Monthly Archives: September 2019

Shorthanded North Reading defeats Newburyport 28-14

Jack Keller (3 TDs) uses a block by Ryan Kavanaugh (4)

Backup QB Ryan McCullough took a keeper 58 yards in the first quarter

(Newburyport MA) The Hornets starting quarterback Brian Heffernan was out with a sore back.

He already had ten touchdown passes in just three games.

Not to worry, sophomore fill-in Ryan McCullough was more than up for the job and North Reading continues undefeated after a Cape Ann League win (28-14) over Newburyport on Friday night.

“We had to simplify things,” said NR coach Ed Blum afterwards.  “He (Ryan) hasn’t had many QB reps but he’s an athlete and he did a good job.”

Ryan passed for a touchdown (Jack Keller) and ran for one, all in the first half.

The Clippers (2-2) were unaware that they would be facing a different quarterback.  It didn’t really matter to Newburyport coach Ben Smolski: “They ran what they ran on film and we defended as we taught them to.”

Walker Bartkiewicz (8) scored all of Newburyport’s points

The Clippers matched the Hornets (4-0) with two first-half touchdowns.  Both were by senior Walker Bartkiewicz.

Newburyport squandered a chance to take the lead early in the second half.  The NR punt receiver dropped the ball and Spencer Beane recovered setting the home team up on the NR 23.  But a Charlie Cahalane pass bounced off Walker Bartkiewicz’s hand and junior Jack Donohue had the interception near the goal-line.

Jacob Buontempo (20) turns a fumble into positive yardage

The Hornets turned the NHS turnover into a 94-yard march with Jack Keller finishing the final twenty-two yards on a sweep left with 3:16 to go in the third quarter.  Rob Tammario kicked the extra points just as he had done after the two first-half scores.  NR was now ahead, 21-14.

Jack Keller tallies the Hornets final touchdown

Turning point alert!  Next possession Newburyport started on their own 41 and moved to the NR 13 and had a 4th-and-2 from there as the seconds ticked off at the end of the 3rd quarter.  “There was a miscommunication between us and the refs over the time left on the play clock,” said Coach Smolski.  “We would have called a timeout but instead we ended up with a five-yard delay of game penalty.”  Now pushed back to the NR 18, there were still two options; go for the first down or kick a field goal.

“Walker (Bartkiewicz) was within his range but we wanted to tie the game and then put us in a position to win the game later on a field goal,” explained Coach Smolski.

The Clippers opted for a pass play and it might have worked for the important first down, but the toss was dropped by Trevor Ward.

Brayden Scribner had an interception for NR in the 4th quarter

Newburyport did get the ball back in the 4th quarter (7:54) with yet another chance to tie the score.  However, Brayden Scribner in the Hornets secondary picked off Charlie Cahalane’s pass attempt and returned the interception to the Newburyport 22 with 3:31 left in the game.

North Reading was now running the Wildcat with Jack Keller getting the direct snap.  Jack found a hole up the middle and went in untouched from eleven yards away to seal this one for the visitors.  This was Jack’s third TD of the contest.

This was the 4th time that the Hornets have pulled out a game in the second half.  “I wish we could play a better first twenty-four minutes,” said Coach Blum post-game.

Newburyport has now lost five straight times to North Reading.

In the last two games Walker Bartkiewicz has scored all the Clippers’ points.  He had sixteen last week against Ipswich.

Lovely evening with temps close to sixty with no wind.

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

Aidan Carucci (6) ends Newburyport’s last possession with an interception

Brayden Scribner had an interception in the 4th quarter

Charlie Cahalane looks for a receiver in the flat

Charlie Cahalane throws over Aidan Carucci

Coach Ed Blum

Gerry Callagy

Ryan McCullough

Tyler Foley (15) brings down Jack Keller

Walker Bartkiewicz (8) behind the defense after catching a pass

Walker Bartkiewicz tangles with Robert Tammario (10) trying to catch a pass

Ryan Kavanaugh (4) finds an opening

Ryan McCullough on his way to the end zone

Ryan McCullough runs for a first down

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lynnfield wins six straight edging Newburyport 1-0

Numerous corner kicks by both teams set up trouble in the box for both teams.

