(Newburyport) The Ipswich girls soccer team was the one celebrating after their evening (0-0) match with Newburyport on Tuesday night at World War Stadium……….and they didn’t even score a goal or win the game. But what they did was at least assure themselves of a tie for the Cape Ann League Division 2 championship.
Ipswich (8-0-3) now has 19 league points (2 points for a win – 1 point for a tie) with one game left – Georgetown away at 3:45PM on Wednesday. Newburyport (8-1-3) also has 19 league points but their regular season is over.
Therefore, a Tiger win or tie versus the Royals and they have the CAL D2 title to themselves. An Ipswich loss and they end up sharing the top spot with Newburyport.
The Clippers only league loss was to Georgetown (3-2) so Ipswich will certainly not have an easy afternoon of soccer versus the Royals.
The two most dangerous players on the field were Hannah Martin and Courtney Long. These players took all of their team’s direct kicks. Both could put up the distance to send shots into scoring areas. That none were finished off for goals by either team was a surprise to me.
Clipper Carly Brand shadowed 14-goal scorer Hannah Weagle and that was effective defensively. However, that strategy left Carly out of the flow around the goal when the long direct kicks came that way. Carly had a goal last game versus Amesbury on a header off of a Hannah Martin direct kick.
The best Tiger chance was on a corner kick fifteen minutes into the second half. Shannon McFayden took the kick and delivered it right on Clipper goalie Lilly Donovan just as Tiger Katie Glaubitz got there. A pretty good collision resulted but Lilly held her ground and the goal was prevented.
Newburyport’s chances weren’t so much shots but near-shots. Their normal short passing game seemed to vanish when they got into the offensive end so there were few, if any, set ups for clean looks and shots.
This game was more physical than most. Several Ipswich girls went down after contact but returned to play later.
Ipswich (12-1-4 including non-league games) has now gone fourteen straight games without a loss. Newburyport (13-2-3 overall) is undefeated in thirteen of their last fourteen games.
The tournament pairings are ahead. Ipswich will be competing in Division 3 while Newburyport is in Division 2. Both teams fell to the eventual North divisional winners in 2010. I was at the Ipswich loss to Weston at Fraser Field in Lynn.
Ipswich coach Nancy Waddell explained to me before the game that the seedings for the tournament can be tough. Her reasoning was that D3 teams in strong conferences get losses against higher division opponents and get seeded low. They turn out to be tough early opponents for top seeds in D3.
I still think that World War Stadium is a terrific site for a soccer game for spectators. I’m told, however, that the Clipper team would prefer Cherry Hill so the tourney games could well be over there. Apparently that field is wider.
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