Category Archives: Lynnfield

Lynnfield’s fast start leads to 44-35 win over Newburyport

Abby Gillingham and Tori Morelli

Grace Klonsky in alone

(Newburyport MA) That’s what finishing strong looks like.

The Lynnfield Pioneers ended the regular season with a win and have a nine-game winning streak going.

They defeated Newburyport, 44-35, tonight.

“We usually shoot well in the first half,” said Lynnfield coach Peter Bocchino post-game.

They certainly did that tonight.

Caroline Waisnor (8 points) took the opening tip in for a layup and the Pioneers (13-6) were on their way.

Deidre McElhinney looks for someone to pass to.

It took the Clippers (10-7) four minutes to score (Deidre McElhinney free throw) and even with that point Newburyport trailed 10-1.

The Lynnfield defense (3-2 zone) eliminated open looks.

“The girls have really stepped up defensively,” said Coach Bocchino. “We’re long and some of our length is athletic.”

The Clippers were denied layups and faced contested shots from elsewhere. They only made one three all night.

Sophomore Riley Hallahan drained two 3’s early in the second period and by the end of that period the Pioneers led, 30-15.

Kate MacDonald led all scorers with sixteen points. The sophomore had ten of them in the breakaway first half.

The Clippers are a tall team.

Riley Hallahan hit two 3’s in the second quarter

“They have a good defense and a lot of tall girls to block shots,” explained Tori Morelli afterwards. “We moved the ball quickly and that is what got us our good shots.”

“We run a continuity offense,” said Coach Bocchino. “Everybody has a chance to touch the ball, use a screen, and make cuts. We ended up with some layups out of it.”

While Lynnfield had layups, the Clippers were relegated to tougher shooting opportunities.

Newburyport’s best moments were early in the second half. Down by fifteen (30-15) the Clippers dominated the first 2 ½ minutes putting together seven straight points. Freshman Makenna Ward made a layup and then set up senior Sami Cavanaugh for a three. Deidre McElhinney added a nice pass to set up senior Sadie Vandenberg in close.

Makenna Ward

The run of points closed Newburyport to 30-22 but they could only tally two points over the final 5 ½ minutes of the same quarter.

The Clippers didn’t go away in the second half, in fact they outscored Lynnfield 20-14, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the disastrous first half.

“We work really hard on our offense and it has started to click the last few games,” said Melissa Morelli.

One word I would use to describe the Lynnfield approach to offense would be “patient.” They were content to pass the ball around the perimeter and wait for openings in closer to the basket. Their screens worked well against Newburyport’s man-to-man defenders.

Abby Gillingham (13 points) looks to shoot over Cate MacDonald

I was impressed with Lynnfield point guard Grace Klonsky. She handled backcourt pressure efficiently. She also blocked several Clipper shots. “She’s pretty energetic and plays great defense,” said Coach Bocchino.

Abby Gillingham (13 points) led Newburyport in scoring.

Tori Morelli had ten points for Lynnfield while Caroline Waisnor and Riley Hallahan both added eight points.

The Clippers had twenty-two turnovers including thirteen in the first half. Many of the miscues were on attempts to pass either into the zone or over the zone.

The Pioneers last loss was on January 22nd to Arlington.

Grace Klonsky

Lynnfield will have to wait a week + before they play again. Newburyport has games this week.

Newburyport seniors (Sadie Vandenberg, Sami Cavanaugh, Jess Rousseau) were honored pre-game.

In their first meeting (January 3rd) the Pioneers won, 53-44.

I talked to the Morelli twins post-game and they said that they had never won at Newburyport before tonight.

Cate MacDonald was a Cape Ann League first-team All-Star last year as a freshman.

Lynnfield is in Division 3. One-loss Amesbury and St. Mary’s (Lynn) are also in the D3 North. The Lynnfield I saw tonight might be able to upset either or both of them in the tournament.

The Pioneers finished 13-7 last year and now stand at 13-6 this year so far. The five years prior to those two fine seasons? 5-52! Talk about a program getting turned around!

