Category Archives: Pentucket

Pentucket shuts out Amesbury 2-0

Pentucket seniors with Coach Ruth Beaton
Haley Dwight had a goal and an assist

(Merrimac MA) The Pentucket seniors were honored before the game and the team was honored afterwards.

The Sachems (15-1) defeated Amesbury, 2-0, on Friday afternoon.

“We’re CAL field hockey champs for the first time in school history,” said Pentucket coach Ruth Beaton afterwards. Her team has won twelve straight games.

Junior Haley Dwight had a goal and an assist for Pentucket.

“Pentucket is an awesome team,” said Amesbury coach Kerri Doherty post-game.  “They consistently come out fast and move the ball extremely well.  They can play on both turf and grass.”

The Sachems put pressure on the Indians (2-8-4) most of the game. 

“We had a ton of chances,” said senior Lana Mickelson.  “I know because I missed a few.”

Lana had two goals against Amesbury in Pentucket’s 4-1 win at Amesbury.

Busy afternoon for Amesbury goalie Nuala Arsenault

The Sachems scored early in the second quarter (Reese Gallant) and early in the final quarter (Haley Dwight).

Pentucket had nine corners (by my unofficial count) and numerous opportunities.

Credit Amesbury goal-keeper Nuala Arsenault along with defenders Lizzy Deacon, Hannah Gale, and Ella DeLisle for finding ways to prevent more Pentucket goals.

“It was hard in there,” said GK Nuala Arsenault, “and I was really tired…..but it was fun.”

Pentucket goalie Charlene Basque didn’t see much action.  However, after Haley Dwight’s goal four minutes into the final quarter, Amesbury did apply some pressure and rang a shot off the sidebar.

A goal there would have cut the Pentucket lead to 2-1 with six minutes left.

“All credit to Amesbury for the way they hung in there,” said senior Meg Freiermuth afterwards.  “We stayed gritty.”

“Defensively, we held our own,” said Coach Doherty.

Haley Dwight passes across in front
Reese Gallant gets her stick on Haley’s pass
Ball on the way into the Amesbury goal
Reese Gallant reacts to her goal
Pentucket celebrates first goal

But Pentucket had so many in-close chances in the first quarter that you assumed that a goal would come that way.  But that wasn’t the way the first goal was scored.

Haley Dwight intercepted a pass at midfield and headed for the left endline. 

“When I see the open net, I always shoot for it,” said Haley, “but I’m also looking for my teammates.”

When Haley got close to the endline, she sent a pass across the front of the net between the goalie and a defender.

“Reese was right there,” said Haley.

“Haley put it right in front,” said Reese Gallant. “It was nice to be there on the end of Haley’s pass.”

“That first goal was picture perfect,” recalled Coach Beaton.  “Reese was where she had to be when Haley made the crossing pass.”

Ball in the air in front of Izzy Deacon (11)

There was not much that Amesbury GK Nuala Arsenault could do about the goal.  “Their first one was rough to get to because the player shooting was on the opposite side,” said Nuala.

The Sachems were finally able to pad their lead with a goal in the final quarter.

Pentucket had crowded in near the Amesbury goal many times, but this time Haley Dwight produced a goal out of the congestion.

“I did a spin move on the goalie and shot it,” recalled Haley.  “It didn’t bounce off anyone.  It went right in. The sound of a goal is something my teammates and I love to hear.”

Amesbury threatens

Coach Doherty: “Ruth (Beaton) is well respected in the league.  There was no doubt in my mind that Pentucket was the Number One team this year.”

Coach Beaton: “Kerri’s kids play hard and don’t give up on the ball.”

Six seniors (Bailey Stock, Madi Kuchar, Sydney Matthews, Meg Freiermuth, Lana Mickelson, Gabrielle Cloutier, and Charlene Basque) were honored pre-game. 

Meg Freiermuth was pleased to have her brother Pat (Pittsburgh Steelers) on hand for the celebration.

“It is awesome to have Pat around,” said Meg.  “He has a bye week, so he was able to come.”

Hannah Gale (11) and Bailey Stock (20)

Amesbury is one of the best 2-8-4 teams you’ll ever see.  They tied highly regarded Triton recently.  The Vikings are the only team with a win over Pentucket.

The Sachems have games left with Lynnfield and North Reading.  Pentucket defeated both 4-0 the first time around.

The seedings for the Division 3 state tournament come out on November 1st.  How far can Pentucket go post-season?

