it all year.”

Three minutes later the Vikings (11-9) came very close to cutting into Amesbury’s 2-0 lead.

However, senior Ashlee Porcaro (Cape Ann League All-Star) saved the day for the Indians.

On the near-goal, defender Meg McElaney, goalie Alli Napoli, and prolific scorer Maura Dorr became entwined. The ball got behind them and was heading for the goal. Suddenly, out of nowhere came Ashlee to clear the ball away at the last second.

Afterwards, Ashlee (14 in the picture above) downplayed her part: “I was just at the right spot at the right time.  Things happen.  We practice for mistakes like that.”

Gabby Smyth (17) and Miya Grein (2)

“That non-goal would certainly have been nice,” said Winthrop coach Tracey Martucci.  “It would have changed the tempo.”

But the goal didn’t happen.

“Ashlee made a huge play,” added Coach Thibodeau.  “She recognized the hole there and played it perfectly.”

Recently returned sophomore Avery Hallinan increased Amesbury’s lead to 3-0 seven minutes into the second half.  MK’s lead pass to space was all that speedy Avery needed to break free and score.

“Avery has been out since Columbus Day when she rolled her ankle,” said Coach Thibodeau.  “It was great to have her back.”

Maura Dorr was carefully marked by Amesbury throughout the game, but she found a chance to possess the ball and face the goal with thirteen minutes left and capitalized.

Winthrop, however, could not narrow the two-goal deficit the rest of the way.

MK McElaney returns a rebound for Amesbury’s 4th goal

MK McElaney’s rebound bullet from straight away stretched Amesbury’s advantage to 4-1 early in the last five minutes.  MK moved up full-speed on the long rebound and two defenders turned their heads as the ball whizzed by them and into the upper center of the net.

Maura was able to pick up her 2nd goal of the game in the closing seconds after a dangerous play infraction by the Indians led to an indirect kick from very close to the Amesbury net.

“The referee called it a dangerous play which was why it wasn’t a penalty kick,” said Coach Thibodeau.  “One of our players had fallen and landed on the ball.  It was the right call.”

Avery Hallinan ahead of Stefania Spinzzola (15)

Coach Martucci: “We played well but Amesbury is a great team.  Their speed put a lot of pressure on us.”

Alyssa Pettet: “When I play striker, I move wherever I want.  When I feel we need more help on defense I move back.  We wanted to finish more opportunities today.”

Alyssa on Holy Cross: “They are at my club games and showcases.  They see me play center defense in club.  They give me pointers and encouragement.”

In nineteen games the Indians have scored thirty-two goals.  Alyssa has twenty-one of them.

Today’s four goals are the most Amesbury has scored in a game this season.  The same was true last year against Winthrop in the Indians 4-0 First Round victory.

Maura Dorr

Maura Dorr holds the all-time scoring title at Winthrop and is only a junior.  It is interesting that the school scoring record was held by Coach Martucci before assistant coach Julie Dawson broke the record.  Now it belongs to one of their current players, Maura Dorr.

Junior Julia Campbell replaced All-CAL goalie Alli Napoli in the latter part of the second half.  “We had a lead and the grass was wet,” explained Coach Thibodeau.  “I wanted to give Julia minutes.  She’s been working hard all season.”

The Vikings reached the quarterfinals when Maura scored in overtime against Mystic Valley.

Don’t ask me about the lights at Landry Stadium.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Alyssa Pettet (5) heads home her second goal

Alyssa Pettet’s second goal celebrated

Beverly Browne

Ella Marinopolous

Goalie Manuela Mejia makes a stop for Winthrop

Avery Hallinan and MK McElaney celebrate Amesbury’s 4th goal

McKenna Hallinan in the middle of two Vikings defenders

McKenna Hallinan (1) and Emma Forsyth (21)

Nora McCarey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport routs East Boston in D3 North opening round

Olivia Coletti starts the Newburyport scoring

Maddy Felts (15) and Cricket Good (11) celebrate a goal

(Newburyport MA) The Clippers (10-6-3) scored early and often in their 11-0 Preliminary Round win over East Boston on Sunday afternoon.