Lynnfield box

Newburyport box

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

Deidre McElhinney in for two

Deidre McElhinney looks to pass by Cate MacDonald

Grace Klonsky and Sami Cavanaugh

Grace Klonsky catches an inbounds pass

Jackie Doucette shoots against Melissa Morelli

Jackie Doucette trapped by Ava Buonfiglio and Grace Klonsky

Melissa Morelli and Elle Doucette

Melissa Morelli looks to pass

Sadie Vandenberg

Sami Cavanaugh defends

Sydney Turner

Sami Cavanaugh

Sadie Vandenberg

Jess Rosseau

 

 

 

 

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Bedford reaches D3 state semi-finals with 3-1 win over Lynnfield

Bedford – Division Three North Champions

Lynnfield with runner-up trophy

(Lynn MA) He told me afterwards that he was “surprised that it went in.”

But in it went, and the goal by junior Jasper Paez gave #1 seed Bedford a 2-0 lead in the first half.

That turned out to be enough, despite a Lynnfield goal later in the half, for the Bucs (17-1-1) and they  defeated the Pioneers, 3-1 on Saturday afternoon to claim the D3 North title.

Marcus Voss (11) and Domenic Ferrante (16)

That Lynnfield (12-9-1) even reached this game was remarkable.

“This was a great run for a tenth seed that barely got into the tournament,” said Pioneers coach Brent Munroe afterwards.  “We were fifth out of six teams in our Cape Ann League division.”

“Sometimes you go down to a better team,” added Coach Munroe, “and that is what happened today.”

That Lynnfield scored a goal on Bedford may have been equally remarkable.  The Bucs had gone ten straight games (late September) since they were last scored on.

Tommy Buston (12 covered by Matius Ou

I asked Bedford coach Dave Boschetto if he even remembered what it felt like to have a goal scored on his team: “I don’t recall what it felt like.  We’ve only given up five all season.”

You knew going in that goals against the Bucs would be hard to come by.  How about scoring goals?  Bedford had that covered too.

Right off the bat they were in on Lynnfield.  “We had a bit of a slow start,” said Coach Munroe.  “We weren’t ready for their pace.”

Inside the first minute of play, sophomore Max Alper nearly drove home a header.  It went just wide.

Collision

A minute later the Pioneers weren’t as fortunate.  Dexter Kennedy’s hard shot caromed back to senior Ryan Knight.  Ryan’s equally hard shot then went past Lynnfield GK Dante Gesamondo at 38:33.

It became obvious quickly that Bedford would be content to possess the ball continuously no matter what part of the field they were on.

“We wanted to hang onto the ball especially in the second half,” said Bedford goalie Chris Venuti post-game.  “They were only sending one guy up.”

Jasper Paez registered the eventual game-winner at 23:17 of the first half.

Jasper got beyond defender Benjamin Sykes on the left side and put a shot into the far corner.

“I received it (from Nolan Hafer), checked my shoulder, and the rest is history,” was the way Jasper summed up his second goal of the season.

After that goal it was easy to imagine that Lynnfield, down two goals, was on its way to a very long afternoon.

But the Pioneers had other ideas.

Lynnfield turned up a goal that Coach Munroe said was “probably the best goal we scored all year.”

The Lynnfield goal was set up by a cross from freshman Henry Caulfield from the right side.  Tommy Buston and Matheus Saramento both were in front of Bedford GK Chris Venuti as the ball sailed into the middle.

“#10 (Matheus Saramento) put a really good header on the ball,” recalled Chris.  “I was on the front post and he was too.  He flicked it back post.  It was a great play by him.”

The LHS goal (4:42) put the Pioneers back into the game.

“We felt good at halftime, to be honest with you,” said Coach Munroe.

The Bucs would gain permanent separation 5+ minutes into the second half.

The Pioneers committed an infraction about twenty-five yards from their goal.  That called for a direct kick and Dexter Kennedy cashed it.

Coach Boschetto: “We had worked on that set play for a while.  We knew that we had the goalie shielded a little bit.  We called for a direct shot on goal and Dexter finished it.”

Dexter’s goal was very important.  “His goal drew them out away from their goal,” said Coach Boschetto.  “Lynnfield didn’t give up, but that cushion made us a little more comfortable so that we didn’t panic.”

Bedford goalie Chris Venuti and Matheus Saramento after a Luke Martinho throw-in

The Bucs may not have panicked but the Pioneers Luke Martinho did his best to make that happen.  His throw-ins were instant threats.

“I told #9 (Luke Martinho) after the game that I was pretty scared of his throws,” said Bucs goalie Chris Venuti.  “He can put it anywhere.  He can put it right on you or to someone sitting outside the box.  You can’t see the ball.  It’s a very dangerous play.  We were lucky to defend it as well as we did.”