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

Lana Mickelson
GK Nuala Arsenault out to block Bailey Stock (20)
Sydney Matthews shoots
Ana Tomkiewicz (4) and Meg Freiermuth (24)
Lizzy Deacon (10) and Madi Kuchar (21)
Alana DeLisle and Madi Kuchar
Alana DeLisle, Sydney Matthews, and Gabrielle Cloutier
Isabelle Levasseur (17) and Haley Dwight (34)
Julia Mitchell (15) and Reese Gallant (19)
Meagan McAndrews
Amelia Kirby

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Newburyport keeps ALS Cup with 1-0 win

Newburyport captains (Carly Webb, Katie Gallagher, Izzy Kirby, Caity Rooney) with the ALS Cup
Deirdre McElhinney

(Newburyport MA) Deirdre McElhinney had been practicing penalty kicks.

“We knew that if our ALS Cup game ended in a tie there would be penalty kicks,” said Deirdre afterwards.

Tonight’s game with Pentucket didn’t end in a tie but the need for a penalty kicker arrived late in the first half.

“I tried to act like I was at practice,” added Deirdre.  “I was trying to read the goalie.”

The shot was taken and found the left corner of the net.

“Fantastic PK by Deirdre,” said Newburyport coach Kevin Sheridan.  “She just crushed the ball to the back corner.”

And that was the only goal scored. It turned out to be enough to get Newburyport past Pentucket, 1-0, on a balmy Saturday night at James Stehlin Stadium.

Both teams came in 9-2-2.  This was, indeed, a heavyweight match.

Newburyport was 5-0 at home while Pentucket was 5-0-1 on the road.  Something had to give.

Katie Gallagher and Victoria Wilson

“A fair result would have been a tie,” said Pentucket coach Dan Millard.

Both teams had excellent scoring chances.

“I knew that I would have plenty of action today,” said Clippers’ goalie Gabby Loughran.  “They had lots of open shots today.  We got lucky.”

Coach Kevin Sheridan saw Gabby’s play in net as very important.  “She was outstanding,” said Coach Sheridan.  “Perhaps she was the player-of-the-game.  She came off the line and didn’t give rebounds.  She handled the crosses and the corners.”

This game featured plenty of physical action.  Every 50/50 ball was heavily contested.  Some serious collisions resulted, and medical attention and free kicks followed.

“It was so intense out there,” said Anna Affolter post-game. “Both teams wanted to win this one badly.”

Molly Webster and Lia Goodwin

The physicality cost Pentucket (9-3-2) late in the first half.  Newburyport sophomore Brela Pavao had possession in Pentucket’s box and was knocked down by a Sachem defender. 

“Credit to Brela for drawing the penalty kick,” said Deirdre. “That was huge.”

The Clippers (10-2-2) had several scoring chances early in the game. 

The first one was set up by Anna Affolter who came in along the left endline.  Anna crossed the ball in front to where Bella Rosa was located.  There was plenty of net to shoot at (as the picture shows) but Bella lifted the shot over the net.

A few minutes later freshman Alexis Greenblott broke into the middle from the left and got off a pretty good shot.  Junior goalkeeper Emma Breen was well positioned to make the save.

Bella Rosa has great setup from Anna Affolter

The constant threat for Pentucket was junior Sabrina Campbell.  Likely the fastest runner on the field.  Several times she found space down the wings.

“Sabrina’s a really tough competitor,” explained Izzy Kirby who spent some time trying to stay with her.  “She’s really fast.  Our game plan was to make sure we had marks on her and layers.  If she got by one of us, we had others back to mark her.”

“Sabrina and Mollie (Cahalane) are really good,” added GK Gabby Loughran.

The visitors trailed, 1-0, at the half and seemed (to me) to elevate their intensity in the second half.

The Sachems had their best scoring chance with fourteen minutes left.

Katie Gallagher clears a ball away from the front of the Newburyport net

Sabrina broke down the right side and found sophomore Victoria Wilson cutting down the middle.  GK Gabby Loughran dove out to get in front of Victoria’s shot attempt.  Gabby’s dive not only blocked the shot but also took out teammate Caity Rooney.  And so there the ball sat near the three of them and none of them could get it.

Gabby Loughran down for a save

Fortunately for Newburyport, senior Katie Gallagher hustled over and cleared the ball out of danger.

“Their goalie came out strong and hard,” said Coach Millard of the play.  “She cut down the angle and made it difficult to score.  That would have been a nice one for us to tie the game on.”

“We played hard in the back,” explained Katie Gallagher.  “Pentucket is tough.”

The Clippers took a 3-0 loss to Pentucket on September 13th at Pentucket.  Newburyport has only allowed five goals all season and three of them came in that decisive loss.

“We didn’t have a good game that day,” recalled Gabby.  “We took a red card halfway through the second half and they scored two more goals after that.”

Emma Breen up for a Pentucket save

Anna Affolter: “Deirdre finished like she always does in practice.  It was revenge for the 3-0 loss.”

Katie Gallagher: “We stuck together through all eighty minutes of it.  We went forward with speed.”

