Category Archives: Manchester-Essex

Manchester-Essex overcomes two-goal deficit to tie Newburyport 2-2

Kellen Furse in on GK Stefan Berlind

Josh McPherson over the sliding tackle of Ryan Archer

(Newburyport MA) Both teams are still undefeated in the Cape Ann League but there wasn’t a lot of celebrating after today’s game.

“I thought we had them,” said Newburyport coach Shawn Bleau afterwards. “We were up 2-0 and playing well.”

The Clippers took a 2-0 lead with 16:37 left in the second half.  They had taken more shots and certainly had been set up with more corner kicks.

But the Hornets (4-1-1) can score and in a span of just over a minute had the two goals back.

“Newburyport scored that second goal and it would have been easy for us to put out heads down, but we didn’t,” recalled ME coach Robbie Bilsbury.  “It was great that we were able to battle back.”

Will Acquaviva after scoring the Clippers 2nd goal

Freshman Will Acquaviva had a goal and an assist for Newburyport (2-0-3) while sophomore Naderson Curtis did the same for Manchester-Essex.

Yes, Will is Sam’s brother.  Sam moved from soccer and became a tremendous long-distance runner for the Clippers.  He’s now a freshman at MIT.

“We knew about Will in youth soccer,” said Coach Bleau.  “I coached Sam before he turned to cross country.  Luckily, for us, Will likes soccer a little more than running.”

Ryan Archer dribbles in traffic

The Clippers, led by super-active Ryan Archer, were relentless in harassing ME in their own end in the first half.  “We knew that we could pressure them carrying out from the back,” said Coach Bleau.  “Ryan Archer did a great job.”

Newburyport also had Max Gagnon shadowing Hornets playmaker Kellen Furse.

The Clippers took a 1-0 lead with about nine minutes left in the first half.  Junior Owen Spence collected the goal off a tremendous feed from Will Acquaviva.

“We’ve been working on bringing the ball to the end line and cutting it back across,” said Coach Bleau.  “Will came in on the left and sent the ball across to Owen Spence on the right.  Owen wasted no time in getting off a shot.  It was nice to see them execute something we’ve been working on in practice.”

Ryan Archer shoots at GK Ben Goutal

Junior Ryan Archer set up the Clippers second goal.  “It was Ryan hustling his butt off,” added Coach Bleau.  “He got off a shot and their keeper made a terrific save.”  But there was a rebound and Will Acquaviva was there to cash it in.

The goal happened at 16:37 and you did sense at the time that it was more likely that Newburyport would score the next goal.

Why? They now had a two-goal lead, it was hot, they were playing at home……..but it didn’t matter.

“Newburyport asserted themselves early,” said Coach Bilsbury.  “They were tough on every 50/50 ball, won headers, slide tackled, hustled, and outworked us.  We wanted to impose our possession style on them because they were closing us down.  We picked up our scrappiness in the second half.  Getting that first goal was crucial.”

The first ME score was not only timely but it came quickly after the Newburyport score…….just under ninety seconds later (15:12).

“Striker Naderson Curtis found a little pocket of space and fed a pass through to Kellen Furse near the goalie,” said Coach Bilsbury.  “Kellen was able to poke the pass by the NHS goalie (Stefan Berlind).”

Graham Smith (2) slides across the goal line trying to keep a shot out

Kellen and Stefan arrived at the ball at the same time and the resulting collision sent the ball toward the goal.  Defenders Cameron McDermott and Graham Smith did everything they could to keep the ball from crossing the goal-line.  Graham slide across the goal mouth but the shot had crossed the line.

Just over a minute later (14:01) the Hornets stunned the home team with another goal.

“It was a corner kick,” recalled Coach Bilsbury. “There was pressure on the goalie, and he may have mishandled it, but we’ll take it.  Getting the equalizer was huge for us.”

Incoming corner kick that turned into a goal

The ME pressure was supplied by a jumping Thomas Birkeland who effected a clear look at the CK and by Eli Cox who was very close to GK Stefan Berlind.