Lynnfield celebrates at game’s end

(Newburyport MA) If you enjoyed rain and corner kicks you were at the right game.

Lynnfield (6-2-1) capitalized on one of their CK’s and that was enough to defeat Newburyport, 1-0, on a rainy Thursday afternoon of Cape Ann League girls soccer at Stehlin Field in Newburyport.

“It’s always tournament style when we play Newburyport,” said Pioneers coach Mark Vermont afterwards.

Lynnfield has defeated the Clippers (3-4-2) twice in 2019 and are currently on a six-game winning streak.

Ashley Mitchell set up teammate Anna Radulski on a corner kick

Eight days ago, the score in the Lynnfield/Newburyport contest was a misleading 4-1.  It was tied at halftime and the last two goals came as the Clippers flooded the offensive end trying to catch up.  “It was much closer than the score indicated,” recalled Coach Vermont.

That game, however, is important when discussing today’s game because what worked offensively for the Pioneers in that victory came back and worked again………..corner kick goal. The Pioneers had two CK’s in the first meeting.

“One corner kick was the difference today,” lamented NHS coach Kevin Sheridan post-game.  “Part of our scouting report on them was that they were super strong on corner kicks.  They get players in the box.  They come with good angles and they’re big kids.”

Sophomore Anna Radulski had the first goal off junior Ashley Mitchell’s corner kick in September 18th match.  Exact same thing happened today, although not only was it the first goal but it was the only one.

Anna got the goal with 7:49 left in the first half.

The CK will reach Anna Radulski (19) and result in a goal

Reaction to scored goal

The goal-resulting corner kick was from the left corner.  Ashley Mitchell’s kick was high, and it went over senior Molly Ozanian’s head (she tried to head it) and then reached Anna who had inside position on defender Matigan Felts.  Anna kicked the ball before it landed. There were Clippers defenders blocking goalie Anneliese Truesdale’s view and she had no chance to get in front of Anna’s shot as it went into the left corner.

Coach Sheridan on the Lynnfield goal: “We were a little too loose in our markings.  A girl got free.  She didn’t get a strong kick, but she was in the right position with good timing.”

And that one goal would hold up despite a plethora of opportunities for both teams.

Molly Webster (19) comes close

For Newburyport, Molly Webster had a header that went wide left.  Later, Sammy Cavanaugh broke in from the left and had a shot go just wide to the right.

For Lynnfield, Tori Morelli hit the sidebar on a header off a corner kick.  Later, a hard Lynnfield shot from the middle went through the wet gloves of GK Anneliese Truesdale and trickled just wide left.

“Anneliese was very good today,” said Coach Sheridan.  “She made a big save late in the game and she squeezed a couple out of the air early in the game with players in her face.”

Coach Sheridan also noted strong play in the midfield.  “Deidre (McElhinney) and Molly (Elmore) were great there.  The more they connect to each other the better the team goes. Ideally, every pass the team makes should have an intent.  We want to be a team that possesses the ball and builds an offense.”

Clippers’ shot goes wide past GK Amberly McCarter

The Pioneers were 12-5-3 last season and graduated only one player off that team.

“Lynnfield plays hard,” said Coach Sheridan.  “They get good body position on the ball and you’re always fighting to get around them.  They also do a nice job on set plays.”

Coach Vermont: “Corner kicks are what we work on and today we got a goal on a corner.  Anna (Radulski) made her run and the ball got to her.”

Coach Sheridan: “We’ve had a two-week stretch of playing good team after good team.  It’s a credit to the Cape Ann League.  There are no more easy games.  The quality of the CAL makes kids better.”

Lauren Braconnier (12) and Cricket Good (11)

Both Lynnfield and Newburyport are in Division Three.  “We’ll see what happens in the state tournament,” said Coach Sheridan.  They could face each other for a third time.

