Monthly Archives: October 2019

Undefeated Masco downs Triton 5-2

Mak Graves had a goal and two assists for the Lady Chieftains

Freshman Maggie Sturgis (1) scored twice for Masco

(Byfield MA) Masco can score goals.

This afternoon the Lady Chieftains (14-0-2) put up five of them, including four in the first half, and that was enough for a field hockey win over Triton, 5-2.

Senior captain Mak Graves paced Masco with a goal and two assists.  Teammate Maggie Sturgis added two scores for the team from Boxford.

That Masco scored was no surprise; they now have sixty-nine goals in sixteen games.

That Triton (10-4-2) scored against Masco was a big surprise. Why?  The last time the Vikings had a goal against the Chieftains was on September 11, 2015!  That shutout lasted seven games.

Triton broke a four-year scoring drought vs Masco today

Gianna Conte had a goal and an assist for the Vikings

D1 commit (UMass Lowell) Gianna Conte assisted on Triton’s first goal (first half) and tallied their second one in the second half.

Junior Brianna Hood was the Viking set up in the first half.  That goals evened things at 1-1.

The Lady Chieftains responded with three unanswered goals over a ten-minute segment.

“I was proud of the girls for fighting back after being scored on,” said Masco coach Maggie Bridgeo.  “It hasn’t happened very often.”  The LC’s had only allowed SIX goals in their previous fifteen contests.

Two of Masco’s answering goals were by freshman Maggie Sturgis.  In both instances it was sophomore Lily Conway assisting from the right.

Maggie Sturgis (1) gets a goal

“Lily did a great job of getting the ball down the wing and crossing it,” added Coach Bridgeo.

Sophomore Ava Collins pushed the Masco advantage to 4-1 with three minutes left, set up nicely by Mak Graves.

“They outplayed us, “explained Triton coach Donna Andersen afterwards.  “We were, however, much better in the second half and they didn’t do a lot of subbing.”

Gianna Conte’s goal made it a two-goal game with twenty minutes left in the second half but the home team would get no closer.

Kate Zamagni

Kate Zamagni’s score with 8:24 remaining gave Masco a 5-2 lead and more than enough separation to gain their 14th win of the season.

“Kate’s goal was probably the prettiest of them all,” said Coach Bridgeo. “It was a corner play and Kate took a straight shot.”

Coach Andersen was impressed with Masco: “They have a lot of speed and stick skills.  They are very fast and very well positioned.”

Coach Bridgeo on Triton: “Triton played an unbelievable game.  Their pressure cover defense befuddled our girls for a while.”

The Vikings entered this afternoon’s game undefeated in their last seven games.  Last loss?  To Masco (3-0) on September 23rd at Masco.  Maggie Sturgis, Cecily Paglierani, and Kate Zamagni were the goal scorers for the Lady Chieftains in that one.

Kate Zamagni (4) and Jamie Bell

The LC’s two ties have been to North Reading and Central Catholic.  There is a rematch with NR ahead on the schedule.

The Division 2 Vikings have reached post-season six straight seasons.

Masco won the D1 North last year and fell to Somerset in the state semi-finals.  The Lady Chieftains lost only two starters from that 19-2-2 team.

I have seen Mak Graves play basketball, now field hockey.  The girl has multiple game!

“She was the Cape Ann League Player-of-the-Year last year in basketball and field hockey,” said Coach Bridgeo.  “She’s a great athlete who is usually two plays ahead in everything.  She picked up a lacrosse stick and was good at it without even knowing how to play.”

Mak Graves after scoring a goal

It appears that Mak will be attending Northeastern in 2020 to continue playing field hockey.

There was a side feature to Masco’s state semi-final loss in 2018 to Somerset; the opponent had two boys on their team.  “In my opinion,” said Coach Bridgeo, “the title laws were created to make it equal for females.  It is difficult to play against two males.  There’s a big physical difference between 18-year-old boys and 18-year-old girls.  Years ago, when I was in high school, Masco had a boy on their field hockey team, and they played in a co-ed state tournament.  Maybe it’s heading in that direction.”