Coach Munroe: “Bedford’s possessions were awesome.  They switched the field.  They had really talented players at many positions.”

Alex Oleksinski

The Bucs also had depth. Every ten minutes another 5-6 players would substitute in.

“We know that everyone has out backs,” said Jasper Paez.  “The subs coming in are going to work just as hard as you.”

Bedford reached the D3 state semi-finals by defeating three Cape Ann League teams.  “We battled a couple of other Cape Ann League teams (North Reading, Newburyport) so we know that it is a good league,” said Coach Boschetto.

Coach Munroe: “I was really happy with our guys.  We fought so hard.  We lost to a great team.”

The Bucs certainly enjoyed winning the D3 North.  The team from the Dual County League had been ousted in the quarterfinals in the four previous years.

Lynnfield won sixteen games in 2018 and lost in the D3 North finals to Wayland.  This year looked to be a rebuilding one, but the Pioneers defeated the #7, #2, and #3 seeds to get to the finals.

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

Tommy Buston (12) and Matias Ou (10)

Luke Martinhow (9) and Nolan Hafer

Matheus Saramento (10 goal celebrated

Ryan Knight

Bedford celebrates third goal

Alejandro Lynch (13) and Jessop Collins (19)

Alejandro Lynch (13) defended by Jasper Paez

Bedford celebrates first goal

Dante Gesamondo up for a save for Lynnfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lynnfield wins six straight edging Newburyport 1-0

Numerous corner kicks by both teams set up trouble in the box for both teams.

Lynnfield celebrates at game’s end

(Newburyport MA) If you enjoyed rain and corner kicks you were at the right game.

Lynnfield (6-2-1) capitalized on one of their CK’s and that was enough to defeat Newburyport, 1-0, on a rainy Thursday afternoon of Cape Ann League girls soccer at Stehlin Field in Newburyport.

“It’s always tournament style when we play Newburyport,” said Pioneers coach Mark Vermont afterwards.

Lynnfield has defeated the Clippers (3-4-2) twice in 2019 and are currently on a six-game winning streak.

Ashley Mitchell set up teammate Anna Radulski on a corner kick

Eight days ago, the score in the Lynnfield/Newburyport contest was a misleading 4-1.  It was tied at halftime and the last two goals came as the Clippers flooded the offensive end trying to catch up.  “It was much closer than the score indicated,” recalled Coach Vermont.

That game, however, is important when discussing today’s game because what worked offensively for the Pioneers in that victory came back and worked again………..corner kick goal. The Pioneers had two CK’s in the first meeting.

“One corner kick was the difference today,” lamented NHS coach Kevin Sheridan post-game.  “Part of our scouting report on them was that they were super strong on corner kicks.  They get players in the box.  They come with good angles and they’re big kids.”

Sophomore Anna Radulski had the first goal off junior Ashley Mitchell’s corner kick in September 18th match.  Exact same thing happened today, although not only was it the first goal but it was the only one.

Anna got the goal with 7:49 left in the first half.

The CK will reach Anna Radulski (19) and result in a goal

Reaction to scored goal

The goal-resulting corner kick was from the left corner.  Ashley Mitchell’s kick was high, and it went over senior Molly Ozanian’s head (she tried to head it) and then reached Anna who had inside position on defender Matigan Felts.  Anna kicked the ball before it landed. There were Clippers defenders blocking goalie Anneliese Truesdale’s view and she had no chance to get in front of Anna’s shot as it went into the left corner.

Coach Sheridan on the Lynnfield goal: “We were a little too loose in our markings.  A girl got free.  She didn’t get a strong kick, but she was in the right position with good timing.”

And that one goal would hold up despite a plethora of opportunities for both teams.

Molly Webster (19) comes close

For Newburyport, Molly Webster had a header that went wide left.  Later, Sammy Cavanaugh broke in from the left and had a shot go just wide to the right.

For Lynnfield, Tori Morelli hit the sidebar on a header off a corner kick.  Later, a hard Lynnfield shot from the middle went through the wet gloves of GK Anneliese Truesdale and trickled just wide left.

“Anneliese was very good today,” said Coach Sheridan.  “She made a big save late in the game and she squeezed a couple out of the air early in the game with players in her face.”