The #17 Jets (10-8-1) struggled all game just to get into the #16 Newburyport half of the field.

Midway through the first half an EB long ball from midfield rolled to Newburyport keeper Anneliese Truesdale and the Clippers student section “cheered.”  Why?  That was the first and only ball that Anneliese handled during the entire half!

Meanwhile, down the other end, the Clippers applied pressure, pressure, and more pressure and the goals started adding up.

East Boston goalie Julianna Bonilla made some nice saves but also left some big rebounds.

Newburyport coach Kevin Sheridan had everyone on his bench in action in the first half and used reserves for most of the second half.

Molly Webster (2 goals) and East Boston GK Julianna Bonilla battle for a rebound

East Boston coach Richard LaCara took note: “Newburyport is very, very skilled.  We appreciate everything that took place here.  It could have been a lot uglier than it was.  There was no running up the score.”

The Clippers had nine different goals scorers.

Senior Cricket Good paced the home team with two goals and an assist.

Sophomore Molly Webster also had two scores.

“Other people had good shots,” said Molly afterwards.  “The rebounds were there for me to run into.”

Vanessa Rico (6) and Isabel Kirby (13)

The goals today were Molly’s 2nd and 3rd of the season.

Senior Olivia Coletti started the scoring for NHS three minutes into the game.  Denied a minute earlier, Olivia fielded a deflected shot by Kelsey Soule and cashed an open netter.

Five minutes later one captain (Molly Elmore) was set up by another captain (Cricket Good).

Another five minutes Cricket used her strong left foot from the left side to beat GK Julianna Bonilla to the far side.

Another five minutes Maddy Felts turned a rebound into a 4-0 lead.

This was the point at which Anneliese Truesdale finally had to field a long roller from midfield.

The Clippers added three more goals in the first half to lead 7-0 at intermission.

Katie Gallagher (2 assists) readies a corner kick

“The girls played well,” said Coach Sheridan after the game.  “Everyone had a chance to play.  There was quality time for everyone in a tournament game.”

Junior Matigan DeFeo had a goal and two assists while Norah McElhinney added a goal and an assist.

Newburyport is in the Cape Ann League while East Boston plays in the Boston City League.

“Our goal is always to win the city championship,” said Coach LeCara.  “Whatever happens after that happens.”

The Jets lost in the city semi-finals.

Anna Affolter (21) and Jennifer Sanabria (12)

Tuesday the Clippers will encounter #1 seed Stoneham in the First Round.  Trust me, “night-and-day” might describe the difference in competition Newburyport will face in that one.

At one point in the second half, the Jets had twelve players on the field before Coach LaCara realized it and got the attention of the extra player.

Soccer doesn’t have a mercy rule………or do they?  I believe that the second half (?) was played with running time.  Normally the clock stops after goals.

I did some last-minute homework on Newburyport girls soccer to see when the last time was that the Clippers were in the tournament.  Didn’t happen last year but in 2017 they reached the state semi-finals.  Who did they play in the First Round on November 4th?  East Boston.  Score?  12-0.  Two years ago at Stehlin Stadium.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Cricket Good shoots for the far corner

East Boston threatens late in the game

Jets circle Liberty Palermino

Maddy Felts (15) watches her shot that turned into a goal

Molly Elmore (9) lines up a header

Molly Webster (19) and Matigan DeFeo (26) break in

Norah McElhinney (12) celebrates her goal

Olivia Coletti nearly scores early

Olivia Sullivan

Page Cole (24) dribbles by an EB defender

Sami Cavanaugh (10) sets to turn a corner kick into a goal

Sierra Leahy

Sportsmanship

 

 

 

 

 

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New Hampshire catches Villanova in the second half winning 28-20

Plenty of celebrating for New Hampshire after their big CAA win over Villanova

NH coach Ricky Santos

(Durham NH) New Hampshire looked done for at halftime…………but they weren’t.

