Category Archives: Amesbury

Terrific defense gets Amesbury past Winthrop (50-28) and into D3 North title game

Plenty of pressure applied game-long by Amesbury on Winthrop

Alli Napoli couldn’t keep herself from smiling as both fan groups chanted her name

(Wakefield MA) Everyone knew her name.

There was chanting and singing. All in Alli Napoli’s direction.

And she smiled through it as Amesbury ousted Winthrop from the D3 North tournament with a 50-28 win on Tuesday night.

The Indians (20-2) get a rematch on Saturday against #1 seed St. Mary’s at the Tsongas Center. At stake will be the Division 3 North title.

The Amesbury defense was active and effective all night long.

“Everyone we used played good defense,” said Indians coach Gregg Dollas post-game.

And who could argue? Amesbury held the Vikings (15-8) to only a point over the final seven minutes of the first period and went off to a 16-3 lead. Winthrop never recovered.

Maura Dorr and Avery Hallinan battle for a rebound

“We struggled to score,” said Vikings coach Joe Lowe afterwards. “It’s been that way all year.”

Alli Napoli (11 points) had two baskets, three assists, and several steals in the breakaway first quarter.

“Alli had a terrific game,” said Coach Dollas.

The Indians played very little half-court offense because their defense was so disruptive. On this night their on-ball defense was influential in creating twenty-four Winthrop turnovers.

“If we can’t score in the half-court, we’ll struggle to generate pressure,” said Coach Lowe. “They played well defensively so they were part of the reason we had trouble scoring points.”

Amesbury was up, 24-13, at the half.

Alli Napoli on the fly

The Indians put their defense/offense neatly together some more in the third period. In the first five minutes Amesbury went on a 13-3 run and stretched their advantage to 37-16.

Alli was again in the middle of the good play. The AHS senior sparked the offense and defense. She also made a long pass to a cutting Gabby Redford that had “next-level” written all over it.

“They’ve been doing that all year,” said Coach Dollas. “I’m going to miss that next year.”

Great crowd interaction during the third quarter. Winthrop had plenty of active fans. When Alli went to the free throw line they started chanting her name, trying to throw her off. Meanwhile, the Amesbury fans also started chanting her name at the same time.

Alli laughed about it afterwards: “Maybe it was because it was my 18th birthday? It’s fun to play in front of a big crowd.”

After Amesbury got the twenty-one point lead (37-16) the Vikings suddenly found their touch from beyond the arc.

Maura Dorr (11 points)

Maura Dorr, Julia Marccocio, and Caroline Earl produced consecutive 3-pointers. Winthrop was suddenly within twelve (37-25) 2+ minutes into the final quarter.

Coach Dollas reinserted some of his starters and the Vikings run ended. The Indians tallied that next ten points, including two baskets by Avery Hallinan (18 points), and they coasted in from there.

Avery Hallinan: “We always focus on turning our defense into offense. We don’t run sets very often.”

McKenna Hallinan: “We had to push the pace. We knew that they weren’t as quick as us. We tried to make it a track meet and run and score as much as we could.”

Alli Napoli: “Every practice it’s defense, defense, defense. He (Coach Dollas) drills it into our heads.”

Avery Hallinan (18 points) guarded by Maura Dorr

Coach Dollas on the Winthrop crowd: “The girls loved the Winthrop crowd. I was proud of the group Winthrop brought. They had fun and that’s what we’re here for.”

Coach Dollas on facing St. Mary’s: “There was a 45-point differential last time we played them. We may have to work on some defense! We’ll go out there and try to knock down one of the top private schools in Massachusetts.”

McKenna Hallinan on the St. Mary’s rematch: “We’re hoping to play our best and see where that takes us.”

Great lighting at Wakefield High School.

Maura Dorr made All-Conference in the Northeastern Conference. Caroline Earl and Luly Pulsifer were All-Stars.

Alli Napoli, Avery Hallinan, and Gabby Redford were honored by the Cape Ann League.

Amesbury’s two losses have been to Pentucket (#1 seed D2 North) and St. Mary’s (#1 seed D3 North).

In Winthrop’s D3 North quarter-finals win over Whittier, Lily Polsifer had twenty points while teammate Maura Dorr had sixteen points with fourteen rebounds.