“We had breakdowns in the back on both of their goals,” said Coach Bleau.  “Our keeper needs to talk up a little bit more.  It’s something we can fix.  Missing a play can happen but not being vocal back there shouldn’t.”

Coach Bleau: “We’ve had a couple of ties.  It’s tough.  It’s bad on our stomachs.  Hopefully our guys can pick up on that and turns ties into wins in the future.”

One area the Clippers will have to get better on is corner kicks.  They had plenty of them and just couldn’t get the ball and bodies near the ME goalie Ben Goutal and create scoring chances.

Beautiful weather in a terrific stadium to play soccer and to watch soccer.

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

Kellen Furse jarred the ball loose from GK Stefan Berlind and a goal resulted

Hornets celebrate a goal

Clippers celebrate a goal

Emerson Khale and Ryan Archer

Harry Costello and Marcos Pasquale

Henry Acton (15) and Jake Edwards (17)

Jamie Brooks

John Fehlner throw-in

Max Gagnon (14) shadows Kellen Furse (10)

Naderson Curtis readies a corner kick

Owen Spence (11) gets a shot past GK Ben Goutal

Thomas Birkeland (4) and Henry Acton (15) vie for the ball

Thomas Birkeland

 

 

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Manchester-Essex wins first Division 4 title 5-2 over Tahanto

Dylan Wilson catches the final out

Hornets celebrate

Hornets behind the banner

Jimmy Railsback and Harry Painter

(Lowell MA) Manchester-Essex seniors filled the big moments for the Hornets this afternoon leading the team to its first baseball state title, 5-2, over Tahanto at LeLacheur Park.

“The seniors have absolutely led this season from beginning to end,” said ME coach BJ Weed afterwards as he dried off from a post-game dousing.

Seniors Luke Leavitt (2 hits, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Harry Painter (3 hits, 1 run, 2 RBI), and Dylan Wilson (2 hits, 2 RBI) supplied the firepower in ME’s five runs.

Dylan also came on to protect the Hornets’ 5-2 lead over the final two innings.

“I was lucky enough to come in and close the game,” said Dylan.  “We were up 5-2.  I was just trying to pump the zone with a good defense behind me.  Just throw strikes and let my defense work.”

Dylan Wilson pitched the final two innings for ME

Some might dispute Dylan’s “let the defense work” line during the final inning.  Why? There were two popups in the last inning and Dylan was all over both of them.  The game-clinching out was a popup that Dylan caught in the righthand batter’s box.

“I knew coming in that I wanted to get the last out,” Dylan said smiling afterwards.  “I saw that last popup and said to myself, ‘I’m not letting anyone else get this.’”

Tahanto, from Boylston, had a very young team.  They started three freshmen and an eighth grader (catcher Andrew Brown).

The Stags tied the score (1-1) in the first and only trailed 3-2 after three innings.

The fourth inning was decisive.  The Hornets (20-5) pushed across two runs and had the pitching the rest of the way to make that 5-2 lead stand up.

Sophomore Will Levendusky led off the fourth inning with a bunt single.  Later, with two outs, Luke Leavitt doubled to right scoring Will.  Harry Painter (3 hits) followed with a double over Matt St. Denis (LF) to bring Luke home with the 5th ME run.

Freshman Kellen Heney pitched 4 2/3 innings

Freshman Kellen Heney pitched the first 4 2/3 innings for the Hornets.  The Stags (17-7) threatened to get runs back against Kellen in their half of the fifth with two on, two out.  But Coach Weed summoned Vaughn O’Leary and the freshman struck out Derek Arcand to end the inning.

Another chance for Tahanto in the 6th but again with two on, and two out, the Hornets got yet another strikeout (Ryan Walton), this time from Dylan Wilson, to frustrate the Central champs.

Freshman Trevor Grady doubled in the 7th with two outs but Dylan Wilson reeled in the last out.

Manchester-Essex got a run in the first inning.  Harry Painter doubled, went to 2B on a wild pitch, and scored on Dylan Wilson’s single to right.