The NH Wildcats (5-3) turned offensive and defensive in the second half and erased a 20-7 halftime deficit and recorded a satisfying 28-20 win over the Villanova Wildcats (6-3) on Saturday afternoon in Colonial Athletic Association action.

The loss was the third straight for Nova and Coach Mark Ferrante expressed that frustration postgame: “We came out and put up a zero in the second half.  We need to figure out how we can play the full four quarters.”

New Hampshire remains undefeated at home (4-0) and owning the home field factored into their second-half turnaround, according to Coach Ricky Santos. “In the first half, they (Villanova) were playing downhill on us.  Halftime wasn’t so much the X’s and O’s.  It was a matter of challenging the guys.  Villanova was playing harder than us on our field.  No one in our locker room was going to allow that to happen in the second half.”

So, back came NH in the second half with three scores and a defensive shutout to grab the W.

Daniel Smith

Nova quarterback Daniel Smith dazzled in the first half (10/18 – 189 yards).  The Wildcats junior passed for a TD (Zac Kerxton) and ran for another (1 yard) on a fourth-down leap.

Second half it was NH’s Max Brosmer’s turn to shine.  The true freshman was 10/10 totaling 132 yards and two touchdowns (both to Dylan Laube).

Max had to recover from an interception (Keeling Hunter) in the last minute of the first half that cost NH some possible points.  “Max had a turnover right before the half,” recalled Coach Santos.  “It could have gone one way or another for him after that.  He internalized it, however, and wouldn’t let it stop him in the second half.”

New Hampshire QB Max Brosmer at halftime

“I erased it from my head,” explained Max postgame.  “I made a bad throw.  I had to move on.”

Villanova QB Daniel Smith came into today’s game with twenty-one touchdown passes.  He added one to that total today.  He also came into the game with only seven interceptions over eight games.  Key stat?  NH picked him three times this afternoon.

Two of the NH interceptions (Randall Harris & Evan Horn) ended Villanova’s last two drives of the contest and both were close to the NH end zone.

Efficient use by Villanova of timeouts (an issue in an earlier loss) gave the visitors possession in a one-possession game (28-20) at their twenty with 1:49 left and no timeouts.  Daniel Smith used time-stopping sidelines passes and a long scramble to reach the New Hampshire thirty-two with twenty seconds left.  A pass attempt down the middle, however, was overthrown and defender Evan Horn intercepted and sealed the win for the home team.

Dylan Laube (20) scored twice in the second half

NH freshman back Dylan Laube twice swung out of the Wildcats backfield to beat Nova defenders deep.  In the third quarter, Dylan escaped senior Julian Williams to give NH the lead for good, 21-20. In the fourth quarter, Dylan added an insurance score.  This time it was linebacker Drew Wiley who was burned deep.

“We wanted to get Dylan matched up on a linebacker because we thought he could run by them,” explained Coach Santos.

Big plays by the offense and the defense in the game-changing second half.  Not to be overlooked, for certain, was the very important handiwork of punter Drew Sanborn in the final quarter.  Drew had a punt deflected by freshman Elijah Solomon in the first half which set up a Nova drive that ended with a TD pass to Zac Kerxton.

Twice in the tense final quarter, Drew handled one-hop snaps and delivered long boots.  (Bless the turf-field true bounces?)  “Drew did a great job fielding those snaps and getting long punts,” said Coach Santos.  “Snapper Tim Bouchard has usually been very consistent.”

Darius Pickett led the Villanova defense with nine solo tackles.

Villanova coach Mark Ferrante

New Hampshire has now won five of their last six games.

Villanova will play their next three games at home.  “We never got it going offensively in the second half,” explained Daniel Smith postgame.  “That can’t happen.  I’ve got to do a better job.”

I knew that I wasn’t covering a high school game when I stepped out of my truck at UNH about 1 ½ hours before the game started and was confronted with grills and enticing aromas!

The second quarter has been the best for Villanova all season.  They have outscored opponents 130-47 in the second period.