The stadium at Triton is very nice.  The lights were good too on an overcast afternoon.

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

Andrea Walker

Ava Collins (23) scores

Ava Collins and Kelly Sharkey (12)

Brianna Hood had a goal for Triton

Cecily Paglierani (15) chased by Rylee Lucia (8)

Jamie Bell surrounded by Lady Chieftains

Julia Miller (12)

Maddy Peterson breaks in as Masco coaching staff looks on

Madison Hillick

Mia Gustafson

Sarah Burd

A second goal by Maggie Sturgis (1)

Mak Graves and Jamie Bell

Masco celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Triton sweeps challenging Pentucket in CAL volleyball

Mia Berardino (13) led Triton with thirteen kills.

Katherine Quigley (11) and Arielle Cleveland (21) at the net

(West Newbury MA) What a difference a month makes!

Pentucket continues winless in their first volleyball season but their improvement was noticeable.

“Pentucket has improved considerably since the last time we saw them,” said Triton coach Bob Van Etten after tonight’s match with the Sachems. “Their middle was a lot better.  They passed better and were able to work the middle.  It was a hard-fought win for us.”

Jillian Sheehy readies to hit

The Sachems reached a season-high twenty-two points in the second game.

“Our confidence is getting better,” said Pentucket coach Lauren Bennett.  “The skill levels have improved so much.”

The final scores were; 25-16, 25-22, and 25-18.

Mia Berardino was the star of the show for the (5-11) Vikings.  The tall sophomore was able to produce a steady flow of serves and hits that gave the home team trouble.

“She (Mia) had an outstanding night,” said Coach Van Etten.  “She had a lot of kills, smart hits, and great serves.”

Mia finished with fifteen kills and four service aces.

Arielle Cleveland and Coach Lauren Bennett

“Mia is very, very talented,” said junior Macey Cowl of Pentucket.  “When she gets set up you know it’s coming and it’s coming hard.”

Despite Mia’s impressive performance, Pentucket kept things interesting in all three games.

In the first game, the Sachems rode some Triton errors and Arielle Cleveland hits to a 15-12 lead and a Vikings timeout.  After the timeout, the team from Byfield put a lengthy run together.  The Vikings won ten straight points, with sophomore Molly Kimball serving and Mia getting set up for kills, and Triton gained separation, 22-15.

The best takeaway for Pentucket would be the second game.  The Sachems trailed early, 6-2 and 10-6 before rallying on Triton miscues and Arielle’s serves to tie things at 16-16.  Later a serve by senior Caitlin Kutcher hit the net and dropped in and the game was tied 22-22.  But along came Mia Berardino.  Three straight times she was beautifully set up for kills and Triton escaped 25-22.

Molly Kimball serves

“I give so much credit to our setters,” said Mia afterwards.  “They did such a great job putting the ball on the net so that we could hit it down.”

The Sachems never led in the final game, but the deficit was small (16-15) late in that game.  The biggest cheer from the Pentucket faithful was after sophomore Nicole Zahornasky was able to block one of Mia’s kill attempts and have the rebound drop in for a Sachems point.

Coach Van Etten gave special credit to Molly Kimball: “We were playing a 6-2, not a 5-1, so Molly was only getting half the touches.  For her to get nineteen assists under those conditions was huge.”

Jillian Sheehy: “We had some people step up tonight.  We could have won.  This was one of our best games.”

Nicole Zahornasky checks out

Macey Cowl: “Our serves were good.  We had some really nice rallies.  We’re getting there.”

The Vikings have now won two straight.

“We have more wins than we had last year already,” said Mia.  Mia was a Cape Ann League All-Star last year.

Arielle Cleveland: “Volleyball is helpful for basketball.  It improves my anticipation and my jumping.  I enjoy the game a lot.  We’re progressively getting better.  I have been playing AAU basketball on a team that has been winning a lot of games.”

Mia Berardino: “A lot of things worked tonight.  It was a loud crowd, but we stay focused.”

