(Newburyport) The Newburyport Clippers escaped the Preliminary Round of Division 3 North boys soccer by defeating Winthrop, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon at World War Memorial Stadium.
The Clippers (9-7-3), from the Cape Ann League, now advance to the First Round of the MIAA tournament and play #2 seed Lynnfield (15-3) at Jordan Park in Lynnfield at noon tomorrow (Sunday). The Pioneers defeated Newburyport, 5-2, on October 5th.
Adam Traxler’s 19th goal of the season was all that the Clippers needed to get by the Vikings.
The sophomore’s goal came sixteen minutes into the second half at the end of one of his every-game, speedy rushes down the right side. On the scoring rush, he passed the Winthrop defender and maneuvered in toward the net, firing a shot that went off Viking goalie Bryan Alzate’s hands into the upper part of the goal.
Winthrop, from the Northeastern Conference, had a glowing opportunity five minutes earlier in the second half when they were awarded a direct kick close to the end line just beyond the penalty area to Clipper goalie Matt Canning’s left. The shot taken tore across the crease and out the other side untouched as far as I could tell.
The Vikings other shots were long range and NHS goalie Matt Canning was positioned well for each of them when they reached him.
Almost all the other good chances belonged to Newburyport. In the second half, Spencer Traxler had a good look from the middle and later Jordan Steelman reached the goalie’s doorstep. Adam Traxler had dangerous shots on net in both halves.
The referee had to straighten out the Newburyport student cheering section in the first half. Several of them persisted with derogatory remarks about the Winthrop players until he stepped in. Some of them may have been the same individuals drawing attention to themselves, rather than the American flag, during the playing of the National Anthem.
Winthrop arrived late and the paper given out with their roster on it had numerous inaccuracies. Try identifying players in pictures when their numbers aren’t on the roster.
Newburyport had to get three points (2 for a win, 1 for a tie) in their last two games to even make the tournament.
Winthrop took a different route to the tournament. They played a division 3 opponent (North Shore Tech) in their season opener and defeated the visitors, 3-0, on September 10th. The Vikings (1-16-2) didn’t win another game in 2011 yet made the tournament because of the Sullivan Rule. According to that rule, if your record doesn’t get you in then you can get in by at least splitting against the teams you faced that are in the same division you are in during the tournament. That North Shore Tech game was their only one with a D3 opponent.
(I take my own pictures and collect my own information. I own any mistakes.) Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them to normal size.