(Newburyport) You have to be ready….or else.
For the second straight game Newburyport swarmed an opponent early and often.
And for the second straight game an opponent needed an early timeout to try to get acclimated.
The Clippers defeated Hamilton-Wenham 20-10 on a chilly Thursday afternoon at Stehlin Field.
“I think we were a little stunned at the beginning,” said HW coach Abby Schibli afterwards.
The Clippers (4-0) had two goals in the first minute and a total of six unanswered goals after just five minutes played.
“We had to adjust to their level of play and their intensity,” added Coach Schibli.
The Generals (1-3) took a timeout down 6-0. During those first five minutes already played, HW had only been into Newburyport territory once.
Senior Haley Hamilton (Middlebury commit) finally put HW on the board at 17:45 ending Newburyport’s seven-goal run.
Teammate Kara O’Shea and Haley combined to give the Generals their best run of scoring, transforming a 9-1 deficit into a competitive 10-5 game with five minutes left until halftime.
The Clippers however finished the half with three straight goals (two by Olivia McDonald and one by Rita Cahalane) to move ahead by eight, 13-5.
In the second half an Izzy Rosa goal at the end of a long possession put the game into running time with a 16-6 score at 17:52.
The Generals, led by Haley Hamilton (eight goals), were able to get inside the ten-goal deficit and end running time several times in the second half but the Clippers just wouldn’t allow serious runs of goals against them.
While Haley Hamilton and Kara O’Shea (2 goals) did all the scoring for HW, there were nine players contributing goals for Newburyport.
“On offense, the girls moved the ball really well,” said Newburyport coach Catherine Batchelder post-game. “There were so many great assisted goals.”
“Assists on a goal show that we work well as a team,” said junior Izzy Rosa (3 goals, 5 assists). “One-V-One works but assists are better for a team.”
Emily Fuller had two goals and four assists. “On offense we played really well together,” she said. “We did a good job of spreading out.”
Coach Batchelder saw the ten goals allowed as more than usual. “We were trying out a new defense,” she said. “We want to keep the team challenged and not just relying on what we always do. As a result, we had some bumps and bruises along the way. It’s a new zone.”
Coach Batchelder pointed out that Haley Hamilton would have been a problem against any defense. “She plays fast and strong and we had a hard time stopping her. She found lanes against our defense that aren’t always there. We weren’t closing our zone as well as we should.”
“She (Haley Hamilton) is a really good player,” said Emily Fuller. “She made some strong dodges into our defense. Playing against a good player like her only makes us better.”
“Haley is a special player,” added Coach Schibli. “She scores a lot but also shares the ball. She gives everyone a chance to finish.”
Coach Schibli didn’t make excuses for the loss. “They have skilled players and Cat does a great job with them,” she said.
The Generals were missing three players, including Riley Clarke.
“Riley is one of our best players and it was hard without her in the mid-field,” said Coach Schibli.
“I ended up with a new player in our defense and that added to the obstacles we had to overcome,” she added.
Not the way you’d want to come out against a team that dominates the draws and scores early.
Holy Cross commit Anna Affolder had two of the Clippers first three goals. Both goals had assists attached. The first was set up by Izzy Rosa and the second by Emily Fuller.
Coach Schibli appreciated the play of Kara O’Shea (“She lifts everyone up with her energy.”) and goalie Ava Vautour (“She had some really great saves.”).
Newburyport 13 7 = 20
Hamilton-Wenham 5 5 = 10
The weather was close to unbearable. Two days ago, at the same place, it was in the 60’s and sunny. Today it was in the 40’s with a chilling breeze.
(The pictures will enlarge.)