(Newburyport MA) The weather changed but the Newburyport Clippers didn’t.
On a cloudy/rainy/sunny Saturday morning, the home team was consistently persistent and earned a 5-0 win over Georgetown.
“We have depth,” said NHS coach Shawn Bleau afterwards. “We can run eighteen players out there and not have much of a drop off.”
Pacing the Clippers (3-0-2) was junior Brady O’Donnell with two goals and two assists.
“Super exciting to win this one,” said Brady who had a hat trick against Amesbury last week. “Georgetown is always tough.”
Newburyport was up by three at halftime and added two more in the third quarter. Many of the Clippers’ starters sat out the entire final period.
“Give Newburyport credit,” said Georgetown coach Chris DiFranco post-game. “They really dominated the play.”
The Royals (1-2-2) were missing their top two goalies (Luke van Galen & Riley Soucy) because of injuries.
Freshman Jake Gilstein started as a result. Sophomore Kyle Davies took over in the second half.
The Clippers poured into the Royals half of the field from the get-go. A direct kick by Trevor Ward turned into a rebound in front that senior Owen Spence cashed with an assist to Owen McNeil. Just over two minutes had gone by.
Less than two minutes into the 2nd quarter, another direct kick from the left (Ryan Archer) caromed loose on the right side and Brady O’Donnell hit the open spot.
Just over a minute later Max Gagnon boosted the NHS advantage to three. Max was in the middle with plenty of players in the way of an open, low shot on net. Instead of trying to shoot through the players, Max lofted a shot over them. It worked. Max caught the GHS goalie out from the net and his shot went just under the crossbar.
The Clippers, in five games, have only been scored on once and that was off a penalty kick. That 3-0 halftime lead was going to hard to come back against for the Royals.
“We’ve got to find our scoring,” explained Coach DiFranco. “We had chances today but didn’t finish.”
The Clippers, however, weren’t done finishing. They added two more goals in the third quarter.
Brady O’Donnell came in from the right, after a pass from Ronan Brown, with a defender (Cole Zadina) to his left. Brady was able to get off a low shot that went through the legs of GK Kyle Davies at 9:45.
Three + minutes later the “prettiest” goal of the day was scored. Brady O’Donnell had possession on the right side and was able to send a pass across the front. Ryan Archer, with perfect timing, redirected the pass past Kyle Davies.
“We’ve been working on crossing the ball on the ground, since we can’t head it,” explained Coach Bleau. “We’ve had similar chances this season, but this was the first one that ended in a goal.”
“It was an awesome pass (by Brady O’Donnell),” said Ryan Archer afterwards.
Coach Bleau rested numerous starters for the final quarter.
Coach DiFranco: “There’s no blame on the fill-in goalies today. They’re young and we didn’t help them very much.”
Ryan Archer: “The game (this year) is very different. You have to play a whole different style because there’s no heading.”
Coach DiFranco: “The season is so short (ten games) that every game really counts.”
Ryan Archer: “I am hoping at the end that there is a Cape Ann League tournament going and we get a championship here.”
Newburyport seniors were honored pre-game.
The Clippers are undefeated in their last seven meetings with the Royals. There have been three ties.
I will post this story on my blog (McClelland Miscellanea). I am also on Twitter (McClellandPeter) and Instagram (McClellandMiscellanea)
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