My thanks for Mike Murphy for arranging today’s visit for me.  The stats (pre and post-game) as well as the rosters are never taken for granted by those of us covering high school events.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Brian Espanet (80) scores in the first quarter

Carlos Washington (26) congratulated by Curtis Linton (76)

Daniel Smith sneaks for TD

David Perry postgame

Evan Gray (22)

Evan Horn (33) after end-of-game interception

Forrest Rhyne (43) tackles Evan Gray (22)

Jaaron Hayek (26) makes a leaping catch

Malik Love (1) makes a nice catch

Max Brosmer on the sidelines

Max Brosmer (16) passes to the flat

Evan Horn (33)

Riley Burns

Oleh Manzyk

Jared Nelson (46) brings heat to QB Max Brosmer

Randall Harris (24) intercepts pass for Andrew Perez (80)

Simon Bingelis (81) makes a nice catch for VU

UNH Max Oxendine

Villanova gang tackles

Villanova pressures NH punter Drew Sanborn

Villanova’s DeeWil Barlee runs

Zac Kerxton (82) catches with Randall Harris (24) nearby

 

 

 

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Undefeated Masco downs Triton 5-2

Mak Graves had a goal and two assists for the Lady Chieftains

Freshman Maggie Sturgis (1) scored twice for Masco

(Byfield MA) Masco can score goals.

This afternoon the Lady Chieftains (14-0-2) put up five of them, including four in the first half, and that was enough for a field hockey win over Triton, 5-2.

Senior captain Mak Graves paced Masco with a goal and two assists.  Teammate Maggie Sturgis added two scores for the team from Boxford.

That Masco scored was no surprise; they now have sixty-nine goals in sixteen games.

That Triton (10-4-2) scored against Masco was a big surprise. Why?  The last time the Vikings had a goal against the Chieftains was on September 11, 2015!  That shutout lasted seven games.

Triton broke a four-year scoring drought vs Masco today

Gianna Conte had a goal and an assist for the Vikings

D1 commit (UMass Lowell) Gianna Conte assisted on Triton’s first goal (first half) and tallied their second one in the second half.

Junior Brianna Hood was the Viking set up in the first half.  That goals evened things at 1-1.

The Lady Chieftains responded with three unanswered goals over a ten-minute segment.

“I was proud of the girls for fighting back after being scored on,” said Masco coach Maggie Bridgeo.  “It hasn’t happened very often.”  The LC’s had only allowed SIX goals in their previous fifteen contests.

Two of Masco’s answering goals were by freshman Maggie Sturgis.  In both instances it was sophomore Lily Conway assisting from the right.

Maggie Sturgis (1) gets a goal

“Lily did a great job of getting the ball down the wing and crossing it,” added Coach Bridgeo.

Sophomore Ava Collins pushed the Masco advantage to 4-1 with three minutes left, set up nicely by Mak Graves.

“They outplayed us, “explained Triton coach Donna Andersen afterwards.  “We were, however, much better in the second half and they didn’t do a lot of subbing.”

Gianna Conte’s goal made it a two-goal game with twenty minutes left in the second half but the home team would get no closer.

Kate Zamagni

Kate Zamagni’s score with 8:24 remaining gave Masco a 5-2 lead and more than enough separation to gain their 14th win of the season.

“Kate’s goal was probably the prettiest of them all,” said Coach Bridgeo. “It was a corner play and Kate took a straight shot.”

Coach Andersen was impressed with Masco: “They have a lot of speed and stick skills.  They are very fast and very well positioned.”

Coach Bridgeo on Triton: “Triton played an unbelievable game.  Their pressure cover defense befuddled our girls for a while.”

The Vikings entered this afternoon’s game undefeated in their last seven games.  Last loss?  To Masco (3-0) on September 23rd at Masco.  Maggie Sturgis, Cecily Paglierani, and Kate Zamagni were the goal scorers for the Lady Chieftains in that one.

Kate Zamagni (4) and Jamie Bell

The LC’s two ties have been to North Reading and Central Catholic.  There is a rematch with NR ahead on the schedule.

The Division 2 Vikings have reached post-season six straight seasons.