Coach Sheridan also noted strong play in the midfield.  “Deidre (McElhinney) and Molly (Elmore) were great there.  The more they connect to each other the better the team goes. Ideally, every pass the team makes should have an intent.  We want to be a team that possesses the ball and builds an offense.”

Clippers’ shot goes wide past GK Amberly McCarter

The Pioneers were 12-5-3 last season and graduated only one player off that team.

“Lynnfield plays hard,” said Coach Sheridan.  “They get good body position on the ball and you’re always fighting to get around them.  They also do a nice job on set plays.”

Coach Vermont: “Corner kicks are what we work on and today we got a goal on a corner.  Anna (Radulski) made her run and the ball got to her.”

Coach Sheridan: “We’ve had a two-week stretch of playing good team after good team.  It’s a credit to the Cape Ann League.  There are no more easy games.  The quality of the CAL makes kids better.”

Lauren Braconnier (12) and Cricket Good (11)

Both Lynnfield and Newburyport are in Division Three.  “We’ll see what happens in the state tournament,” said Coach Sheridan.  They could face each other for a third time.

Today’s game started with sun but those who know a thing or two about weather had umbrellas with them.  On Newburyport’s Tuesday game at Amesbury I got caught umbrella-less and headed for home at halftime.  Today I noted the forecast, even though the sun was shining at the time, and had a small umbrella with me.  When it started raining in the first half, I was ready. At halftime I got a bigger umbrella and stayed for the whole game.  You gotta be prepared!

I continue to marvel at Stehlin Field with its turf and lights.  Today it starts to rain.  No puddles or ruined grass.  It gets a little dark.  On go the lights.  Nice place.

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

Olivia Coletti

Norah McElhinney (12), Emma Ricciardi (2), and Deidre McElhinney (8)

Tori Morelli

rainy conditions

Liz Sykes

Abby Lucich (9), Anna Radulski (19) and Emma Ricciardi (2)

Deidre McElhinney (8) and Lexi Veglia (13)

Ashley Mitchell

Anneliese Truesdale

Amberly McCarter

Lynnfield celebrates

 

 

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Flannery O’Connor (24 points) drives Amesbury past Lynnfield 65-50

Flannery O’Connor (24 points) surrounded by Pioneers

Alli Napoli double-teamed

(Haverhill MA) There had been six lead changes and seven ties.

Then senior Flannery O’Connor took over in the third quarter.

The Cape Ann League All-Star engineered a run of nine unanswered points and a slim one-point lead (36-35) moved to a breathing-room 45-35 score.

The second-half surge of points was too much for foul-prone Lynnfield to overcome and they fell to (18-4) Amesbury 65-50 on Wednesday night at Whittier.

“We hung around for three quarters,” said Lynnfield coach Peter Bocchino afterwards.  “We ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.”

The Pioneers (14-9) did get within eight (51-43) with 5 ½ minutes to go in the game.

Ciara Sullivan

But then junior Alli Napoli set up teammate Ciara Sullivan for consecutive three’s and Amesbury’s double-digit spread was restored for good.

Tori Morelli and Cate MacDonald

Continuous fouling by both teams ruined any chance for patterned offense to be on display.  There were plenty of one-on-one’s which turned up fouls or layups.

Alli Napoli (Amesbury) and Tori Morelli (Lynnfield) were both in early foul trouble and on their respective benches for much of the first half.

The missing twosome were usually steadying influences on their teams and without them, the play was often ragged in the first half.

“I liked the way that the girls stayed composed with Alli out most of the first half,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollos.

Amesbury had a six-point lead (23-17) with two minutes left in the half but a three by freshman Riley Hallahan and a layup by Grace Klonsky and Lynnfield was back tight, 23-22, at the half.

Amesbury was 19-for-27 from the foul line

The Pioneers had a four-point lead (29-25) three minutes into the second half but two free throws by Alli Napoli and a layup by Flannery O’Connor, that Alli assisted on, and the teams were tied.

Three free throws by Melissa Morelli (14 points) had Lynnfield within one (36-35) with only three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

This was when Flannery took over and led AHS to separation.  Part of the nine-point run was a triple (McKenna Hallinin) set up by Flannery.

Lynnfield played a zone defense and Amesbury struggled to get open looks.

“They were playing a zone,” said Flannery afterwards.  “Moving the ball makes that defense work.  I try to find cracks and dive into them.”