Winthrop box

Amesbury box

(All the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Maura Dorr gets a block in front of the Amesbury bench

McKenna Hallinan

Sadie Kermelewicz

Izzy Cambece

Lily Pulsifer

Freshman Maddie Stiglets in the air

Avery Hallinan guards Maura Dorr

McKenna Hallinan in the lane

Carolyn Kinsella

Gabby Redford lines up a shot in front of the Amesbury crowd

Alli Napoli waits for a pass

 

 

 

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Amesbury pressure defense key to 49-31 win over Watertown in D3 North Quarter Finals

Taylor Lambo double-teamed

Watertown under pressure

(Amesbury MA) The Amesbury offense was rusty, but their defense certainly wasn’t.

The Indians (#2 seed) rode their full-court, pressuring, trapping defense to a 49-31 win over Watertown (#10 seed) in the Division 3 North quarterfinals on Friday night.

“The defense saved us tonight,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards. “We hadn’t played in ten days and it showed on offense.”

The Indians (19-2) broke away from a 10-10 tie early in the second period on an Alli Napoli full-court drive and built their lead the rest of the way.

Avery Hallinan (16 points)

“We started off really slow but after a while we settled down and made our shots,” said sophomore Avery Hallinan (16 points).

Watertown led early (6-0) but generating offense was a game-long struggle thereafter.

“Their pressure kept us out of rhythm,” said Watertown coach Pat Ferdinand.

“We focused on our defense and trapping in our recent practices,” explained McKenna Hallinan. “It really helped us today. We needed to switch on pick-and-rolls because #53 (Taylor Lambo) was involved and we wanted to deny her the ball.”

Taylor ended up with thirteen points.

“#53 (Taylor) did a good job inside,” said Coach Dollas.

Amesbury registered seven straight points after tying the score at 10-10.

Alli Napoli (14 points) on her way to the basket

Alli Napoli (14 points) collected three layups in this surge. One was a full-court drive through the entire Raiders defense.

“She (Alli) was dynamic,” said Coach Ferdinand. “Regardless of what we did she was able to control the flow of the game.”

“Alli had another good game,” said Coach Dollas.

Amesbury’s next game will be at a neutral site, so this not only was another of the 1000-point scorer’s “good” games but her last at AHS.

The Indians ended the first half with two Gabby Redford (13 points) free throws that started Amesbury into ten unanswered points.

The Raiders (10-12) had gotten within seven (22-15) on a Brittany Catsoulis jump shot before Gabby’s free throws.

While the Raiders were shut out for nearly six minutes of the third period, the Indians scored eight in a row.

Gabby Redford (13 points)

Avery Hallinan had a layup and an old-fashioned 3-point play while Gabby Redford cashed the new-fashioned version of a three-pointer.

“I thought Gabby hit some big shots for us tonight,” said Coach Dollas. “She was a 2nd team Cape Ann League All-Star for good reason.”

The Amesbury lead had been built to 32-15 with three minutes left in the third quarter.

The teams played even (point-wise) the rest of the way.

Watertown’s Ellie Monahan had eight points in the second half including a buzzer-beating triple to close the third quarter.

The Raiders needed stops to go with their improved offense in the final period but on this night couldn’t find it.

“At times we got stops but we couldn’t get baskets on the other end,” said Coach Ferdinand.

Taylor Lambo (13 points) at the line

Watertown is from the Middlesex League. In their first-round game they defeated Latin Academy, 46-36. Taylor Lambo had twenty-two points, fifteen rebounds, and three blocks in that one.

Amesbury is in the Cape Ann League. Their two losses this season have been to the D2 North #1 seed (Pentucket) and the D3 #1 seed (St. Mary’s).

Coach Dollas: “Our defense was really good. We didn’t want them to be able to set up their offense. That was our goal. We had good energy the whole time.”

Gabby Redford: “At first it was very stressful because we were down at the beginning. It was good for us to step up in the second half. The fan section really helped.”

Mary Bullis: “I thought the girls stepped up on defense. Because of the pressure, #53 had to bring the ball up. I’m not sure she wanted to do that. I know that feeling.”

Coach Ferdinand: “I’m proud of our girls. We didn’t have enough tonight. Sometimes you see that a team has an edge on you. You just try to compete as much as possible and we did.”