Adam Fuller scores as catcher Mike Quill reaches to tag

Tahanto got that run back in their half of the first.  Adam Fuller walked, stole second, and was driven in by Ethan Sauriol (3 hits) with a two-out single to left.

Two runs for ME in the third.  Will Janowicz (bunt single) and Luke Leavitt (walk) led off the inning.  Harry Painter singled and the throw home allowed Will to score and Luke to get to third.  Dylan Wilson’s single brought Luke home.

Taranto receives their trophy

Tahanto coach Neil Greewald: “It wasn’t our best game for sure.  Hats off to Manchester-Essex.  They out-pitched us, out-hit us, and played better defense.”

Mike Quill (catcher): “It was incredible to win this.  Everyone has worked hard all year and it has paid off. Kellen (Heney) is a young kid with composure.”

Bennett O’Leary (shortstop): “All year long people doubted us because we got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last year.  We used it to motivate us.  We had one goal this entire season and that was to win the state championship and we did it.”

Luke Leavitt (Southern Maine commit): “We put it together this whole post-season.  We were never losing.  We never found out what it was like to be chasing.  I told the younger guys yesterday, ‘There’s no better feeling than to win something like this with your best friends.’”

Luke Leavitt

Franklin Wood (reserve): “It was amazing.  So much fun to be a part of this.  It was great to see us keep battling the whole game and having our captains lead us through was awesome.  Usually a Catholic school wins D4.  It was good to see a public school do it.”

Harry Painter (UMass Lowell commit): This will be my home field for the next four years.  It’s beautiful.  I can’t wait.  We worked hard; early mornings, late nights.  It all paid off.  Every one of my hits came off a fast ball.  I tried to stay off the curve balls as much as I could.  I wanted to get into good counts and drive the ball.  At UMass Lowell I’m thinking of studying sports physical therapy.  I learned a lot when I had surgery on my arm.”

Coach Weed: “This is almost like a dream to me.  I can’t say enough about this team.  I am almost speechless.  We’ve had the goal to win a championship since we started five years ago.  We started Harry (Painter) slowly this year because of his injury last year.  He got better every outing and he hit .544.”

Dylan Wilson: “I will be going to UMass Amherst to study Biology.”

Tahanto was the #7 seed in the Central.  They are in the Midland Wachusett League.

Matt St. Denis

In 2017, the Stags were 22-1 losing in the state semi-finals that season.

Today’s game was the first state final Taranto has been in since 1993.

Manchester-Essex won ten straight including five in the tournament.

Harry Painter was the Player-of-the-Year in the Cape Ann League.  Harry, Bennett O’Leary, and Dylan Wilson were on the CAL First Team.  Luke Leavitt and Mike Quill made the CAL second team.  Coach Weed was Coach-of-the-Year.

Beautiful weather for today’s noon start.

Busy twenty-four hours for Hornets’ fans.  The girls lacrosse team was in the state finals last night.

Disappointed that the MIAA had no programs for a game of this importance.

Manchester-Essex box

Tahanto box

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

Bennett O’Leary (SS) gets the force at 2B as Adam Fuller approaches

The celebrating begins

Dylan Wilson (3B) makes a nice running catch in the first inning

Dylan Wilson batting

Ethan Sauriol (2B) awaits the throw as Will Janowicz slides

Jimmy Railsback caught in a rundown

Justin Wolfe

Lars Arnsten (2B) reaches for a throw

Vaughn O’Leary

Will Janowicz scores the 2nd ME run on a wild throw in the 3rd inning

Will Levendusky cools off Coach Weed

Lars Arnsten

Luke Leavitt tagged out at 3B by Rob Salerno

Trophy pose

Trophy raised

 

 

 

 

 

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Manchester-Essex upsets Newburyport 8-7 in CAL girls lacrosse

Diane Rodier and Molly Brady rush to celebrate an 8-7 win over Newburyport ending six straight losses to the Clippers

ME goalie Bella Pomeroy congratulated by teammates

(Newburyport MA) What a difference a week makes!