Faced with tight coverage whenever she touched the ball, Flannery was quick to find open teammates.

McKenna Hallinan looks to the hoop

The Hallinan twins (Avery and McKenna) brought energy, points, and defense.  The two freshmen helped carry the scoring load for the Indians in the first half.

Avery ended the game with twelve points while McKenna totaled nine.

Freshman Cate MacDonald tallied twelve points for LHS.  “Our freshman (Cate) came to play tonight,” said Coach Bocchino.  “She got a learning experience.”

I was impressed with the ball-handling of sophomore Grace Klonsky.  Several times she took the ball the full length of the court for a score.

Amesbury will now face St. Mary’s (Lynn) at the Tsongas Arena on Saturday.  The Spartans had a decisive win over Amesbury during the regular season.

Lynnfield had two easy tourney wins before facing Amesbury in the D3 North semifinals.  The Pioneers downed Charlestown 53-9 and Greater Lawrence 69-43.

Peter Bocchino was the CAL coach-of-the-year.

Mary Bullis and Riley Hallahan

Lynnfield had been 5-52 over the previous three seasons.

The Pioneers tourney win over Charlestown was their first since 2009.

Despite missing most of the first half, Alli Napoli finished with eleven points.

The Pioneers missed thirteen free throws.

Amesbury box

Lynnfield box

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

McKenna Hallinan

Alli Napoli

Alli Napoli moves into an open space

Caroline Waisnor sets to receive a pass

Flannery O’Connor in traffic

Grace Klonsky

Grace Klonsky and McKenna Hallinan

Melissa Morelli and Avery Hallinan

 

 

 

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Lynnfield qualifies for the tourney with 47-18 win over Triton

Pioneers’ defense forced 31 Triton turnovers

Tori Morelli (15 points) for Lynnfield

(Byfield MA) Friday night was a special night for the Lynnfield Pioneers girls basketball team.

Lynnfield defeated Triton, 47-18, and qualified for the post-season.

Extra special because the Pioneers (10-8) were 5-52 over the past three seasons and lost their coach (Jim Perry) in April.

“It means a lot tonight,” said Coach Peter Bocchino afterwards.  “I was supposed to share the moment with (Coach) Jim Perry but unfortunately he’s not here.”

Another tough loss for Triton (3-14).  “Our struggle all year has been trying to score,” said Vikings coach Dan Boyle.  “We can’t find any consistency on offense.”

The visitors came out in a zone and defended Triton into a night full of turnovers and missed shots.

“We’ve been working hard on defense,” said Tori Morelli (15 points).

Battle in the lane

“Our zone defense has stifled a lot of people because we’re pretty long and athletic,” said Coach Bocchino.

The Pioneers had their share of struggles with turnovers (22) but, unlike Triton, they put points on the board regularly.

The direction of this game was set in the first quarter.  The Pioneers put eleven unanswered points together while the Vikings put twelve turnovers together.  Triton’s only points (two Caitlin White free throws) of the quarter came with fourteen seconds left. Lynnfield 11, Triton 2.

Sophomore Ava Buonfiglio (11 points) had two three’s for LHS in their fast start.

The Vikings lessened their miscues thereafter, but they didn’t get their 11th point until there were only three minutes left in the game.

Ava Buonfiglio (11 points)

The Pioneers put nine straight together at the end of the 2nd quarter, into the 3rd quarter, and a 17-6 lead bulged to 26-6.  Ava, Riley Hallahan, Tori Morelli, and Catherine MacDonald contributed points.

Lynnfield collected fourteen in a row in the second half and a 26-10 spread became 40-10 in the final quarter.  Melissa Morelli totaled six of the fourteen points.

Melissa/Tori Morelli: “We’ve worked hard all season and it’s finally paid off.  We’re no longer a team you just roll over.  We’ve played the season for Coach Perry.”

“Some role players stepped up, Ava (Buonfiglio) had big three’s and Riley (Hallahan) was killing the boards,” said Coach Bocchino.

Coach Bocchino: “I kept telling the team that we weren’t going to take the Sullivan Rule bid.  I wanted to get into the tournament the real way and we did it tonight.”

Seniors Colleen McCarthy and Emily Karvielis each had six points for Triton.

Neither team shot “lights out,” but the lights did go completely out with a few minutes remaining.  Both teams shot better after the lights came back……..I’m not sure what to make of that!