Coach Bennett: “I could see the disappointment in the girls’ faces afterwards and in some ways I liked that.  Even though this was our best game, the girls still want more.”

The quest for that elusive W will continue for Pentucket.  The rematch ahead with Georgetown might be the place for it to happen.

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

Ava Ford (23)

Caitlin Kutcher

Jillian Sheehy

Katherine Quigley serves

Hit in the middle

Lena Freeman (26) and Molly Kimball (8) at the net

Lena Freeman (26) blocks Nicole Zaharnasky

Macey Cowl (18) blocks

Mia Berardino hits and Macey Cowl tries to block

Mia Berardino

Molly Kimball had nineteen assists

Paige Volpone

Waiting for a serve

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport keeps ALS Cup with 3-0 win over Pentucket

Clippers celebrate a 3-0 shutout over Pentucket

Meaghan O’Leary sets up for a direct kick.

(Newburyport MA) She couldn’t have picked a better time.

Senior Meaghan O’Leary turned two direct kicks into the first two goals of her high school career helping Newburyport (7-4-2) shut out Pentucket, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Newburyport.

The win kept the coveted ALS Cup in the possession of the Clippers.

Pentucket (8-4-2) has yet to win the ALS Cup in the annual crowd-drawing event.

There was valid optimism that today might be the day for the Sachems’ drought to end.

Why?

Shot coming in

Pentucket had a 6-5 win over the Clippers on September 10th at West Newbury.  The Sachems were down twice by two goals in that back-and-forth contest but rallied to stun the visitors.

The Sachems could score (46 goals) and they had the character to rally back if necessary.

On this cloudy afternoon, however, the Clippers kept both of those things from happening.

“The differences this time,” said NHS coach Kevin Sheridan, “were the organization of our defense, the discipline of our defense, and the communication all the way from the keeper to the strikers in terms of who’s covering who.  That first game was a wakeup call for us.”

Sabrina Campbell (19) and Page Cole (24)

“We came out in the second half determined to crush any hope they had of winning,” explained captain Molly Elmore.  “There was no letup.  We played the full eighty minutes.”

“Newburyport was very organized and defended well,” said Sachems coach Dan Millard.  “We had scored forty-six goals but got none today.”

Eight minutes into the first half (32:19), Meaghan O’Leary’s direct kick from the right deflected off the fingertips of Pentucket netminder Ashlynne Reade to put Newburyport in front, 1-0.

The visitors had some good chances to tie the score in the first half.  The best may have been with less than two minutes when Sabrina Campbell sent a ball into the middle that GK Anneliese Truesdale caught with Mackenzie Currie bearing down on her.

“We were better in the first half than we were in the second,” recalled Coach Millard.

The Clippers were awarded two direct kicks within the span of four minutes in the second half.  Meaghan O’Leary cashed the second one at 25:41.

First goal – upper left corner

“We practice a lot of free kicks,” said Meaghan.  “We have about ten girls that can take really good ones.  I was lucky enough to be the one who stepped up.”

Meaghan’s second goal (25:41 – second half) was off a direct kick from straight away.  Both of her goals were driven toward the upper left side and deflected off GK Ashlynne Reade into the net.

Clippers celebrate 2nd goal

Another set play produced the third goal at 14:26. Senior Cricket Good had plenty to do with this one.  The St. Anselm’s commit came across from the right into the middle and fired a shot back toward the right post that GK Ashlynne Reade make a brilliant save on.  The deflection gave Newburyport a corner kick from the right corner.

Cricket’s 13th goal was off a corner kick with her left foot that was sent low toward the goal.  Ashlynne came out to get the ball, between two teammates, but the hard shot deflected off her hand into the net.

Cricket Good’s CK coming in

Down 3-0 with fourteen minutes remaining, the Clippers had the lead and the solid defense to keep the shutout.

Referencing the three goals on set plays, Coach Millard said, “There were things out of our control.”

Mackenzie Currie (9) and Izzy Kirby (13)

The key defensive player for the Clippers was sophomore Izzy Kirby. Izzy had the job of trying to contain high-scorer Mackenzie Currie.