Manchester-Essex won their third game of the week, edging Newburyport, 8-7, on a sunny Thursday afternoon at Newburyport.

Meanwhile, the Clippers, with only two losses in the last two seasons, suffered their second loss of this week.

Abby Lantz (7) in the middle of the action

Senior Abby Lantz netted the game-winner with 4:26 left and was quick to credit her teammates: “That last goal was the climax of what my teammates were doing throughout the entire game.”

Newburyport’s Sam King (3 goals) faces goalie Bella Pomeroy

Newburyport (1-2) dominated the first fifteen minutes getting two goals from sophomore Sam King and one from junior Maggie Pons.

“Being down early (3-0) didn’t bother us,” said ME coach Nan Gorton. “We like the challenge.  The same scenario happened against Marblehead (14-6 win).  We just had to figure out what they were trying to do and see how we were going to beat it.”

That “figuring out” happened in the final 6+ minutes of the first half as the Hornets, with goals by Brigid Edgerton, Lily Athanas (2), Emma Cochand, and Gianna Huet, left with a 5-3 halftime advantage.

The second half was tense.  Katie Hadden tied the score at 6-6 and later teammate Maggie Pons tied things at 7-7 with 5:47 left.

Maggie Pons covered by Lily Athanas

Lafayette College commit Abby Lantz tallied the decisive goal 1+ minutes later and ME held on to end a six-game losing streak to Newburyport.

“It feels really good to beat them,” said Abby afterwards.  “We came into the game with those past experiences as fuel for us.”

Last year the Hornets were a very good 17-4 but three of the defeats were to the Clippers including the D2 North finals.

“We did a better job in this game in the second half of finding open girls,” said NHS coach Catherine Batchelder.

Sam King ready to shoot as Molly Brady defends

“Lacrosse is a game of momentum,” added Coach Batchelder, “wherever the draw goes is where the goals go.  We had trouble possessing the ball in the draw and that enabled them to get back in the game.”

Maggie Pons looks for an opening as Isabel Amigo defends

The defense of Lily Athanas on Maggie Pons (Cornell commit) was a key to the win.  “She did a nice job shadowing a great player,” said Coach Gorton. Maggie had 112 goals last season but only two this afternoon.

The ME coach also commended goalie Bella Pomery: “She is one of the best of the best.  She’s also a great teammate.  She tells everyone in front of her where to be and where not to be.”

Bella made a huge save on Sam King in the closing minute.

Coach Batchelder: “We’re just very young.  We’re still trying to find our way out there. They stayed composed in a lot of different situations this afternoon.”

Abby Lantz came from behind the net on the winning goal and perfectly executed a crease roll.

Drew Charlton

Abby on her choice of Lafayette College (Easton PA): “Throughout high school I’ve been playing club soccer.  That got me a lot of exposure.  Lafayette (Division 1) reached out to me and later, after visiting, I reached back.  When I step on their campus, I get butterflies.  As far as I’m concerned, it has the perfect balance of academics and athletics.  I am interested in government and psychology.  I have met the other nine recruits and played with the team and interacted with the coaching staff.”

Excellent April weather…….sunshine and temperatures in the upper fifties.

There will be a rematch at Manchester on May 21st. It would also seem likely that the two teams could meet for a third time, like last year, in the tournament.

I would expect a little more scoring from Maggie Pons in the games ahead.  Too many minutes off the field today because of infractions.

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

Ball on the ground

Abby Lantz passes

Brigid Edgerton, Emma Cochand, Sami Cavanaugh, Gianna Huet

Brigid Edgerton

Brigid Edgerton (2 goals) chased by Sami Cavanaugh

Bella Pomeroy makes a save

Maggie Pons

Maggie Pons attacks

Liberty Palermino

Bridget Lane

Sam King checked by Christina Calandra

Sam King shoots as Drew Charlton defends

 

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Amesbury tops Manchester-Essex in D4 North title game 2-1 in double OT

Amesbury poses with the D4 North title trophy

Plenty of contact in today’s game

(Lynn MA) Last time I saw the Manchester-Essex girls soccer team play Amesbury it was October and they scored early and often defeating the Indians, 3-0.