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Watertown coach Pat Ferdinand

Taylor Lambo passes

Taylor Lambo looks for an opening

McKenna Hallinan

Liv DeLong defends an inbounds pass

Leah D’Amico looks for an opening against Ashlee Porcaro

Izzy Cambece

Gabby Redford and Catherine LaForte guard Taylor Lambo

Flannery O’Connor honored at halftime

Brittany Catsoulis and Ciara Sullivan

Battle for control

Ashley Shaughnessy chased by Avery Hallinan

Alli Napoli in among four Raiders

Alli Napoli floats in against Taylor Lambo

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury edges Fenway 68-63 and gets St. Mary’s in Spartan Classic final

Avery Hallinan (27 points) in for two of them

Fifty turnovers in this game – Fenway (28), Amesbury (22)

(Lynn MA) This game was hardly smooth.

Sixty-four free throws and fifty turnovers.

Whistles galore.

Amesbury rode their accurate free throw shooting (29-for-35) to a 68-63 win over Fenway in the First Round of the Division 3 Spartan Classic.

Amesbury will face St. Mary’s in the title game Monday night. It is not a reach to think that one of these two teams will be playing at the TD Garden on March 9th or 10th in the D3 state semi-final game.

Fenway has two six-footers (Janyah Gulley & Kayana Armbrister) but Janyah fouled out in the third quarter and Kayana in the fourth quarter with five minutes left.

“Their big girls getting into foul trouble certainly helped, “said Amebury coach Gregg Dollas afterwards. “His subs, however, did a good job of keeping them in the game.”

Alli Napoli (21 points)

This was a one-possession game (62-59) going into the last minute. Then an Alli Napoli (21 points) layup, assisted by Sadie Kermelewicz, raised the lead and Avery Hallinan (27 points) sealed the deal with four straight free throws.

Avery struggled from the floor tonight, but at the line? Wow! The sophomore made 17-of-19.

Avery also had several steals and took three charges.

“We focused on taking charges and making our free throws,” added McKenna Hallinan.

“We scored sixty-eight and we didn’t shoot well,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollas. “Avery on the line was huge. Our free throw shooting saved us because our outside shots weren’t falling at all early on.”

The Panthers (11-6) got off to a terrific start.

Imani Terry (16 points) helped Fenway get off to a fast start

In the first twenty seconds, senior Imani Terry (16 points) hit a three, stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made a layup.

The next points after that were on a rebound basket by sophomore Wynter Neal (14 points).

Coach Dollas immediately went for a timeout after the 7-0 beginning. “I’ve never seen a start like that,” he said.

“That timeout settled us down,” recalled McKenna.

Amesbury (18-1) has not been behind very often, or for very long, this season but against a quality team like Fenway there was no quick recovery.

The Indians put a run of eight straight points together in the second quarter to get to within two (22-20) but D4 Fenway was still ahead (29-26) at halftime.

Janyah Gulley fouled out in the 3rd period

Amesbury got the unanswered run of eight off a successful inbounds play (Alli Napoli) and a full-court Alli drive. Avery Hallinan made two free throws and then took a steal in for a layup for the other four points.

Alli drained Amesbury’s only three, 1 ½ minutes into the second half, to tie the score at 31-31.

Shortly after the score was tied, the first of Fenway’s two tallest players (Janyah Gulley) fouled out.

Sophomore Kayana Armbrister (20 points) soars into the lane

It would have been easy at this point to think that Amesbury would take advantage but Fenway’s Kayana Armbrister (20 points) had other plans. Kayana made free throws and started the final quarter with an old-fashioned 3-point play. Fenway led, 43-40.

Amesbury then made their run to the front for good.

Free throws (Avery Hallinan), a layup (Gabby Redford) assisted by Alli Napoli, and a drive (Avery) put the Indians ahead, 46-43, with six minutes left.

A minute later, Kayana Armbrister was gone on fouls after Avery Hallinan took the charge.

The Panthers were in trouble and down, 59-51, with 2:20 left. But they weren’t out.

Consecutive three’s (Wynter Neal & Imani Terry) vaulted the team from the Boston City League to within a possession, 59-57, with 1 ½ minutes left.

Alli Napoli got a point back on a free throw before Fenway committed their 28th turnover.