Meaghan O’Leary: “#13 (Izzy Kirby) was unbelievable.”

GK Anneliese Truesdale: “Izzy was always there to help with Mackenzie.”

“When their top guns received the ball, we had them marked and we had help there as well,” said Coach Sheridan.

A large crowd enjoyed the middle game of today’s triple-header at Stehlin Field.  Only on a turf field could you play a football game and two soccer games, after a night of rain, and still have a great field in place.

GK Anneliese Truesdale up for a save with Mackenzie Currie (9) close by

Anneliese Truesdale: “In the beginning of the season I struggled with high shots but Coach (Sheridan) had worked a lot on it with me.  Give credit to Pentucket.  This is the toughest competition we’ve seen in the ALS Cup.”

Cricket Good: “We were expecting a ton of goals, but we did a good job of knowing their players this time specifically.  It could have been a closer game, but Anneliese had some amazing saves.”

Olivia Sullivan: “We knew what we had to do after the first game with Pentucket.  We came out with plenty of energy this time.  Everyone was focused in warmups.”

Molly Elmore: “Today’s game was bigger than us.  It was for a cause.  I have been going head-to-head with Jacey Jennings for a couple of years.  I tried to find her because she can be a big threat.  She has a good shot.”

Molly Elmore and Jacey Jennings

Coach Sheridan: “Pentucket is a really good team.  We expected them to come out firing in the second half and we knew we had to match them.  It was a great statement game for our girls.  They are thrilled to maintain the cup.”

The Clippers have now won four straight and allowed only one goal during the win streak.

You couldn’t help but notice how dangerous Mackenzie Currie can be.  The combination of size, strong shot, and hustle make her a constant threat.

Cricket Good received a yellow card in the second half.  She was sent off in the first half. “The first time off I said that I’d keep my mouth shut and figure it out,” she said. “There’s still work to be done.”

Yellow card for Cricket Good

Both teams are in Division Three.  “I’m hoping that maybe we can play them again in the tournament,” said Coach Millard.  The Sachems have already made the tourney.  The Clippers need a win or two ties in their remaining schedule to also qualify.

Another Division Three Cape Ann League team is Lynnfield.  They have beaten Newburyport twice and Pentucket once.

That 6-5 win in September was the first time Pentucket had defeated Newburyport in NINE years.  From 2013-2018, in twelve meetings with the Clippers the Sachems had scored only TWO goals. That is why that 6-5 win sent the message that things had changed in West Newbury.

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

Annabelle Sylvanowicz and Olivia Sullivan

Anneliese Truesdale, Meaghan O’Leary, Katie Gallagher

GK Annaliese Truesdale corrals a loose ball

Deidre McElhinney (8) and Katelyn Sudbay (21)

Deidre McElhinney

Kinneal Dickens

Sage Seymour sang The National Anthem

Molly Elmore will attend Sacred Heart (Fairfield CT) next year

Molly Elmore and Jacey Jennings

Olivia Coletti and Syiera Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Purdue commit Sydney Yim leads Newburyport past Whittier 3-0

Sydney Yim unleashes a hard hit at the Whittier defenders

Sydney Yim committed to Purdue VB on Friday

(Newburyport MA) Impressive.

And I wasn’t the only one impressed by junior Sydney Yim of the Newburyport Clippers.

“She’s one of the best I’ve seen,” said Whittier coach Paul Bonosaro after his team fell, 3-0, to Newburyport on Wednesday evening.

“She can hit it hard and she can hit it soft,” the Wildcats coach added.

Taking that “impressive” label even further, Sydney has obviously gotten the attention of Purdue University VB head coach Dave Shondell as well.

“I committed to Purdue on Friday,” Sydney told me after the win over Whittier.  “I visited there and enjoyed the campus.  I also had a really good connection with the coaching staff there.”

Julianne Heath had twenty assists

No question that the Division One Boilermakers (West Lafayette IND) had an advantage.  “My mom went there, and she encouraged me,” laughed Sydney.