Coach Millard: “My girls gave 110%.  We could have played better.  Maybe we’ll see Newburyport again in the tournament.”

Coach Sheridan: “What a great game.  Both teams had a bunch of chances.  Pentucket played hard.  They have good players.”

Alexis Greenblott

Molly Webster: “We have been building up to this game all year.  This is such a great game whether you are on a team or not.”

Katie Gallagher: “The cup stays in Newburyport.  I hope to play soccer next year.  I’ve applied to all the schools I want to go to.  I love the game.  I want to keep playing.”

The crowd was impressive and so was the weather.  Low 70’s at night on October 16th.  Who saw that coming……….but I’ll take it!

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

Izzy Kirby, Katie Gallagher, and Gabby Loughran celebrate
Gabby Bellacqua
Annabelle Sylvanowicz (17), Sabrina Campbell (10), Izzy Kirby (13)
Sydney Trout salutes the Pentucket fans
Annabelle Sylvanowicz sent flying
Clippers celebrate Deirdre McElhinney’s goal
Pentucket goalie Emma Breen reaches for Deirdre McElhinney’s penalty kick
Brela Pavao
Bethany Cloutier and Bella Rosa
Gabby Loughran makes a save
Sabrina Campbell breaks down the right wing with Katie Gallagher chasing her
Grace Pherson

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Triton sweeps Pentucket on Senior Night

Triton wins sixth game of the season
Molly Kimball (8) blocks

(Byfield MA) Triton shut out Whittier last night and did the same thing to Pentucket tonight.

Senior Night is as good as any to put on a good showing.

Mia Berardino, Molly Kimball, and Raegan Falooon were honored pre-game.

“Tonight was really special,” said senior Mia Berardino. “I’m so thankful that our friends and family came and supported us.”

“We had a lot of people come out for the first time,” said senior Molly Kimball afterwards.

The Vikings (6-7) swept the Sachems, 25-6, 25-17, and 25-15.

Pentucket (1-11) had times of competitive play, led by senior Jillian Sheehy, but consistent play continues to be missing.

The Molly (Kimball) and Mia (Berardino) Show has been fun to watch.  Just when you think that it may go on forever, Senior Night arrives and the two of them are part of it.

Mia Berardino (1) spikes

Molly is the setter you dream about if you’re a finisher.  She consistently puts the ball into the hitter’s sweet spots.  “I love playing with her,” said Mia afterwards.

Molly ended up with twenty-three assists versus Pentucket in just three games. 

“Molly has been averaging over twenty assists in the last seven or eight matches,” said Triton coach Bob Van Etten.

Mia is the finisher that every setter dreams of setting up.  Mia is tall, can jump, and hits the ball with authority.  Pentucket struggled to block Mia’s hard hits at the net.

“Mia had twelve kills on just seventeen attacks, which is crazy,” admitted Coach Van Etten.

Mia will be playing for Division 2 Stonehill next year.

Mia gave praise to her teammates: “It all starts with the passers.  They were very, very good tonight.  It helped us get good sets and hits.”

The Vikings will need to get to .500 to make the playoffs.

Jillian Sheehy returns a shot

“We’re going to keep pushing,” said Mia. “We really want to make the playoffs.”

Triton has five matches left and several of them are with teams they have already won against.

“We’re going to get to .500,” Coach Van Etten promised.  “We’ll be 9-9 or 10-8.”

I was impressed with the serving skills of Pentucket’s senior Nicole Zahornasky and the net play of sophomore Ava Snyder.

Grace Romine, Emma Campbell, and Kendall Liebert should be key pieces in the 2022 version of Triton volleyball.

Emma had five kills.  Kendall had big blocks at critical times.

Coach Van Etten: “I thought we played well on an emotional night.  They enjoyed themselves but got right down to business when the game started.”

Molly Kimball: “I am undecided on college.  Recently I have been in contact with the basketball coach at Salem State.  We have a fall league and she’s planning to come to some of the games.  If that doesn’t work out, I could take a gap year.”

The most difficult sport for me to photograph is definitely volleyball.  The action is so unpredictable so getting in position to get a shot is elusive.  But I love the challenge!

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

Mia Berardino
Molly Kimball
Raegan Faloon
Jillian Sheehy
Grace Romine
Jocelyn Bickford
Brianna Welch (21)
Mia Berardino dives for a return
Mia Berardino set to return a shot
Nicole Zahornasky serves
Maisie King blocks Mia Berardino
Kendall Liebert blocks Ava Snyder
Eloise Kirkpatrick serves match point
Triton poses during the game

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Chase Dwight leads Pentucket by Newburyport 21-7

Chase Dwight scored three touchdowns including this one
Jeffrey Thurston (9) chases Chase

(Haverhill MA) His running style isn’t complicated.