Today’s game started with sun but those who know a thing or two about weather had umbrellas with them.  On Newburyport’s Tuesday game at Amesbury I got caught umbrella-less and headed for home at halftime.  Today I noted the forecast, even though the sun was shining at the time, and had a small umbrella with me.  When it started raining in the first half, I was ready. At halftime I got a bigger umbrella and stayed for the whole game.  You gotta be prepared!

I continue to marvel at Stehlin Field with its turf and lights.  Today it starts to rain.  No puddles or ruined grass.  It gets a little dark.  On go the lights.  Nice place.

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

Olivia Coletti

Norah McElhinney (12), Emma Ricciardi (2), and Deidre McElhinney (8)

Tori Morelli

rainy conditions

Liz Sykes

Abby Lucich (9), Anna Radulski (19) and Emma Ricciardi (2)

Deidre McElhinney (8) and Lexi Veglia (13)

Ashley Mitchell

Anneliese Truesdale

Amberly McCarter

Lynnfield celebrates

 

 

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Georgetown gets first CAL volleyball win defeating Pentucket 3-0

Emerson Nicholas (13) extends over Meaghan Codair

Arielle Cleveland and Macey Rodrigues-Cowl

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket, the new team, took on the team they played for last year.

“This was a very special game for us,” said Pentucket’s Macy Rodrigues-Cowl afterwards. “All of us used to play for Georgetown.”

That familiarity generated plenty of excitement.

But in the end, the team with the experience together (Georgetown) prevailed.

The Royals (3-7) swept the sets, 25-6, 25-15, and 25-19 to notch their first Cape Ann League victory of this season.

The winless Sachems (0-7) got better as the match went on and that is something for them to build on.

“The team is working on controlling the ball and just getting their bodies in the right spots,” explained Pentucket coach Lauren Bennett.  “I know that skill will come with time and reps.”

Georgetown coach Alexis Bedard

The experienced Royals felt pressure playing a new, excited team in their own gymnasium.  “This was intense,” said Royals coach Alexis Bedard.  “I coached most of the players from both sides.”

Now that Georgetown has its first CAL win, they hope that more W’s will come the rest of the way.  “We’ve been playing up with all these teams, but we keep giving it away at the end,” said Coach Bedard.  “We hope that his victory will push us to wins in other matches in this league.”

Grace Sorenson went out with an injury in the first set

The Royals have size and their serving was fast and deep.  Freshman Grace Sorenson sent the visitors off to an 11-0 start in the first game with a nice collection of serves and sets.

“Grace is an amazing setter,” said Coach Bedard.  “She had about ten assists in the first set alone before she was injured.”

Senior Emerson Nicholas was also impressive.  Emerson served the Royals to 9-2 start in the second set and was deadly around the net.  “Emerson is always consistent,” explained Coach Bedard.  “She’s active at the net.  Blocking those balls and killing them straight down.”

“The other team was serving really well,” admitted Coach Bennett, “and it challenged us.  They also had a good setter.”

The approach for the Sachems is to get better and to have some fun along the way.

“Tonight was a fun environment,” recalled Macey.  “We did a good job of communicating and diving for balls. We had a good crowd here.  In the last set, we were really catching up to them.”

Arielle Cleveland served several aces in the final set

Still looking to win their first set, the Sachems made a strong move in that direction in the third set.  The final score was 25-19 with freshman Ava Hughes serving matchpoint.

But the takeaway positive for the home team was that twice during that final set the Royals called a timeout.  The hometown crowd started to get a little excited after first Arielle Cleveland and then Macey made serves that Georgetown couldn’t handle.

But experience prevailed at the end.

Unforced errors plagued the Sachems.  “I think that we would be neck-and-neck with teams if we didn’t make the errors,” said Coach Bennett, “but we will get better with experience.”

Coach Bedard agreed: “Once they get a little more playing time, they’ll be better.  Then they’ll be able to work as a team.”