Lynnfield box

Triton box

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

Emily Karvielis chases a loose ball

Battle for control

Caroline Waisnor (10) and Kerry Power (11)

Catherine MacDonald

Colleen McCarthy launches a three

Grace Klonsky catches an inbounds pass

Jump pass by Grace Klonsky

Melissa Morelli to the hoop

Paige Volpone (33) tries to get by Riley Hallahan (22)

Scramble in the lane

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport sweeps the CAL cross country championships

Lindsay MacLellan of North Reading (first)

Sam Acquaviva of Newburyport (first)

(Amesbury MA) The Newburyport Clippers had a big day at Woodsom Farm taking the Cape Ann League cross country titles in the boys and girls division.

Led by Sam Acquaviva and John Lucey, the Clippers added the CAL championship to their undefeated regular season.

“Sam is Sam,” said NHS coach Don Hennigar of his CAL championship repeat winner.  “That was the best race of John’s life.  To finish second in this league is so good.”

The misty/muddy conditions worried Sam although he ran most of the race alone.  “There was a lot that could go wrong in the conditions.  I always assume that the other runners will come back.”

On teammate John Lucey finishing second?  “It was nice to have John behind me.  It was unexpected.  He had a great race.”

John Lucey (2nd)

Newburyport won the race by forty points: (1) Sam Acquaviva, (2) John Lucey, (6) Dreese Fadil, (9) Cam Lasson, (17) Peter King.

Other top ten finishers: (3) Tyler Stranc, (4) Peter Lopata, (5) Sebastian Gilligan, (7) Will Kenny, (8) John Astrofsky, (10) Keegan Ritchie.

The totals in the girls’ race were much closer: Newburyport (68), Triton (76), Hamilton-Wenham (80).

The point scorers for Newburyport were; Ellie Schulson (4th), Lindsey Roberts (7th), Lucy Gagnon (14th), Olivia D’Ambrosio (20th), Caroline Wilson (23rd).

Clippers coach Don Hennigar: “Ellie Schulson (4th) and Lindsey Roberts (7th) were above and beyond today.  This was probably the best race Lindsey has ever had.”

Junior Lindsay MacLellan of North Reading was the upset winner.  Last year’s winner, Eva Feuerbach of Manchester-Essex, finished second.

Eve Feuerbach (2nd)

Don Hennigar: “That girl from Manchester-Essex doesn’t get beat very often and the girl from North Reading (Lindsay MacLellan) won by a lot.  Most people would call that an upset.”

I asked Lindsay MacLellan how she won the race.  “A lot of mud.  A lot of heart.  I’m a hilly person so this was the kind of course I like.  I gained separation (from Eva Feuerbach) at 2.75 miles.”

The win by Newburyport avenged a meet loss they had to Triton during the regular season.

Other top ten finishers; (3) Ellie Gay-Killeen, (5) Phoebe Rubio, (6) Lana Crosson, (8) Ava Cote, (9) Jemma Shea, (10) Sarah Harrington.

The race was held at Woodsom Farm in Amesbury.  Originally scheduled for Saturday at Bradley Palmer State Park but the weather forced a change.  The weather actually wasn’t all that great at Woodsom today.

Second-place finisher John Lucey: “It was a tough race for everyone.  I was able to plot the best course through the mud in some sections.  Coming down the hills was dangerous in some places.”

John ran much of the race with no one near him ahead (Sam Acquaviva) or behind (Tyler Stranc).  How do you stay tuned in?  “I kind of get delusional.  Then I keep going because I think someone’s right behind me.”

Excellent job done by Amesbury AD Glenn Gearin and his staff handling the parking and other logistical issues.

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

Newburyport’s Katherine Sheehy and Annie Siemasko accept the first-place trophy

Girls start

Ellie Gay-Killeen (Triton) 3rd

Ellie Schulson (Newburyport) 4th

Phoebe Rubio (Pentucket) 5th

Lana Crosson (Masconomet) 6th

Lindsey Roberts (Newburyport) 7th

Ava Cote (Hamilton-Wenham) 8th

Jemma Shea (Hamilton-Wenham) 9th

Sarah Harrington (Triton) 10th

Boys start

Sam Acquaviva shows off the Woodsom Farm mud

Tyler Stranc (Triton) 3rd

Peter Lopata (Pentucket) 4th

Sebastian Gilligan (Masconomet) 5th

Dreese Fadil (Newburyport) 6th

Will Kenny (Manchester-Essex) 7th

John Astrofsky (Lynnfield) 8th

Cam Lasson (Newburyport) 9th

Keegan Ritchie (Triton) 10th

 

 

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Newburyport finishes regular season with 2-0 win over Lynnfield

Thomas Buston (12) pressures goalie Aiden Guthro

Eamon McElhinney (4) and Nate Bass (8) battle near the goal

(Newburyport MA) A win would have given Lynnfield the most wins they’ve ever had in a season.

