(Merrimac MA) The Pentucket seniors were honored before the game and the team was honored afterwards.
The Sachems (15-1) defeated Amesbury, 2-0, on Friday afternoon.
“We’re CAL field hockey champs for the first time in school history,” said Pentucket coach Ruth Beaton afterwards. Her team has won twelve straight games.
Junior Haley Dwight had a goal and an assist for Pentucket.
“Pentucket is an awesome team,” said Amesbury coach Kerri Doherty post-game. “They consistently come out fast and move the ball extremely well. They can play on both turf and grass.”
The Sachems put pressure on the Indians (2-8-4) most of the game.
“We had a ton of chances,” said senior Lana Mickelson. “I know because I missed a few.”
Lana had two goals against Amesbury in Pentucket’s 4-1 win at Amesbury.
The Sachems scored early in the second quarter (Reese Gallant) and early in the final quarter (Haley Dwight).
Pentucket had nine corners (by my unofficial count) and numerous opportunities.
Credit Amesbury goal-keeper Nuala Arsenault along with defenders Lizzy Deacon, Hannah Gale, and Ella DeLisle for finding ways to prevent more Pentucket goals.
“It was hard in there,” said GK Nuala Arsenault, “and I was really tired…..but it was fun.”
Pentucket goalie Charlene Basque didn’t see much action. However, after Haley Dwight’s goal four minutes into the final quarter, Amesbury did apply some pressure and rang a shot off the sidebar.
A goal there would have cut the Pentucket lead to 2-1 with six minutes left.
“All credit to Amesbury for the way they hung in there,” said senior Meg Freiermuth afterwards. “We stayed gritty.”
“Defensively, we held our own,” said Coach Doherty.
But Pentucket had so many in-close chances in the first quarter that you assumed that a goal would come that way. But that wasn’t the way the first goal was scored.
Haley Dwight intercepted a pass at midfield and headed for the left endline.
“When I see the open net, I always shoot for it,” said Haley, “but I’m also looking for my teammates.”
When Haley got close to the endline, she sent a pass across the front of the net between the goalie and a defender.
“Reese was right there,” said Haley.
“Haley put it right in front,” said Reese Gallant. “It was nice to be there on the end of Haley’s pass.”
“That first goal was picture perfect,” recalled Coach Beaton. “Reese was where she had to be when Haley made the crossing pass.”
There was not much that Amesbury GK Nuala Arsenault could do about the goal. “Their first one was rough to get to because the player shooting was on the opposite side,” said Nuala.
The Sachems were finally able to pad their lead with a goal in the final quarter.
Pentucket had crowded in near the Amesbury goal many times, but this time Haley Dwight produced a goal out of the congestion.
“I did a spin move on the goalie and shot it,” recalled Haley. “It didn’t bounce off anyone. It went right in. The sound of a goal is something my teammates and I love to hear.”
Coach Doherty: “Ruth (Beaton) is well respected in the league. There was no doubt in my mind that Pentucket was the Number One team this year.”
Coach Beaton: “Kerri’s kids play hard and don’t give up on the ball.”
Six seniors (Bailey Stock, Madi Kuchar, Sydney Matthews, Meg Freiermuth, Lana Mickelson, Gabrielle Cloutier, and Charlene Basque) were honored pre-game.
Meg Freiermuth was pleased to have her brother Pat (Pittsburgh Steelers) on hand for the celebration.
“It is awesome to have Pat around,” said Meg. “He has a bye week, so he was able to come.”
Amesbury is one of the best 2-8-4 teams you’ll ever see. They tied highly regarded Triton recently. The Vikings are the only team with a win over Pentucket.
The Sachems have games left with Lynnfield and North Reading. Pentucket defeated both 4-0 the first time around.
The seedings for the Division 3 state tournament come out on November 1st. How far can Pentucket go post-season?
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)