Tonight, the Clippers (9-5) swept Whittier; 25-16, 25-16, and 25-23.

“We certainly competed in the last set,” said Coach Bonosaro.  “We needed just a few things to go our way to win it.”

But those “few things” were missing for Whittier (10-4) much of the night.  “We had too many service errors and too much miscommunication,” he recalled.

The Wildcats (10-4) have qualified for the post-season and since both teams are in Division 2 North they could meet again, for the third time.  The Clippers won at Haverhill, 3-1, on September 23rd.

Whittier coach Paul Bonosaro

The Clippers haven’t qualified yet for the tournament although just one win in the final six games will get that job done.

“Our ability to communicate was a huge part of tonight’s win,” explained NHS coach Lori Solazzo.

She added that it certainly helps to have a player like Sydney on the team.

It is easy to forget that this is only the Clippers THIRD season with a volleyball team; 1-14 (2017), 4-15 (2018), and now 9-5…….and counting. Remarkable.

I asked Coach Solazzo how her team has become so good so quickly: “The girls have really dedicated themselves to getting better.  Many of them have worked at it during the off-season.  There’s interest in the school in volleyball.  We had sixty-four girls try out.”

The Clippers trailed early (6-5) in the first set before pulling away 16-10 and 20-13. A long hit by Whittier’s Grace Efosa ended the set 25-16.

Grace Efosa will play basketball for Providence next year

The second set was all Newburyport.  Sydney Yim (14 kills, 5 aces) led NHS to a 13-5 advantage.  One time it was serving.  Another it was dropping a shot into an open space.  In one sequence Sydney served a ball that wasn’t handled in the Whittier second row.  A replacement was inserted by Coach Bonosaro to that spot.  A hard serve by Sydney went to the same spot with the same result.

The third set was close.  Grace Efosa had the team from the Commonwealth Athletic Conference up 3-0 early.  But the Clippers (Cape Ann League) used a Sydney soft shot and a Sydney kill to get in front 18-13.  Credit Whittier, they didn’t pack it in.  They rode a drop-in by Meghan Jegerow and an ace by Alyssa Michel to trail by only one, 21-20.  Coach Solazzo called a timeout.  And she called another one after an ace by Alicia Habib tied the score at 23-23.  But that was the best Whittier could do.  A long hit and then a mishandled volley gave the home team the two points they needed to win the match.

“We did a good job of communicating tonight after a rough start,” explained Sydney.  “We gradually ended up learning more about the other team and adjusting to what they had do offer.”

Coach Bonosaro: “We tried to block her (Sydney Yim) and take her out of the game.  We did our best.”

Kate Sarra (19) and Jillian Stallard (12)

I hadn’t been in the Newburyport gymnasium since the boys team lost in the DNorth basketball playoffs to Dracut.  I was delighted with the bright lights.  On the lesser side, the low ceiling was certainly a factor.  With the ceiling actually in play, there were several awkward volleys.  I heard one Newburyport fan explain to someone nearby that the “ceiling was the team’s Seventh Man.”

Senior Julianne Heath had eighteen assists for Newburyport.

Whittier’s Alyssa Michel had twenty service points in the first meeting with the Clippers.

Zaria Collazo

It was interesting to have two Division One college commits on the floor at the same time.  You know about Sydney and Purdue.  The other D1 commit was Whittier senior Grace Efosa who will play basketball at Providence College for the Friars.

Coach Bonosaro is in his first year as head coach.  He was an assistant coach at Whittier for fourteen years.

Coach Solazzo played volleyball for Gordon College (Wenham MA) back in the day.  My wife and I were admiring spectators for quite a few of her games playing for Coach Val Ginn.

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

Sofia Messina serves set point

Block attempt

Meghan Jegerow sets

Siarra Cronin tries to block Sydney Yim

Sydney Yim spikes past Grace Efosa and Siarra Cronin

Meghan Jegerow (4)

Lindsey Hunt (4)

Laney Lucci

Jess Rosseau (8)

block

Battle at the net

Alicia Habib (40) and Siarra Cronin (12)

 

 

 

 

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