In the rematch today, the Indians won the Division 4 North title, 2-1, in double overtime at Manning Field.

Amesbury (15-3-4) moves on to the D4 state semi-finals on Wednesday against the South winner.

The difference-makers in today’s game?  Senior Chelsea Lynch and junior GK Alli Napoli.

Chelsea had both goals for Amesbury, including the game-winner, while Alli was a strong presence in net.

Hornets celebrated Jillian Bowen’s tying goal

Chelsea did not play in the 3-0 October loss, while Alli played just the second half after returning from an injury.

To take this back even further, the two teams met at Manchester-Essex in September.  The Indians won, 2-0.  Amesbury goals?  Both by Chelsea Lynch. Alli Napoli was in net for the shutout.

Both teams capitalized on misplays in the box during regulation; Chelsea Lynch in the first half and Jillian Bowen in the second half.

The longer this game went between the two Cape Ann League rivals the greater the emotional gap would be between the winner and the loser.

Dasa Haser was in the Amesbury box 1 ½ minutes into the second overtime but her shot went wide left.

Dasa Hase (16) and Avery Hallinan (21)

Alyssa Pettet sent a direct kick toward the left post with 3:15 left in that second OT but Maddie DiPietro couldn’t finish.

Next Amesbury possession freshman McKenna Hallinan got by one Hornet and passed ahead to Chelsea Lynch in space.  As the space closed, Chelsea shot past GK Bella Pomeroy just inside the near post.  Game over.

McKenna Hallinan gets by a defender before setting up Chelsea Lynch

Chelsea Lynch (12) shoots between Emma Cochand (11) and Drew Charlton (21) for the game winner

After the game-winner is scored.

Emma DiPietro hemmed in by Hornets

“What an ending,” said Amesbury coach Adam Thibodeau afterwards.  “Last year we got bumped out in a similar situation (state semifinals).”

Chelsea Lynch: “That last goal was a full effort from everyone behind me.  It came from midfield.  McKenna (Hallinan) made a beautiful pass to me.  Everything was going so fast.  I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity because there weren’t many of them.”

Very difficult loss for Manchester-Essex.  Amesbury had taken them out last year in the D4 North first round.  The Hornets improvement over last year was very evident.  They beat out Amesbury to win the Baker Division of the Cape Ann League and they were a higher seed (#4) than Amesbury (#6).

Maya Baker (1) and Ashlee Porcaro (14)

ME coach Luke Cosgrove has twice told me that what he wants from his team in a game is to, “start fast, score goals, and be tight in the back.”

In the October win over Amesbury, ME scored in the first 40 seconds and had a 3-0 lead after eleven minutes.  Against #1 Mystic Valley in the D4 North semis the Hornets scored in the first twenty seconds and led by five at the half in a 6-1 win.

When I looked at this D4 North final matchup I knew what ME wanted to do.  But they couldn’t.  The most dangerous of the Hornets (in my opinion) was Dasa Haser.  The talented sophomore is very fast, can get past defenders, and knows how to score.  She had two in the October win over Amesbury.

Dasa Hase (16) and Maddy Creps (2)

Dasa showed off her speed today but most of her shots were from long range.  There was one time in the 2nd OT, however, where she had the ball in the box, but Amesbury had three defenders and the goalie in front of her.

I waited for ME to score first but instead it was Amesbury exciting the crowd in the first half (15:13).

Chelsea Lynch had a chance for a separation goal ten minutes into the second half, but her shot was just wide left.

As the game moved into the latter stages of the second half it looked as if one goal might be enough.  It wasn’t.  Credit the Hornets.  They persisted and persisted finally tying things with 8:49 left as Jillian Bowen drove home a loose ball in the box.

Now we had ourselves a ballgame!