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

Emerson Nicholas and Kendall Begin battle

Emerson Nicholas ready to serve

Isabel Schultz over Meaghan Codair

Katie Sutton

Lexirose Aulson

Macey Rodrigues-Cowl

Meaghan Codair returns a shot

Rachel Cenci

Sachems having fun

Sophia Scola

Sophie Ferraguzzi

Waiting for a serve

Sachems coach Lauren Bennett

Sachems gather before the match starts

 

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Undefeated Amesbury (5-0-3) stays that way with 1-1 tie versus Newburyport

Cricket Good and Alyssa Pettet get tangled up

Olivia Coletti moves into space in front of the Amesbury goal

(Amesbury MA) My camera has a deal with me: I keep it dry, and it continues to work.

Out of nowhere, just before halftime, the rains came to Cashman Elementary School this afternoon during a nice matchup up between Newburyport and Amesbury.

That rain was my cue to exit……..and I reluctantly did.

Newburyport had a 1-0 led at halftime, thanks to a goal by senior Olivia Coletti ten minutes into the game.

Olivia came from left to right and found space for a shot to Amesbury goalie Alli Napoli’s left to get her first goal of the season. Senior Cricket Good recorded her second assist of the season on the play.

The Clippers (3-3-2) dominated the first half with many short, connecting passes.

Amesbury’s CAL All-Star (Alli Napoli) was kept busy.

Alli Napoli reaches for a shot in traffic

Alyssa Pettet (7th goal) tied the score in the second half

Amesbury had several quality chances. Almost every time the Indians were able to get the ball into the possession of Holy Cross commit Alyssa Pettet, danger loomed for the Clippers.  Alyssa (AHS junior) has the skills to create her own space and can reach the net from long range.  She already has six goals.  Alyssa put several shots on net that tested Newburyport GK Anneliese Truesdale.

That the final score was a low score is no surprise considering the history between the two schools.  Last year was a 1-1 tie.  The year before it was Amesbury 1-0.  The two previous years were 1-0 wins for the Clippers.

Amesbury coach Adam Thibodeau: “Alyssa Pettet tied the score in the second half off a throw in.  Her shot was a long one about 30-35 feet and it was tucked under the bar.”

This was Alyssa’s 7th goal of the season.  Junior Sammy Pustizzi had the assist on the score.

(All of the pictures above and below were first-half pictures.  They will enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Cricket Good defended by Ashlee Porcaro

Goal kick (Meg McElaney)

Liberty Palermino

Cricket Good and Gracie Doherty

Clippers celebrate Olivia Coletti’s goal

Lily O’Neill and Molly Elmore

Norah McElhinney

Sammy Pustizzi and Mary Kate McElaney face a direct kick.

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Newburyport plays “best game” defeating North Reading 4-0

An afternoon of happy faces for Newburyport as they shut out North Reading

Cricket Good had two second-half goals for Clippers

(Newburyport MA) The Newburyport Clippers girls soccer team looked awfully good this afternoon.

Maybe it was the pre-game talk.

“We talked before the game about how big this one was,” explained senior Molly Elmore.  “We wanted to turn our season around and have a winning season.”

“It was our best game of the season,” said NHS coach Kevin Sheridan.  “Things clicked today.  I’m really proud of them.”

The Clippers tallied two goals in each half.

Newburyport (3-3-1) missed the tournament last year (7-8-1) after a run of very successful seasons.

The losses for the Clippers this season have been to Masco, Pentucket, and Lynnfield.  There will be second chances against those teams and today’s impressive performance by the home team may help the second time around.

North Reading (2-2-3) has now lost five of their last six tries against Newburyport.

Battle for possession

“They outplayed us in the first half and got those two goals,” added Hornets coach Sean Killeen post-game.  “In the last ten minutes of the game we pushed forward trying to get a goal back.”

Instead of getting a goal and closing to within one goal, the shorthanded NR defense gave up two goals to senior Cricket Good in the final six minutes.

A lot of the team’s success had to do with passing and positioning, according to Coach Sheridan: “They stayed connected and always had someone available to pass to.  We got into the right position which makes things calm and organized.”

That good passing factored into all four of the Newburyport scores.

Reserves Vilde Stoeveld and Liberty Palermino combined nicely on the first goal (21:29).  Vilde dribbled down the right side and drew North Reading GK Julia Thorstad to the near post.  Vilde passed across to the front of the goal where teammate Liberty was uncovered with an open net to shoot at.  1-0 Newburyport.

