(Lynn MA) The Newburyport Clippers advance to the state D3 semifinals after defeating the North Reading Hornets on penalty kicks on Saturday afternoon/evening at Manning Field in Lynn.
The Clippers will now face Medway (18-1-2) on Tuesday night (7PM) at Westwood High School.
Newburyport (17-1-3) came away with the “W” but were outplayed and outshot for most of regulation and two overtimes.
The Clippers scored early (34:48) when Margaret Cote cashed a wonderful feed from Julia Groth in the middle.
The Hornets (15-5-1) had the answer less than five minutes later (30:17) when Karlie Vesey sent Juliette Nadeau in clean on NBPT goalie Jen Stuart.
The Newburyport coaching staff immediately called a timeout to settle things down. They probably would have called quite a few more timeouts the rest of the way if they’d had them because the Clippers were a step slow most of the time.
On this night, North Reading could not apply the finishing touch. Trust me, it wasn’t because of lack of setups.
Credit Clippers goalie Jen Stuart for handling the shots she could reach. NR went over the net and just wide a number of times.
NR keeper Kat Hassapis had shots to deal with but none of the doorstep variety.
That’s why the penalty-kick segment was just what Newburyport needed to take the Division 3 North title.
In the penalty kick part, there are five rounds unless a team builds up an insurmountable lead. North Reading lost the toss and Newburyport opted to shoot first.
Margaret Cote and Kat Hassapis both connected in round one.
Amelia Kroschwitz and Karlie Vesey (wide right) both were unsuccessful in the second round.
In the third round, Krysta Padellaro put Newburyport up 2-1 while Marissa Zarella’s attempt hit the crossbar.
In round four, Kat Hassapis made a diving stop of Colleen Bryon’s try while Clippers GK Jen Stuart slid to her left to block Jessica Muise’s attempt.
In the fifth round, Audra Greenblott found the left corner and for the second straight game gave the Clippers an insurmountable lead and the victory.
This was the third time these two rivals met this season. There was a win, a loss, and a tie for both of them.
I was at Manning Field last year when North Reading defeated Bishop Fenwick, 2-1, on a Haley Nathan goal to win the D3 North.
Newburyport has only allowed seven goals this season, not counting the penalty kicks of tournament play.
North Reading certainly played well enough to win. Just couldn’t take advantage of their numerous chances.
Impressed with defender Jessica Muise. Her strong foot made every corner kick a scoring opportunity.
Good crowd at an excellent facility for tournament soccer.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)