McKenna Hallinan shoots a free throw

Two free throws by McKenna Hallinan were answered by two from Wynter Neal….62-59.

Amesbury tallied six points in their next three possessions while Fenway picked up four points. The Panthers had another free throw point but lost it on a lane violation.

“It cost us not having our six-footers late in the game,” said Fenway coach John Rice post-game. “You’ve got to play the game. You’ve got to do the best you can with the players you’ve got.”

Fenway was missing starter Omariah Ashley.

The Panthers have won the Boston City League three straight years.

Alli Napoli looks inside

Fenway’s 11-6 record is misleading. Three of their losses were to D1 schools.

Amesbury’s only loss was to D2 defending champs Pentucket on January 28th.

Pentucket’s coach John McNamara picked up his 300th win tonight. He’s reached that total in fifteen seasons. That’s a 20-wins-per-season pace!

Avery Hallinan: “The game was interesting. We started really, really, really bad. Then we slowed it down and got fouls on their best players which we like to do. We started to hit our shots and passed to get layups.”

Fenway box

Amesbury box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Wynter Neal and Avery Hallinan

Surrounded by Indians

Sophomore Kayana Armbrister

Senior Alli Napoli

McKenna Hallinan

Janaiya Printemps and McKenna Hallinan

Fenway coach John Rice

Inbounds play

Izzy Cambece

Ciara Sullivan

Alli Napoli guards senior Janyah Gulley

 

 

 

 

 

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Hot-shooting Amesbury takes down Manchester-Essex 77-58

Jaden Keliher (26 points) dribbles by Lars Arntsen

Rocco Kokinacis (11 points) splits two defenders

(Amesbury MA) There was no off button for the Amesbury Indians on this night.

Amesbury (8-3) jumped all over a very good Manchester-Essex team with a convincing, 77-58, win on Monday night in Cape Ann League action.

The Indians had a 25-5 final quarter against Hamilton-Wenham the other night and suffered a painful 63-50 loss to the Generals.

“We learned a lot from that loss,” said AHS coach Tom Comeau post-game.  “We have to take care of the basketball, win the 50/50 battles, and rebound.  We took care of all three phases tonight.”

Manchester-Essex (9-2) used multiple defenses but couldn’t slow down Amesbury.

Kellen Furse (11 points) passes out of an Amesbury double team

“We scored fifty-eight points,” said ME coach Tim St. Laurent afterwards.  “That should have been enough to win but we couldn’t contain them on the defensive end.  They were making shots and they were attacking us.  We didn’t keep them from getting to the rim.”

Amesbury built up a twenty-point lead (41-21) in the first half.

The Hornets cut that lead to eleven (61-50) at the start of the final quarter.

“I thought in the second half that we could get all the way back, but Amesbury was the hotter team tonight,” said Coach St. Laurent.

When ME narrowed the lead to eleven, the Indians answered with their third nine-point run of the game and back up the lead went to twenty (70-50) with four minutes left.

Senior Jaden Keliher (26 points) scored points in the breakaway first half (19) and then handled ME’s backcourt pressure in the second half.

“We came out and played hard,” said Jaden afterwards.  “We played together.”

Kyle Donovan (14 points) was a strong interior presence for the Indians

Junior Kyle Donovan (14 points) dominated the inside for AHS.

“Kyle was a ‘man’ out there,” said Coach Comeau.  “He plays hard and he’s a smart player.”

Tonight’s game did not get out of hand immediately.

The Hornets trailed only, 10-7, after five minutes. But then the first nine-point run kicked in.  Jimmy Gjikopulli (13 points) turned an ME miscue into a layup and followed that with a successful jump shot.  Jaden Keliher added a layup and a free throw and Ethan Catania converted a rebound.  Up the home team went, 19-7.

The Indians started the second quarter with another collection of consecutive points.

Play on the floor

Rocco Kokinacis (11 points) got to the rim twice.  Jimmy Gjikopulli converted his own rebound and Jaden Keliher added an old-fashioned 3-point play.  That boosted the AHS advantage to 28-11 only two minutes into the second quarter.

Amesbury was ahead, 43-24, at the half.

That lead would extend to 60-27 with two minutes left in the third quarter.  It looked like a cruise to the final buzzer for the Indians.  The Hornets, however, had other ideas!