Meaghan O’Leary

At 9:18 senior Meaghan O’Leary dropped a corner kick from the left to an uncovered Molly Elmore in the box. Molly redirected the kick on the fly. Newburyport 2-0.

“I was perfectly set up by Meaghan,” said Molly.  “It was an unbelievable kick.  She can put them right in the perfect place in the box.”

The Hornets, like the Clippers, had an off season (4-10-4) last year after a string of winning seasons.  They have ties this season with Lynnfield, Pentucket, and Amesbury.  They are a good team.

North Reading was better in the second half of today’s game, but it wasn’t enough on this day.

“That’s how it went today,” said Coach Killeen.  “We’ll see them in North Reading in a couple of weeks.”

Cricket Good’s two goals in the last six minutes of the second half were assisted by freshman Deidre McElhinney.  “She put the ball right on my feet.”

One the first goal Cricket (St. Anselm’s commit) was going down as she shot.  On the second one Deidre fed her into open space with only the goalie to deal with.

Liberty Palermino (4) converts a pass from Vilde Sjoeveld

“There were some great passes in the offensive third today,” said Coach Sheridan.

Katelyn Gallagher and Sophia Galuppo (15)

Cricket Good: “This was our biggest game of the season and we knew that going into it.  The outcome will help us with our confidence.  We really showed up well.”

Molly Elmore: “We’re a deep team.  It’s nice to see everyone getting a lot of time.  We stress working together and playing for each other.  I think that everyone had their best game today.”

Temperatures in the 70’s with plenty of sun on this Friday afternoon at Stehlin Field.  A football game (Newburyport/Ipswich) was scheduled to follow on the same field at 7PM.

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

Alyssa Prusik

Anna Affolter (21) and Emily Davis (5)

Caitlyn Rooney and Kaitlyn Copelas

Clippers GK Anneliese Truesdale eyes a shooter

Elizabeth Janasiewicz and Kelsey Soule

Kelsey Soule sent flying

Loose ball in Hornets’ territory

Loose ball in front of the North Reading net

Maddy DiNapoli and Anna Affolter

Olivia Sullivan

Sammy Cavanaugh and Kiley McCarthy

Scoring chance Norah McElhinney with Katelyn Gorgenyi (11) defending

 

 

 

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Alyssa Pettet hat trick enough to get Amesbury past Ipswich 3-2

Alyssa Pettet lines up a penalty kick that turned into the first Amesbury goal

Alyssa Pettet and Lauryn Whynott

(Amesbury MA) Junior Alyssa Pettet switched from defender/playmaker to striker this year.

This afternoon that certainly looked like the right move as she scored three times as Amesbury held off Ipswich, 3-2.  It was Alyssa’s first hat trick and her fifth goal of the season.

“Striker is more fun,” Alyssa admitted afterwards, “but I like to learn different roles on the field because I think it makes me a better player.”  She has already committed to D1 Holy Cross.

Alyssa had all three of her goals twelve minutes into the second half and Amesbury (5-0-1) had a comfortable, 3-0, advantage, or so it seemed at the time.

Carter King (12) had a goal for Ipswich

The Tigers (0-5-1) had other ideas.

“One of the strengths of our team is that we keep fighting until the end of games,” said Ipswich coach David Wood.

And that they did.

There had been good chances for the Tigers but Indians goalie Alli Napoli (fresh off twenty-eight saves on Monday vs Masconomet) turned everything away.

But when Alli was injured, and had to leave the game, the winless Tigers had new life.

With no backup goalie available (out sick) sophomore Avery Hallinan took over as goalie…..on her birthday!

Avery was quite insistent after the game that playing goalie was not one of her birthday wishes.  “Last time I played there was in 8th grade in a town league game,” she explained.

Ipswich celebrates their second goal

With someone less experienced in net, Ipswich turned up the pressure.  By the time Alli returned to finish the game, the Tigers had collected two goals (Katie Rokes & Carter King).