Masco won the D1 North last year and fell to Somerset in the state semi-finals.  The Lady Chieftains lost only two starters from that 19-2-2 team.

I have seen Mak Graves play basketball, now field hockey.  The girl has multiple game!

“She was the Cape Ann League Player-of-the-Year last year in basketball and field hockey,” said Coach Bridgeo.  “She’s a great athlete who is usually two plays ahead in everything.  She picked up a lacrosse stick and was good at it without even knowing how to play.”

Mak Graves after scoring a goal

It appears that Mak will be attending Northeastern in 2020 to continue playing field hockey.

There was a side feature to Masco’s state semi-final loss in 2018 to Somerset; the opponent had two boys on their team.  “In my opinion,” said Coach Bridgeo, “the title laws were created to make it equal for females.  It is difficult to play against two males.  There’s a big physical difference between 18-year-old boys and 18-year-old girls.  Years ago, when I was in high school, Masco had a boy on their field hockey team, and they played in a co-ed state tournament.  Maybe it’s heading in that direction.”

The stadium at Triton is very nice.  The lights were good too on an overcast afternoon.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Andrea Walker

Ava Collins (23) scores

Ava Collins and Kelly Sharkey (12)

Brianna Hood had a goal for Triton

Cecily Paglierani (15) chased by Rylee Lucia (8)

Jamie Bell surrounded by Lady Chieftains

Julia Miller (12)

Maddy Peterson breaks in as Masco coaching staff looks on

Madison Hillick

Mia Gustafson

Sarah Burd

A second goal by Maggie Sturgis (1)

Mak Graves and Jamie Bell

Masco celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Triton sweeps challenging Pentucket in CAL volleyball

Mia Berardino (13) led Triton with thirteen kills.

Katherine Quigley (11) and Arielle Cleveland (21) at the net

(West Newbury MA) What a difference a month makes!

Pentucket continues winless in their first volleyball season but their improvement was noticeable.

“Pentucket has improved considerably since the last time we saw them,” said Triton coach Bob Van Etten after tonight’s match with the Sachems. “Their middle was a lot better.  They passed better and were able to work the middle.  It was a hard-fought win for us.”

Jillian Sheehy readies to hit

The Sachems reached a season-high twenty-two points in the second game.

“Our confidence is getting better,” said Pentucket coach Lauren Bennett.  “The skill levels have improved so much.”

The final scores were; 25-16, 25-22, and 25-18.

Mia Berardino was the star of the show for the (5-11) Vikings.  The tall sophomore was able to produce a steady flow of serves and hits that gave the home team trouble.

“She (Mia) had an outstanding night,” said Coach Van Etten.  “She had a lot of kills, smart hits, and great serves.”

Mia finished with fifteen kills and four service aces.

Arielle Cleveland and Coach Lauren Bennett

“Mia is very, very talented,” said junior Macey Cowl of Pentucket.  “When she gets set up you know it’s coming and it’s coming hard.”

Despite Mia’s impressive performance, Pentucket kept things interesting in all three games.

In the first game, the Sachems rode some Triton errors and Arielle Cleveland hits to a 15-12 lead and a Vikings timeout.  After the timeout, the team from Byfield put a lengthy run together.  The Vikings won ten straight points, with sophomore Molly Kimball serving and Mia getting set up for kills, and Triton gained separation, 22-15.

The best takeaway for Pentucket would be the second game.  The Sachems trailed early, 6-2 and 10-6 before rallying on Triton miscues and Arielle’s serves to tie things at 16-16.  Later a serve by senior Caitlin Kutcher hit the net and dropped in and the game was tied 22-22.  But along came Mia Berardino.  Three straight times she was beautifully set up for kills and Triton escaped 25-22.

Molly Kimball serves

“I give so much credit to our setters,” said Mia afterwards.  “They did such a great job putting the ball on the net so that we could hit it down.”

The Sachems never led in the final game, but the deficit was small (16-15) late in that game.  The biggest cheer from the Pentucket faithful was after sophomore Nicole Zahornasky was able to block one of Mia’s kill attempts and have the rebound drop in for a Sachems point.