Over the next 2 ½ minutes of playing time, the Hornets that I saw defeat Bishop Fenwick in double overtime, showed up.  Their defense was effective, and they made shots.  Visions of a big comeback started to take shape.

AJ Pallazola led a ME comeback attempt

Sophomore AJ Pallazola sparked the Hornets with a jump shot and two assists as ME put together a 13-1 segment stretching into the final quarter.

That 61-50 deficit looked manageable with 7 ½ minutes of playing time remaining.

“We called a timeout and things got settled down,” said Jaden Keliher.  “Then we went out there and kept them from making a comeback.”

Twice Kyle Donovan scored from in close and Jaden Keliher got to the basket.  Then Jimmy Gjikopulli got loose in the lane and added a free throw.  Back the lead went to twenty (70-50) and the Indians were home safe.

Sometimes backcourt turnovers will lead to rallies, but the Hornets pressure couldn’t get there tonight.

Jaden Keliher

“Jaden (Keliher) is strong with the ball,” said Coach Comeau.  “We have three guards who really play well so it’s hard to press us.”

Mason Paccone (15 points) led the ME scorers.  The Hornets senior drained three from long range.  Kellen Furse finished with eleven points.

Jaden Keliher: “We wanted to take away Kellen Furse and #12 (Jack Shaw).  Kellen is a great player.  I have a lot of respect for him.  I’ve grown up playing him.”

Coach Comeau: “Hamilton-Wenham came back against us and we let it snowball and get away from us.  We discussed before the game that we needed to learn from it.  They’re fast learners!”

Jaden Keliher: “Points are nice but getting a W at the end is what it’s all about.”

The Indians were 9-10 last season.

Pentucket players were in the audience at tonight’s game.

Amesbury box

Manchester-Essex box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Rocco Kokinacis

Coach Tom Comeau and Jaden Keliher in the closing minute

Frank Wood

Jaden Keliher breaks past Frank Wood

Jaden Keliher in close for two

Jimmy Gjikopulli

Kellen Furse and Jimmy Gjikopulli

Cam and Jaden Keliher guard Kellen Furse

Kellen Furse pressured by Rocco Kokinacis

Kyle Donovan

 

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PKs send Amesbury by Manchester-Essex and into D4 state semi-finals

Dasa Hase and Gracie Doherty

Alyssa Pettet kicked home the game-winner in the shootout

(Lynn MA) I struggled all afternoon trying to guess how this game was going to go.

I tried the Manchester-Essex end at the start because Amesbury had beaten them twice during the season.

That put me out of close range as the Hornets dominated the first half and had a goal (Mia Cromwell at 17:16)) to show for it.

Second half I favored the Amesbury end because that was where ME had spend a lot of time in the first half.

Alli Napoli leaves the goal with Rachel Albertazzi (10) near the ball

That put me long range as Amesbury scored (McKenna Hallinan at 35:43) and carried the play in at least half of the second half.

In the final twenty minutes, both teams had chances but the goalies (ME’s Kara Glynos & Amesbury’s Alli Napoli) made plays.

Overtime?  Not yet.

In the final five minutes of regulation, the Indians were called for an infraction in the box.  Suddenly there would be a penalty kick (far from where I was standing!).

Mia Cromwell tried to go to the left corner with her PK but GK Alli Napoli lunged that way and the game continued.

Now we had overtime.

Ashley Flood (20) and Alyssa Pettet (5)

Last year, Amesbury defeated Manchester-Essex in double overtime in the same D4 North title game.

Both teams had chances to end it in the overtimes.  Amesbury’s Alyssa Pettet came very close in the first OT but the game continued as no one was found who could finish for either team.

That opened the door for the dreaded shootout.  The pressure, the lonely walk to the penalty line, and the elation/agony with the result.

The two goal scorers (Mia Cromwell & McKenna Hallinan) shot first.  Mia froze GK Alli Napoli with a shot to the right.  (In the PK at the end of regulation she had gone to the left and Alli was there.) McKenna’s shot against Leilani Brown was high to the left.

Bella Hadaegh & Gracie Doherty shot second. Bella also tried to go right but hit the crossbar.  Gracie scored past Kara Glynos on a grounder to the left.

Grace Doherty PK

So after two rounds the score was tied.  Who expected this after these teams were tied after eighty minutes of regulation and twenty minutes of overtime??