Alyssa Pettet running off time in the closing second of the game

“How much time was left,” was a question only the lone official had any idea of.  Was in ten minutes?  Five minutes?  No one knew.

With little sense of how much time was left, you wondered if Ipswich had enough time to earn a remarkable tie.  They didn’t.  Alli went back in net after the second goal and the ball never reached her the rest of the way.

“It was an unfortunate situation with their goalie,” said Coach Wood.  “It did give us the opportunity to make a mini-comeback.”

Alyssa certainly took the pressure off her team after the Tigers two goals by getting into the distant corner with the ball and shielding off a defender while time ran out.

“We should have gone to the corners more, late in the game, to waste time,” added Alyssa.

AHS coach Adam Thibodeau was impressed with the Tigers.  “There is no quit in Ipswich.”

Alyssa’s first goal was on a penalty kick.  She dribbled past one defender and was tripped by another (Kyleigh Cranston) to set up the PK.

Goalie Alli Napoli confers with the Thibodeau’s

“Alyssa’s second goal was a thing of beauty,” said Coach Thibodeau.  “She blasted it into the far post.”

“My 3rd goal came after a clear-in from Gracie Doherty,” explained Alyssa.

The first Ipswich goal came on a long, high shot by senior Katie Rokes.  Teammate Carter King tallied the second goal after getting in close and firing a shot into the right corner.

Both Katie and Carter displayed the ability to get by defenders.  Carter was very effective dribbling laterally and finding openings.

The Indians had given up only two goals in their first five games.

Ipswich had scored eleven times but had surrendered twenty goals in five games.

Avery on the Masco win on Monday: “The Masco game was insane.  It was crazy from beginning to end.  McKenna (Hallinan) scored the only goal in the first five minutes of the second half.  She kicked a shot hard into the goalie that bounced back to her and she put it in.  We thought it didn’t go in and then it did.  We just packed it in defensively after that.  I moved back to defense and so did Alyssa.”

No, I don’t want my taxes to go up BUT it really is time for some turf fields with scoreboards and seating to become a reality in Amesbury.  I covered a boys soccer game on Monday at Stehlin Field in Newburyport so I know what could be.

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

Tigers second goal rolls into the corner

Throw-in for Rachel Bucher

Mary Kate McElaney set for a corner kick

Maddy DiPietro and Isabelle Harper

Katie Rokes and Avery Hallinan

Goalie Avery Hallinan clears with Gabby Smyth nearby

Carter King pressed by Indians

Ball loose (behind her leg) from Ipswich goalie Cayla Greenleaf with Alyssa Pettet close by

Angelina Rix guards the post on a corner kick

Alyssa Pettet shoots over Victoria Harper (18) and Kyleigh Cranston (19)

Alyssa Pettet finds the upper right corner for 3rd goal

Alli Napoli up for a save

Goalie Alli Napoli faces Carter King with Ashlee Porcaro defending

 

 

 

 

 

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Manchester-Essex overcomes two-goal deficit to tie Newburyport 2-2

Kellen Furse in on GK Stefan Berlind

Josh McPherson over the sliding tackle of Ryan Archer

(Newburyport MA) Both teams are still undefeated in the Cape Ann League but there wasn’t a lot of celebrating after today’s game.

“I thought we had them,” said Newburyport coach Shawn Bleau afterwards. “We were up 2-0 and playing well.”

The Clippers took a 2-0 lead with 16:37 left in the second half.  They had taken more shots and certainly had been set up with more corner kicks.

But the Hornets (4-1-1) can score and in a span of just over a minute had the two goals back.

“Newburyport scored that second goal and it would have been easy for us to put out heads down, but we didn’t,” recalled ME coach Robbie Bilsbury.  “It was great that we were able to battle back.”

Will Acquaviva after scoring the Clippers 2nd goal

Freshman Will Acquaviva had a goal and an assist for Newburyport (2-0-3) while sophomore Naderson Curtis did the same for Manchester-Essex.

Yes, Will is Sam’s brother.  Sam moved from soccer and became a tremendous long-distance runner for the Clippers.  He’s now a freshman at MIT.