Jillian Bowen takes a corner kick

In the deciding second overtime, Amesbury had the wind to their backs and the sun was in GK Bella Pomeroy’s eyes.

There was no ten-minute cooling off period after the game for Coach Cosgrove.  He wasn’t happy with the loss and who could blame him.  I talked to Amesbury coach Adam Thibodeau right after the 3-0 loss to Manchester-Essex in October.  He wasn’t real happy either!

The Amesbury style of play was not to Coach Cosgrove’s liking. “We want to pass the ball around defenders.  They run real fast and try to intimidate defenders.”

No official will admit this, but in these big games, they would prefer to let the teams play without interfering.  Things are let go and there will be collisions.  Players go down and there are no calls.  Both sides get upset.

First Chelsea Lynch goal celebrated

The key to the Amesbury win?  Limiting Dasa Haser.  “They definitely did better on Dasa today,” said Coach Cosgrove. “When players like that get into the right spot, they can score goals against anyone, but Amesbury had some tough defenders on her.”

Maddy Creps was one of them: “There was a lot of running trying to keep up with her (Dasa).  I felt that we did a pretty good job of containing her.”

“We knew that both teams were ready,” said senior Emma DiPietro afterwards. “We knew it would be a huge battle.  Last season in the state semi-finals we lost in double overtime.  We didn’t want that to happen again.”

Alyssa Pettet (5) and Jillian Bowen (3)

Manchester-Essex cruised through opponents in the D4 North tourney.  “We were ready for a tough game after a tight win over St. Mary’s (1-0) in the semis,” said Coach Thibodeau.

Amesbury’s Alyssa Pettet claimed that a change of style was key to the win: “We got into just kicking the ball.  We had to change back to our game and keep the ball on the ground and try to complete passes. We did that, and we scored the winning goal.”

The sun was shining and the breeze wasn’t as strong as it can be at Manning Field.

Manchester-Essex finishes 15-4-2.  “We had a great season,” said Coach Cosgrove.  “Our kids did everything we asked.”

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

Action along the sidelines

Alli Napoli and Meg McElaney

Ashley Flood and Maia Esty

Avery Hallinan

Emma DiPietro (11) dropped by Madison Lawler (15)

ME goalie Bella Pomeroy

Pressure on Amesbury GK Alli Napoli

Shirt tug Emily Beck (6) on Chelsea Lynch

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On to the D4 North finals for Manchester-Essex after 6-1 win over Mystic Valley

Dasa Hase (16) set up perfectly in front

Dasa’s shot splits Gianna Gray (23) and Rianna Griffiths (13)

Maya Baker had a goal and two assists for the Hornets

(Lynn MA) The starting time for Sunday’s Division 4 North finals between Amesbury and Manchester-Essex is 11AM.

I alert you to that because after seeing Manchester-Essex twice I know that they can strike early.

I saw it against Amesbury during the regular season; goal in forty seconds.

I saw it today in the D4 semi-finals against Mystic Valley: goal in twenty seconds.

And the Hornets (15-3-2) weren’t finished in either game.  Two more goals were scored against both teams in the next ten minutes.

Both of those games were history before halftime.

ME coach Luke Cosgrove put it succinctly: “We want to start fast, score goals, and keep it tight in the back.”  Mission accomplished against the #1 Eagles tonight in the D4 North semi-finals.

Dasa Hase and Jillian Bowen both scored twice for the Hornets.  Junior Maya Baker had a goal and two assists.  Lily Rhuda had a second-half goal for Mystic Valley.

Jillian Bowen (2 goals) about to take a penalty kick

Seedings can be misleading because they’re based only on a team’s record.  In other states they tweak the seedings based on the strength of schedules.

The team from Malden came in with an excellent 16-2 record.  They had allowed only one goal in their last seven games and had scored thirty-nine goals.

The problem for the Eagles was that they play in the Commonwealth Conference.  “We have a much weaker schedule,” said MV coach Lauren Henry afterwards.