Maya Baker and Avery Hallinan were in the third round.  Maya shot up the middle and Alli Napoli hardly moved to save it.  Avery shot to the right and it slipped by ME GK Leilani Brown.  Advantage Amesbury.

Maya Baker PK

Avery Hallinan PK

The last round this game would need to reach an outcome had Sofia Gillespie and Alyssa Pettet in it.  Sofia’s shot went over the top and that gave the CAL Player-of-the-Year a chance at the game-winner.  She shot hard to the upper left by GK Kara Glynos and Amesbury had a 2-1 win in PKs.

Alyssa Pettet PK

With the victory the Indians (14-1-6) capture the Division 4 North title again and will face Millis (again) on Wednesday night (5PM) at Manning Field.

The Hornets’ goal in the first half was nicely set up.  “Maya (Baker) and Mia (Cromwell) worked a nice give-and-go on that one,” explained ME coach Luke Cosgrove afterwards.  Mia ended up with a good look and drove her shot to the right side.

Mia Cromwell shoots

ME celebrates Mia Cromwell goal

Junior Dasa Hase started the play by getting the ball from the left wing into the middle to Maya. Dasa’s corner kicks were threatening all game long.

The Indians’ goal in the second half resulted from a halftime adjustment in their corner kick formation.  Alyssa Pettet normally draws two and three defenders and usually heads close to the goal when a corner kick heads that way.

“Avery (Hallinan) suggested that having Alyssa go away from the goal would open up the front of the goal,” said Coach Adam Thibodeau.

“I ran Alyssa’s route,” explained Avery, “and no one was on me as the corner kick (MK McElaney) came in.  I tipped it and then McKenna (Hallinan) put it in.”

Avery “insisted” that the shot would have gone in without her sister McKenna’s “help.”  My pictures tell me, however, that McKenna’s part was essential.  She dove feet first into a ball that was just about to be cleared out and sent it into the left corner of the net.

Avery (11) about to deflect to McKenna (1) in front

McKenna sees the ball near the goal line

McKenna kicks ball into corner by a defender and GK Kara Glynos

McKenna’s goal signaled by official

One thing that was certainly agreed on was the extraordinary game Alli Napoli had.  “Alli is an outstanding athlete, “said Coach Thibodeau.  “She took the team on her back today.  She was disappointed with the first goal.  She has forty-nine career shutouts for a reason.”

Waiting for the shootout

Amesbury doesn’t give up many goals (16) but they also don’t score very many (35).  “We’ve had six ties this year, so we have been preparing our penalty kicks for a while,” explained Coach Thibodeau.

Senior Gracie Doherty spent most of the afternoon chasing talented Dasa Hase around.  “She’s good with the ball and very fast,” said Gracie.

On her successful penalty kick: “I wanted to take my time and try to get it into a corner.”

Coach Cosgrove: “Amesbury was very good.  The D4 North was a showcase-and-a-half.  #5 (Alyssa Pettet) was phenomenal.  Almost unstoppable.”

Avery Hallinan didn’t practice yesterday.  “My ankle is killing me,” she said post-game.

On her successful PK: “I walked up and my stomach dropped.  I shot it and thought, ‘Okay, it went in!”

Bella Hadaegh and Lily O’Neill

Alyssa Pettet’s game-winning penalty kick was her 4th of the season.  “PK’s are very tough mentally,” the Holy Cross commit said afterwards.  “You have to tune out everything that is happening.”

On Alli Napoli: “I was confident with her in net in the shootout.  She’s so athletic that she would probably be good in any sport she tried.”

Alli may have seemed calm on the field but she wasn’t.  “I was nervous out there all the time,” she said.

McKenna Hallinan on the goal she scored: “Avery’s shot was NOT going in.  It was a twin-to-twin effort.  We have twin telepathy.  We love our twin-twin moments.”

The Hornets (11-4-5) alternated goalies.  Junior Leilani Brown was in net for the first half and the first overtime as well as for the first and third PK.  Senior Kara Glynos guarded the goal in the second half, second overtime, and the second and fourth PK.

Overcast conditions with light rain after the game was over.

Tough day for Manchester-Essex.  Their boys’ soccer team lost to Burke in the game before the Amesbury girls soccer game.

