(Amesbury MA) Senior goalkeeper Julia Campbell has not played much for Amesbury.
Blame graduated Cape Ann League MVP Alli Napoli for that.
However, although Julia didn’t play often, she did get to face Newburyport several times because of injuries to Alli.
“I’ve played them quite a few times and I knew their offense really well,” said Julia post-game.
Julia’s goalkeeping turned out to be a key for the Indians (2-0) as they defeated Newburyport, 1-0, on a sunny, windy Saturday morning of soccer at Landry Stadium in Amesbury.
“We don’t win this without Julia,” admitted Amesbury coach Adam Thibodeau afterwards. “She earned that shutout today especially in the first half.”
Defender Avery Hallinan struck the game-winner for the Indians in the third quarter.
The Clippers (1-1) started the game with a double-team on CAL All-Star Alyssa Pettet and the (substantial) wind to their backs.
Both factored significantly early on.
It was 6 ½ minutes before Alyssa actually touched the ball.
It was eleven minutes before Amesbury could even get the ball into the Newburyport side of the field.
That’s dominance………..but the Clippers didn’t score.
“We had more chances and more possessions early,” said Newburyport coach Kevin Sheridan. “We just didn’t capitalize.”
A number of the good Newburyport looks were shot over the net, certainly influenced by the strong winds.
The teams changed ends after the first quarter, which didn’t happen last game I was at. It gave Amesbury the favorable wind.
Now it was Newburyport GK Anneliese Truesdale’s chance to face pressure. And she faced it well.
Amesbury’s MK McElaney had a golden chance after a rebound in that 2nd quarter but Anneliese dove to stop an in-close shot. Later, Anneliese was out of the net to beat McKenna Hallinan to a dangerous ball.
“Anneliese is fearless,” said Coach Sheridan.
Gabby Loughran replaced Anneliese in the second half.
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” explained Coach Thibodeau. “We wanted to fill the middle better. They were taking away our immediate scoring threats, so we looked to get the ball to our 2nd and 3rd layer of players.”
That strategy paid off in the third quarter.
“I got a rebound off of a Newburyport player and dribbled in closer,” said junior defender Avery Hallinan discussing her goal. “I had an opening, and their goalie was a little bit out, so I took the shot. It dipped just under the crossbar.”
“Two players dove at her and she got around them for the shot,” recalled Coach Sheridan. “We needed to be containing there.”
That goal, at 12:29 of the 3rd quarter, spelled trouble for the Clippers.
Why? The Indians switched into a defensive mode and moved Alyssa Pettet (Holy Cross commit) back as a defender.
“We knew that she (Alyssa Pettet) would go to defense if they scored,” said Coach Sheridan. “She is a high-quality player.”
Alyssa was happy with the switch: “I feel more natural playing defense.”
A key to Alyssa being on defense was her ability to make long kicks, especially on goal kicks, that relieved pressure on Amesbury.
GK Julia Campbell was also happy to have Alyssa on defense. “The wind was killing all my punts,” said Julia. “Alyssa could actually kick the ball out.”
“We packed it in defensively in the second half and it kept Newburyport from getting good chances,” recalled Alyssa.
Julia Campbell: “Avery’s goal was beautiful. She had the wherewithal to hold onto the ball as long as she could. She saw an opening and took it.”
Coach Sheridan: “I thought we did a fairly good job of shutting down Alyssa Pettet. Using her the way they did was a winning strategy for them.”
Continue to be impressed with Deidre McElhinney’s in-traffic skills.
There were a limited number of spectators at this game. First time that’s happened. I counted twenty-six of them in the second half.
I have no doubt that “real” soccer folks are being, or would be, driven crazy by the rules that are in play for soccer in Massachusetts. The ever-blowing whistles are the most maddening part. I had to agree with Amesbury’s Sydney Aldrich when she said as the game was going on, “The game is now like field hockey and lacrosse.” BUT, and I have to keep reminding myself, they are playing!
Great rivalry between Newburyport and Amesbury. The last two years it was 1-1 ties. Before that it was a 1-0 Amesbury win and the two years before that Newburyport won by a 1-0 score.
This game story, with pictures will be posted my McClelland Miscellanea blog. There will also be coverage posted on Twitter (McClellandPeter) and Instagram (McClellandMiscellanea).
All of the pictures will enlarge if you click on them.