Jade Cromwell (4) led a very solid ME defense

“We’re not used to facing a team like Manchester-Essex.  They were bigger, faster, and had a lot of skills.”

Manchester-Essex is in the Cape Ann League where very competitive opposition abounds and teams toughen each other up for tournament play.

The Hornets will face a familiar CAL foe in Amesbury on Sunday (Remember 11AM) in the D4 North title game.

I was very impressed with the passing skills of Manchester-Essex.  Teammates getting open were rewarded with feeds.

Right from the get-go, ME was unselfish.  Maya Baker brought the ball down the left side, drew defenders, and sent a pass past MV goal Gwen Rhuda to sophomore Dasa Hase in front.  Quick score, twenty seconds into the game.

Maya Baker shoots to score goal 2

Less than two minutes later Maya Baker broke down the same wing.  MV was now concerned about Hornets in the middle.  Maya shot, instead of passing.  2-0 with just over two minutes gone by!

I quickly realized that MV’s stats, coming in, would not mean much to this-night’s Hornets.

The ME offense was impressive, but their defense led by Jade Cromwell was just as good, keeping the Eagles in their own end for most of the first ten minutes.

At 27:43 Bianca Antonucci fouled Jillian Bowen in the box.  Jillian drove the penalty kick past GK Gwen Rhuda.  3-0.

Action near the MV goal

Mystic Valley started to be able to get the ball into the ME side of the field but often the Hornets responded with more scoring chances.  One of those was a marvelous setup by Dasa Hase for freshman Elorie Willwerth.

At 9:11 Dasa Hase finished off a lengthy breakaway with her second goal of the game.  4-0.

Five minutes later Maya Baker put an excellent pass in front to Isabel Musco that was finished at 4:18. 5-0.

Hornets coach Luke Cosgrove substituted frequently in the first half and continued to do that in the second half.  “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”

Jillian Bowen managed to come out of this trio of Eagles for a shot and a goal

Senior Jillian Bowen tallied ME’s 6th goal ten minutes into the second half.  She put on a dribbling clinic (as my picture shows) through several Eagles to get into a shooting position.  “It was a team effort to get the ball up there,” Jillian explained.  “I took my space and took my shot when I had it.”  6-0.

Mystic Valley finally scored four minutes later.  “Shelagh Downes was outside the box,” recalled Coach Henry.  “She kicked it into the box and Lily Rhuda was fortunate enough to be right there and kicked it over the goalie’s head.”

Coach Cosgrove describing Jillian Bowen: “She has played well every week, every game.  She’s been doing it since preseason.  It’s great that she’s getting rewards for her hard work.”

Lily Rhuda (4) and Claire O’Brien (5)

The Hornets are undefeated in their last ten games dating back to a 3-0 loss to Division 2 Masconomet.

Jillian: “We know Amesbury pretty well.  It’s going to be a battle.  A quick start will be best for us.  We’ve have been preparing all season for them.”

Coach Cosgrove: “We split with Amesbury during the regular season but we’re a different team from game one (loss to Amesbury).  We’re more experienced.  We’ve had more time together and be able to coach them up and find our strengths and use them.”

College plans?  Jillian: “I have verbally committed to play soccer at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.  I have a lot of family connections out there.  I am planning on doing a five-year engineering program.”

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

Rowan Schanley (30) elevates to avoid GK Gwen Rhuda

Rachel Albertazzi (10) dribbles into shooting range

Reaction to first goal

Madison Lawler (15) and Gianna Gray (23)

Kate Story

Jillian Bowen chased by Eagles defenders

Isabel Musco drives home a goal after being nicely set up by Maya Baker

Gwen Rhuda chases a loose ball

Dasa Hase shot at MV goalie Gwen Rhuda

Dasa Hase on the move

Dasa Hase after scoring the 4th ME goal

 

 

 

 

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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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Manchester-Essex scores early defeating Amesbury 3-0 in first-place battle

Dasa Hase (2 goals and an assist) runs with Meg McElaney (3)

Jill Bowen had the second Hornets goal

(Amesbury MA) It didn’t figure to go this way.