(Many of the pictures are long range.  Essential that you click on them to see them enlarged.  Some, also, are a bit blurry because of the distance away that they were taken from.)

Sophia Carter (13), Lily O’Neill (16), MK McElaney (14), Gabby Smyth (17)

Alli Napoli above the crowd

Coach Adam Thibodeau with captains and trophy

Amesbury goal celebrated

Amesbury celebrates goal

Amesbury team celebrates win

Amesbury team picture with banner

Amesbury trophy raised

Dasa Hase and MK McElaney

Gracie Doherty (18) and Maya Baker (1)

Coach Luke Cosgrove with ME captains and trophy

Maddy DiPietro ready to head

 

 

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Amesbury on to D4 North semi-finals after 4-2 win over Winthrop

Grace Doherty (18) between Emma Holmes (24) and Alex Gibbons (8)

Alyssa Pettet (2 goals) defended by Jenna Dorr passes ahead to a teammate

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury started tourney play with a 4-2 D4 North quarterfinals win over Winthrop tonight.

The Indians will play Essex Tech in the semi-finals next Monday (2PM) on Whittier’s new turf field.

Junior Alyssa Pettet paced the Indians (12-1-6) with two first-half goals while her sophomore teammate MK McElaney added a goal and two assists.

Junior Maura Dorr (with over fifty career goals) added two more to her total for Winthrop.

Alyssa Pettet breaks past Julia Marcoccio (16) for a shot

Amesbury applied most of the pressure during the game, but Coach Adam Thibodeau wasn’t pleased with his team’s style of play in the early going.

“We hadn’t played for a while (eight days) and it showed in the first 10-15 minutes,” he recalled.  “We didn’t have the energy, so we relied on long balls.  We should have been passing to feet and sending players into space.”

“Passing to feet,” and “sending a player into space” kicked in for the Indians at 25:14 as Lilly O’Neill and Alyssa Pettet worked together on a nifty give-and-go.

“Lilly sent a pass between the sweeper and stopper,” recalled Alyssa, “and I just needed a step to be in on goal.”

Lily O’Neill (16) and Alex Gibbons (8)

Amesbury’s first goal was Alyssa’s 20th.

Nine minutes later the Holy Cross commit had her 21st off MK McElaney’s corner kick.

“MK and I have done a good job of connecting on CK’s,” said Alyssa.  “She places them perfectly.”

“It was a great kick by MK,” added Coach Thibodeau.  “She’s been working on it all year.”

Three minutes later the Vikings (11-9) came very close to cutting into Amesbury’s 2-0 lead.

However, senior Ashlee Porcaro (Cape Ann League All-Star) saved the day for the Indians.

On the near-goal, defender Meg McElaney, goalie Alli Napoli, and prolific scorer Maura Dorr became entwined. The ball got behind them and was heading for the goal. Suddenly, out of nowhere came Ashlee to clear the ball away at the last second.

Afterwards, Ashlee (14 in the picture above) downplayed her part: “I was just at the right spot at the right time.  Things happen.  We practice for mistakes like that.”

Gabby Smyth (17) and Miya Grein (2)

“That non-goal would certainly have been nice,” said Winthrop coach Tracey Martucci.  “It would have changed the tempo.”

But the goal didn’t happen.

“Ashlee made a huge play,” added Coach Thibodeau.  “She recognized the hole there and played it perfectly.”

Recently returned sophomore Avery Hallinan increased Amesbury’s lead to 3-0 seven minutes into the second half.  MK’s lead pass to space was all that speedy Avery needed to break free and score.

“Avery has been out since Columbus Day when she rolled her ankle,” said Coach Thibodeau.  “It was great to have her back.”

Maura Dorr was carefully marked by Amesbury throughout the game, but she found a chance to possess the ball and face the goal with thirteen minutes left and capitalized.

Winthrop, however, could not narrow the two-goal deficit the rest of the way.

MK McElaney returns a rebound for Amesbury’s 4th goal

MK McElaney’s rebound bullet from straight away stretched Amesbury’s advantage to 4-1 early in the last five minutes.  MK moved up full-speed on the long rebound and two defenders turned their heads as the ball whizzed by them and into the upper center of the net.

