(Amesbury MA) Senior standout Alyssa Pettet scored three times in the first half leading Amesbury to a 6-1 win over Georgetown on Monday afternoon.
The Indians (1-0) rode Alyssa’s twenty-two goals last season to the D4 state semi-finals. In the process she gained recognition in New England and will play for the Holy Cross Crusaders in 2021.
“Alyssa’s ability to run off the ball makes her so special,” explained AHS coach Adam Thibodeau post-game. “She requires so much attention that she opens up the field for her teammates.”
Containing Alyssa became extremely difficult for the Royals (0-1) when defender Erin Irons went out with a sprained ankle just four minutes into the game.
“Erin is not someone we can replace,” said assistant Georgetown coach Kevin Fair, who was filling in for head coach Colleen Gibbs.
The Royals trailed by four at halftime but were the better team for most of the third quarter.
“Our compete level was good, and we finally got a goal for our efforts,” said Coach Fair.
The Royals goal was set up by freshman Kayla Gibbs (coach’s daughter). “She made a nice steal and put a beautiful ball to sophomore Carena Ziolkowski for the scoring play,” said Coach Fair.
There were other chances for the visitors to Landry Stadium but netminder Julia Campbell was “fantastic” according to her coach. “She had new players in front of her and she communicated well with them,” added Coach Thibodeau.
The Georgetown goal seemed to wake up the Indians. In the final two minutes of the third quarter, MK McElaney and Callie Catarius elevated the Amesbury lead to, 6-1, and stopped any comeback plans the visitors might have had.
“It was a good first game for us,” said Alyssa Pettet afterwards. “A lot of times against Georgetown we kind of struggle because they clump things up so much in the back. But this time we found space.”
Alyssa finished with three goals, an assist, as well as two hit crossbars. The girl can play!
Two of Alyssa’s goals in the first half came after she had drawn penalties from the Georgetown defense. One earned her a penalty kick and the other a direct kick from a short distance. She collected goals in both instances.
Royals keeper Mary Surette had a busy afternoon. She, in fact, was injured in the final quarter and was carried off the field by Coach Fair.
McKenna Hallinan followed Alyssa’s successful penalty kick with a long-range goal in the first quarter. Goalie Mary Surette came out to kick a ball away and it went directly to McKenna. The AHS junior wasted no time in taking a high shot on goal that Mary couldn’t recover to save.
Alyssa had her goal off the direct kick in the second quarter.
She also added another one in that quarter. This time she made a long run down the right side with defenders on either side. She got in close to goal with defenders still nearby and found room to squeeze a shot into the net.
MK McElaney had one of Amesbury’s two goals in the third quarter. Alyssa Pettet set it up with a kick from the side that went past several players into the middle in front of the net. MK came down the middle and one-timed a shot for a score.
Later in that quarter, newcomer Callie Catarius hit a long-range shot from the right.
“Callie is a good counterpart to Alyssa,” said Coach Thibodeau. “She can score.”
The grass at Landry Stadium was long and it affected play.
“I love Cashman because it’s a hard, fast surface,” explained McKenna Hallinan.
The Indians practice at Cashman.
Coach Fair: “We had a couple of defensive breakdowns. We have to do a better job of marking people. I loved the effort, though.”
McKenna Hallinan: “It was nice to be able to play. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen.”
Looking forward to next Saturday (10AM) when Newburyport comes to Landry. That one will feature two players (Alyssa Pettet & Allie Waters) who are committed to Holy Cross.
“The Holy Cross coach has already asked for the film from that game,” said Alyssa.
Georgetown had two close games with Amesbury last season but have lost ten of their last eleven to the Indians.
Ideal soccer weather with plenty of sun.
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