Coach Van Etten gave special credit to Molly Kimball: “We were playing a 6-2, not a 5-1, so Molly was only getting half the touches.  For her to get nineteen assists under those conditions was huge.”

Jillian Sheehy: “We had some people step up tonight.  We could have won.  This was one of our best games.”

Nicole Zahornasky checks out

Macey Cowl: “Our serves were good.  We had some really nice rallies.  We’re getting there.”

The Vikings have now won two straight.

“We have more wins than we had last year already,” said Mia.  Mia was a Cape Ann League All-Star last year.

Arielle Cleveland: “Volleyball is helpful for basketball.  It improves my anticipation and my jumping.  I enjoy the game a lot.  We’re progressively getting better.  I have been playing AAU basketball on a team that has been winning a lot of games.”

Mia Berardino: “A lot of things worked tonight.  It was a loud crowd, but we stay focused.”

Coach Bennett: “I could see the disappointment in the girls’ faces afterwards and in some ways I liked that.  Even though this was our best game, the girls still want more.”

The quest for that elusive W will continue for Pentucket.  The rematch ahead with Georgetown might be the place for it to happen.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Ava Ford (23)

Caitlin Kutcher

Jillian Sheehy

Katherine Quigley serves

Hit in the middle

Lena Freeman (26) and Molly Kimball (8) at the net

Lena Freeman (26) blocks Nicole Zaharnasky

Macey Cowl (18) blocks

Mia Berardino hits and Macey Cowl tries to block

Mia Berardino

Molly Kimball had nineteen assists

Paige Volpone

Waiting for a serve

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport keeps ALS Cup with 3-0 win over Pentucket

Clippers celebrate a 3-0 shutout over Pentucket

Meaghan O’Leary sets up for a direct kick.

(Newburyport MA) She couldn’t have picked a better time.

Senior Meaghan O’Leary turned two direct kicks into the first two goals of her high school career helping Newburyport (7-4-2) shut out Pentucket, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Newburyport.

The win kept the coveted ALS Cup in the possession of the Clippers.

Pentucket (8-4-2) has yet to win the ALS Cup in the annual crowd-drawing event.

There was valid optimism that today might be the day for the Sachems’ drought to end.

Why?

Shot coming in

Pentucket had a 6-5 win over the Clippers on September 10th at West Newbury.  The Sachems were down twice by two goals in that back-and-forth contest but rallied to stun the visitors.

The Sachems could score (46 goals) and they had the character to rally back if necessary.

On this cloudy afternoon, however, the Clippers kept both of those things from happening.

“The differences this time,” said NHS coach Kevin Sheridan, “were the organization of our defense, the discipline of our defense, and the communication all the way from the keeper to the strikers in terms of who’s covering who.  That first game was a wakeup call for us.”

Sabrina Campbell (19) and Page Cole (24)

“We came out in the second half determined to crush any hope they had of winning,” explained captain Molly Elmore.  “There was no letup.  We played the full eighty minutes.”

“Newburyport was very organized and defended well,” said Sachems coach Dan Millard.  “We had scored forty-six goals but got none today.”

Eight minutes into the first half (32:19), Meaghan O’Leary’s direct kick from the right deflected off the fingertips of Pentucket netminder Ashlynne Reade to put Newburyport in front, 1-0.

The visitors had some good chances to tie the score in the first half.  The best may have been with less than two minutes when Sabrina Campbell sent a ball into the middle that GK Anneliese Truesdale caught with Mackenzie Currie bearing down on her.

“We were better in the first half than we were in the second,” recalled Coach Millard.

The Clippers were awarded two direct kicks within the span of four minutes in the second half.  Meaghan O’Leary cashed the second one at 25:41.

First goal – upper left corner

“We practice a lot of free kicks,” said Meaghan.  “We have about ten girls that can take really good ones.  I was lucky enough to be the one who stepped up.”