Maura was able to pick up her 2nd goal of the game in the closing seconds after a dangerous play infraction by the Indians led to an indirect kick from very close to the Amesbury net.

“The referee called it a dangerous play which was why it wasn’t a penalty kick,” said Coach Thibodeau.  “One of our players had fallen and landed on the ball.  It was the right call.”

Avery Hallinan ahead of Stefania Spinzzola (15)

Coach Martucci: “We played well but Amesbury is a great team.  Their speed put a lot of pressure on us.”

Alyssa Pettet: “When I play striker, I move wherever I want.  When I feel we need more help on defense I move back.  We wanted to finish more opportunities today.”

Alyssa on Holy Cross: “They are at my club games and showcases.  They see me play center defense in club.  They give me pointers and encouragement.”

In nineteen games the Indians have scored thirty-two goals.  Alyssa has twenty-one of them.

Today’s four goals are the most Amesbury has scored in a game this season.  The same was true last year against Winthrop in the Indians 4-0 First Round victory.

Maura Dorr

Maura Dorr holds the all-time scoring title at Winthrop and is only a junior.  It is interesting that the school scoring record was held by Coach Martucci before assistant coach Julie Dawson broke the record.  Now it belongs to one of their current players, Maura Dorr.

Junior Julia Campbell replaced All-CAL goalie Alli Napoli in the latter part of the second half.  “We had a lead and the grass was wet,” explained Coach Thibodeau.  “I wanted to give Julia minutes.  She’s been working hard all season.”

The Vikings reached the quarterfinals when Maura scored in overtime against Mystic Valley.

Don’t ask me about the lights at Landry Stadium.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Alyssa Pettet (5) heads home her second goal

Alyssa Pettet’s second goal celebrated

Beverly Browne

Ella Marinopolous

Goalie Manuela Mejia makes a stop for Winthrop

Avery Hallinan and MK McElaney celebrate Amesbury’s 4th goal

McKenna Hallinan in the middle of two Vikings defenders

McKenna Hallinan (1) and Emma Forsyth (21)

Nora McCarey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Undefeated Amesbury (5-0-3) stays that way with 1-1 tie versus Newburyport

Cricket Good and Alyssa Pettet get tangled up

Olivia Coletti moves into space in front of the Amesbury goal

(Amesbury MA) My camera has a deal with me: I keep it dry, and it continues to work.

Out of nowhere, just before halftime, the rains came to Cashman Elementary School this afternoon during a nice matchup up between Newburyport and Amesbury.

That rain was my cue to exit……..and I reluctantly did.

Newburyport had a 1-0 led at halftime, thanks to a goal by senior Olivia Coletti ten minutes into the game.

Olivia came from left to right and found space for a shot to Amesbury goalie Alli Napoli’s left to get her first goal of the season. Senior Cricket Good recorded her second assist of the season on the play.

The Clippers (3-3-2) dominated the first half with many short, connecting passes.

Amesbury’s CAL All-Star (Alli Napoli) was kept busy.

Alli Napoli reaches for a shot in traffic

Alyssa Pettet (7th goal) tied the score in the second half

Amesbury had several quality chances. Almost every time the Indians were able to get the ball into the possession of Holy Cross commit Alyssa Pettet, danger loomed for the Clippers.  Alyssa (AHS junior) has the skills to create her own space and can reach the net from long range.  She already has six goals.  Alyssa put several shots on net that tested Newburyport GK Anneliese Truesdale.

That the final score was a low score is no surprise considering the history between the two schools.  Last year was a 1-1 tie.  The year before it was Amesbury 1-0.  The two previous years were 1-0 wins for the Clippers.

Amesbury coach Adam Thibodeau: “Alyssa Pettet tied the score in the second half off a throw in.  Her shot was a long one about 30-35 feet and it was tucked under the bar.”

This was Alyssa’s 7th goal of the season.  Junior Sammy Pustizzi had the assist on the score.

(All of the pictures above and below were first-half pictures.  They will enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Cricket Good defended by Ashlee Porcaro

Goal kick (Meg McElaney)

Liberty Palermino

Cricket Good and Gracie Doherty

Clippers celebrate Olivia Coletti’s goal

Lily O’Neill and Molly Elmore

Norah McElhinney

Sammy Pustizzi and Mary Kate McElaney face a direct kick.

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