Manchester-Essex (8-3-1) jumped on Amesbury (7-3-1) early and defeated the Indians, 3-0, to move to the top of the Baker Division in the Cape Ann League.

Why didn’t it figure to go this way?  (1) The last fourteen times the two teams have met, including this season, the Indians won twelve times.  (2) In the last seven games between the two teams ME had scored only twice.

And then to increase the chances of another bad outing, no team bus showed up in Manchester and the Hornets were forty-five minutes late getting to Cashman Field in Amesbury.

So the stats and the situation suggested strongly that Manchester-Essex would struggle…………but they didn’t.

Alyssa Pettet (5) and Emma Cochand (11) battle

“We knew that we couldn’t control being late on a bus,” said ME coach Luke Cosgrove afterwards, “but we knew that we could control the start.”

And that was where this game was won.  Early.

The visitors tallied a goal in the first forty seconds and by the end of eleven minutes had two more.  Amesbury never recovered.

That lack of reaction bothered Indians coach Adam Thibodeau.  “We gave up.  If the other team gets off to a better start, we give up.  All of our losses have been by big scores.”

Dasa Hase (16) nearly scored in the second half.

The catalyst in the Hornets’ three goals was sophomore Dasa Hase.  She had the opening goal, assisted Jill Bowen on the second, and scored the third.

“We put her (Dasa) in the middle to try and use her speed,” said Coach Cosgrove.  “Sometimes out wide her speed gets hidden.”

Teammate Drew Charlton sent Dasa off in the first minute with a long pass up the middle. Dasa dribbled into space and cashed an open look against AHS goalie Julia Campbell.

Alli Napoli (out with injuries for a few games) was in net for Amesbury in the second half.

“Julia (Campbell) was beaten three times,” said Coach Thibodeau, “but it wasn’t a keeper issue.  All three were wide-open shots.”

Emma DiPietro hit the crossbar in the first half

Amesbury came close twice in the last ten minutes of the first half.  Emma DiPietro hit the crossbar and Alyssa Pettet fired a direct kick over the net.

The three-goal halftime lead changed ME’s approach to the second half.  “In the second half we said let’s not concede a goal,” explained Coach Cosgrove.  “We rested our star players and we got out of here with another clean sheet.”

The Hornets had three defenders stay on their half of the field even when their teammates were advancing on the AHS goal in the second half.

“In the last seven games, we’ve scored a goal each time within the first seven minutes,” said Coach Cosgrove.

The Indians did themselves no favors in Division 4 with the loss.  “We now may have to go to them in the tournament,” said Coach Thibodeau.

Coach Thibodeau: “They’re a great team.  I was hoping for a better battle in a playoff atmosphere but it didn’t happen.”

Drew Charlton (21) clears

The Indians defeated ME 2-0 earlier in the season.  Chelsea Lynch (now out with turf toe) had both goals for AHS.

Amesbury eliminated Manchester-Essex last year in the first round of the D4 tournament.  They would go on to reach the state semi-finals before losing to Millis.

ME’s Jade Cromwell is a two-time CAL All-Star.

Emma DiPietro, Alli Napoli, Chelsea Lynch, and Alyssa Pettet of Amesbury were honored by the Cape Ann League after last season.

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

AHS goalie Julia Campbell punts

Madison Lawler

Rachel Albertazzi chased by Meg McElaney and Bev Browne

Abby Lantz (7) and Maia Esty (15)

Alyssa Pettet

Alyssa Pettet and Jade Cromwell

Ashlee Porcaro shadows Dasa Hase

Hornets goalie Bella Pomeroy

Dasa Hase (16) congratulated by Jade Cromwell on her second goal

Dasa Hase (16) congratulated by Jill Bowen after her first goal

Ella Marinopoulos (8) dribbles

Emma DiPietro (11) and Claire O’Brien (5)

Emma DiPietro tries to get past Drew Charlton

 

 

 

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