Meaghan’s second goal (25:41 – second half) was off a direct kick from straight away.  Both of her goals were driven toward the upper left side and deflected off GK Ashlynne Reade into the net.

Clippers celebrate 2nd goal

Another set play produced the third goal at 14:26. Senior Cricket Good had plenty to do with this one.  The St. Anselm’s commit came across from the right into the middle and fired a shot back toward the right post that GK Ashlynne Reade make a brilliant save on.  The deflection gave Newburyport a corner kick from the right corner.

Cricket’s 13th goal was off a corner kick with her left foot that was sent low toward the goal.  Ashlynne came out to get the ball, between two teammates, but the hard shot deflected off her hand into the net.

Cricket Good’s CK coming in

Down 3-0 with fourteen minutes remaining, the Clippers had the lead and the solid defense to keep the shutout.

Referencing the three goals on set plays, Coach Millard said, “There were things out of our control.”

Mackenzie Currie (9) and Izzy Kirby (13)

The key defensive player for the Clippers was sophomore Izzy Kirby. Izzy had the job of trying to contain high-scorer Mackenzie Currie.

Meaghan O’Leary: “#13 (Izzy Kirby) was unbelievable.”

GK Anneliese Truesdale: “Izzy was always there to help with Mackenzie.”

“When their top guns received the ball, we had them marked and we had help there as well,” said Coach Sheridan.

A large crowd enjoyed the middle game of today’s triple-header at Stehlin Field.  Only on a turf field could you play a football game and two soccer games, after a night of rain, and still have a great field in place.

GK Anneliese Truesdale up for a save with Mackenzie Currie (9) close by

Anneliese Truesdale: “In the beginning of the season I struggled with high shots but Coach (Sheridan) had worked a lot on it with me.  Give credit to Pentucket.  This is the toughest competition we’ve seen in the ALS Cup.”

Cricket Good: “We were expecting a ton of goals, but we did a good job of knowing their players this time specifically.  It could have been a closer game, but Anneliese had some amazing saves.”

Olivia Sullivan: “We knew what we had to do after the first game with Pentucket.  We came out with plenty of energy this time.  Everyone was focused in warmups.”

Molly Elmore: “Today’s game was bigger than us.  It was for a cause.  I have been going head-to-head with Jacey Jennings for a couple of years.  I tried to find her because she can be a big threat.  She has a good shot.”

Molly Elmore and Jacey Jennings

Coach Sheridan: “Pentucket is a really good team.  We expected them to come out firing in the second half and we knew we had to match them.  It was a great statement game for our girls.  They are thrilled to maintain the cup.”

The Clippers have now won four straight and allowed only one goal during the win streak.

You couldn’t help but notice how dangerous Mackenzie Currie can be.  The combination of size, strong shot, and hustle make her a constant threat.

Cricket Good received a yellow card in the second half.  She was sent off in the first half. “The first time off I said that I’d keep my mouth shut and figure it out,” she said. “There’s still work to be done.”

Yellow card for Cricket Good

Both teams are in Division Three.  “I’m hoping that maybe we can play them again in the tournament,” said Coach Millard.  The Sachems have already made the tourney.  The Clippers need a win or two ties in their remaining schedule to also qualify.

Another Division Three Cape Ann League team is Lynnfield.  They have beaten Newburyport twice and Pentucket once.

That 6-5 win in September was the first time Pentucket had defeated Newburyport in NINE years.  From 2013-2018, in twelve meetings with the Clippers the Sachems had scored only TWO goals. That is why that 6-5 win sent the message that things had changed in West Newbury.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Annabelle Sylvanowicz and Olivia Sullivan

Anneliese Truesdale, Meaghan O’Leary, Katie Gallagher

GK Annaliese Truesdale corrals a loose ball

Deidre McElhinney (8) and Katelyn Sudbay (21)

Deidre McElhinney

Kinneal Dickens

Sage Seymour sang The National Anthem

Molly Elmore will attend Sacred Heart (Fairfield CT) next year

Molly Elmore and Jacey Jennings

Olivia Coletti and Syiera Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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