(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.
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 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.
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.”
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.”
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.)