But there was a bigger picture, and that changed the tone of today’s matchup with Newburyport.

The seedings for the post-season tournament are in and Lynnfield is #1.  That position would not be affected by this afternoon’s game.

“The kids wanted to win it,” said Lynnfield coach Brent Munroe, “but it wasn’t a meaningful game for us.”

Dangerous play

The Clippers also had a position in the tournament sewn up too.  So you had two teams in their own versions of “spring training” mode.

Newburyport won the game 2-0 getting second-half goals from Andrew Moreland and Ronan Harrington.

The Clippers (9-4-5) had lost 3-0 to the Pioneers (14-2-2) in September.

“That loss fueled us to come back here and play better,” Newburyport goalie Aiden Guthro told me afterwards.

Despite playing everyone who was dressed to play, the Pioneers put plenty of pressure on the Clippers.  “They have some great players,” said Aiden.  “I can’t say enough about everyone in the back.”

The most dangerous of the Lynnfield forwards was senior Nate Bass.  He was a master at winning 50/50 balls and dribbling past players.  His best chance was a break-in from the right in the second half.  Aiden came out to challenge, and may have deflected the shot, as it rolled just wide left late in the game.

While the Clippers may have had fewer chances, they did cash in two of them.

Andrew Moreland (17) celebrates with teammates

Senior Andrew Moreland collected his fourth goal of the season less than minute into the second half.  “The ball bounced back to me after a throw-in,” explained Andrew.  “I was at the corner of the box when I got the ball.  I deliberately drove it into the upper right corner.”

Harry Bovee (9) and Andrew Moreland (17) eye an incoming ball

“That first goal surprised us,” said Coach Munroe.  “It was a long shot to a good spot.  Our goalie had no chance.  I’m not sure that he knew that the shot had been taken.”

Lynnfield carried the play after Newburyport’s first goal but couldn’t find the equalizer.

In the last two minutes the Clippers were awarded a free kick from straightaway.  Senior Ronan Harrington took the kick.

“Ronan is probably the best free-kick taker in the Cape Ann League,” said Aiden.  “Anywhere inside of twenty yards he’ll put it in the top corner.  I felt confident with him taking the shot.”

Ronan sent his shot into the same upper corner that Andrew Moreland had earlier.

The Clippers came away with a satisfying 2-0 win.

Brent Munroe: “We’ll be the #1 seed in the tournament and hopefully we’ll play our best soccer during the next two weeks starting Sunday.”

Jon Luders

Jon Luders: “It was good to get guys minutes.  I still don’t like losing.  You want to win no matter what.  Now we’re on to the tournament.”

The Pioneers had gone nine straight games without a loss prior to today’s game.

The Clippers haven’t lost in six of their previous seven games.

Newburyport’s stadium is a terrific place to watch a soccer game with its elevated viewing on both sides.  I was on the turf surface which is also very good.

I wanted to talk to Newburyport coach Shawn Bleau after the game, but he “opted” to go to the parent/teacher open house being held indoors.  As a former teacher, I know that there are some things you don’t miss!

Over the past five years against each other, both teams have won three times and lost three times and there have been four ties.

The shutout was GK Aiden Guthro’s ninth of the season.  He holds the Newburyport career shutout record with twenty-three of them.

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

Joe Cibelli

Jack Healy (11), Eamon McElhinney (4), Ronan Harrington (6), Harry Bovee (9)

Jack Healy (11) and Thomas Buston (12) vie for a corner kick

Trying to contain Nate Bass

Ronan Harrington

Nate Bass (8) gets into a kick with Ronan Harrington (6) nearby

Jack Healy

George Coryell

Nate Bass threatens

Chris Connor

Aiden Guthro leaps to save

Aiden Guthro and Jack Healy celebrate the win

 

 

 

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