“We knew about Will in youth soccer,” said Coach Bleau.  “I coached Sam before he turned to cross country.  Luckily, for us, Will likes soccer a little more than running.”

Ryan Archer dribbles in traffic

The Clippers, led by super-active Ryan Archer, were relentless in harassing ME in their own end in the first half.  “We knew that we could pressure them carrying out from the back,” said Coach Bleau.  “Ryan Archer did a great job.”

Newburyport also had Max Gagnon shadowing Hornets playmaker Kellen Furse.

The Clippers took a 1-0 lead with about nine minutes left in the first half.  Junior Owen Spence collected the goal off a tremendous feed from Will Acquaviva.

“We’ve been working on bringing the ball to the end line and cutting it back across,” said Coach Bleau.  “Will came in on the left and sent the ball across to Owen Spence on the right.  Owen wasted no time in getting off a shot.  It was nice to see them execute something we’ve been working on in practice.”

Ryan Archer shoots at GK Ben Goutal

Junior Ryan Archer set up the Clippers second goal.  “It was Ryan hustling his butt off,” added Coach Bleau.  “He got off a shot and their keeper made a terrific save.”  But there was a rebound and Will Acquaviva was there to cash it in.

The goal happened at 16:37 and you did sense at the time that it was more likely that Newburyport would score the next goal.

Why? They now had a two-goal lead, it was hot, they were playing at home……..but it didn’t matter.

“Newburyport asserted themselves early,” said Coach Bilsbury.  “They were tough on every 50/50 ball, won headers, slide tackled, hustled, and outworked us.  We wanted to impose our possession style on them because they were closing us down.  We picked up our scrappiness in the second half.  Getting that first goal was crucial.”

The first ME score was not only timely but it came quickly after the Newburyport score…….just under ninety seconds later (15:12).

“Striker Naderson Curtis found a little pocket of space and fed a pass through to Kellen Furse near the goalie,” said Coach Bilsbury.  “Kellen was able to poke the pass by the NHS goalie (Stefan Berlind).”

Graham Smith (2) slides across the goal line trying to keep a shot out

Kellen and Stefan arrived at the ball at the same time and the resulting collision sent the ball toward the goal.  Defenders Cameron McDermott and Graham Smith did everything they could to keep the ball from crossing the goal-line.  Graham slide across the goal mouth but the shot had crossed the line.

Just over a minute later (14:01) the Hornets stunned the home team with another goal.

“It was a corner kick,” recalled Coach Bilsbury. “There was pressure on the goalie, and he may have mishandled it, but we’ll take it.  Getting the equalizer was huge for us.”

Incoming corner kick that turned into a goal

The ME pressure was supplied by a jumping Thomas Birkeland who effected a clear look at the CK and by Eli Cox who was very close to GK Stefan Berlind.

“We had breakdowns in the back on both of their goals,” said Coach Bleau.  “Our keeper needs to talk up a little bit more.  It’s something we can fix.  Missing a play can happen but not being vocal back there shouldn’t.”

Coach Bleau: “We’ve had a couple of ties.  It’s tough.  It’s bad on our stomachs.  Hopefully our guys can pick up on that and turns ties into wins in the future.”

One area the Clippers will have to get better on is corner kicks.  They had plenty of them and just couldn’t get the ball and bodies near the ME goalie Ben Goutal and create scoring chances.

Beautiful weather in a terrific stadium to play soccer and to watch soccer.

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

Kellen Furse jarred the ball loose from GK Stefan Berlind and a goal resulted

Hornets celebrate a goal

Clippers celebrate a goal

Emerson Khale and Ryan Archer

Harry Costello and Marcos Pasquale

Henry Acton (15) and Jake Edwards (17)

Jamie Brooks

John Fehlner throw-in

Max Gagnon (14) shadows Kellen Furse (10)

Naderson Curtis readies a corner kick

Owen Spence (11) gets a shot past GK Ben Goutal

Thomas Birkeland (4) and Henry Acton (15) vie for the ball

Thomas Birkeland

 

 

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