“I see space and I hit it,” explained Pentucket quarterback Chase Dwight.

Chase scored three short-yardage touchdowns and that was enough for the Sachems (4-1) to defeat Newburyport, 21-7, on Saturday afternoon.

Chase ended up with a career day that included 148 yards rushing and 152 yards passing (10-for-17).

Both teams produced TDs on their opening possessions and the score was tied at, 7-7, at halftime.

Grant Mosesian (8) scored for Newburyport in the first quarter

Anyone’s game going into the second half.

After matching turnovers to start the second half, Pentucket dominated on both sides of the ball.

The next two possessions Newburyport punted while the Sachems scored each time.

The defensive key for Pentucket was limiting Clippers QB Finn Sullivan.  The talented senior came into today’s game with seven touchdown passes, and five rushing touchdowns.

Finn finished with fifty-five yards passing (seven-for-seventeen) and seventy-six yards rushing on sixteen carries. Little of the yardage came in the second half.

Chase Dwight behind blockers

“Defensively, we were able to keep their quarterback under wraps,” said Pentucket coach Steve Hayden afterwards.

“He ran all over us last year,” added Coach Hayden recalling last year’s 40-6 loss to the Clippers.

“After their first score today, we kept our gaps controlled a little bit better,” said Coach Hayden.

On offense, Pentucket overcame bad starting field position in the second half twice (their eight and their ten) and turned in two time-consuming scoring drives.

Ryan Miles reaches for a pass as Paul Parachojuk defends

“The key to our offense is 4 (Chase Dwight) and his composure,” said Coach Hayden.

In the go-ahead score, Chase rushed for three first downs and passed to Adam Payne for another to set it up.

In the backbreaker (for Newburyport) third score, Chase converted three 3rd downs while still on the Pentucket side of midfield.  Passes to Will Sutton and CJ Condon kept the sixteen-play drive going.

The beauty of the third score for Pentucket was that it cleared 10 ½ minutes off the 4th quarter clock while giving them a two-touchdown advantage. 

Adam Payne celebrates Chase’s third touchdown

The Clippers were left with a little over a minute of game-time and a fourteen-point deficit.

“They took the wind out of our sails in the second half,” said NHS coach Ben Smolski afterwards.

“They established a good ground game by winning in the trenches,” Coach Smolski added.

“Their defense gets after it,” said Coach Smolski.  “They get eleven guys to the football.  They always have that relentless effort.”

Johnny Igoe (20) with the ball

Pentucket started with the ball in the first half and put points on the scoreboard.  Chase passed for first downs to Che Condon and Adam Payne before plowing in from a yard away.

Henry Hartford added the extra point as Pentucket led, 7-0, at 6:57 of the first quarter.

The Clippers responded with their own touchdown.  Finn Sullivan was key in the seventy-yard drive.

Henry Hartford kicked 3 extra points

Finn opened space for himself with well-executed fake handoffs.  His speed and elusiveness created big gains for the Clippers.

Finn passed to Grant Mosesian for the final nine yards.

“Finn went for the initial read and didn’t see it there and popped it into Grant,” said Coach Smolski of the scoring play.

Finn added the extra point with Chris Salvatore holding.

It was Finn’s eighth touchdown pass of the season and Grant’s second touchdown catch.

Chris Salvatore and Iyobosa Osazuwa tackle Chase Dwight

The Clippers started three other first-half possessions in very good field position: Newburyport 49, Pentucket 46, Newburyport 42.  The upgraded Sachems defense, however, did a better job of containing Finn Sullivan and so punts ended each opportunity.

In both of Chase Dwight’s second-half touchdown, the Sachems were close to the goal-line.  There was no mystery as to who would carry the ball.  The mystery was, in which direction will he run. 

Chase carried a defender into the end zone on the second touchdown (six yards).  On the third score (two yards), he went left and into the end zone still standing.

Luke Stallard pregame

“Chase (Dwight) is just a hard-nosed kid,” said Coach Smolski. “He is mentally and physically tough.  He’s hard to bring down.”

Chase is a baseball pitcher so I knew that he could throw a ball.  On most of his throws, he was on the move.

What caught my attention about Chase was his speed.  I also noticed that he wasn’t shy about lowering his head on potential tacklers.

Chase Dwight: “There was a lot of excitement going into this week.  Newburyport is a good team, so we had some nerves, but we played to our potential.  We kept pounding today.  We kept confidence in ourselves.”

Peter Osazuwa tackles Chase Dwight from behind

The Sachems were winless last year.  I asked Coach Hayden what the difference has been this season: “Our seniors have stepped forward.”

Pentucket’s blocking was very good today.  “The guys up front did a good job,” said Coach Hayden, “that includes; John Smith, Remo Pezzi, Bryce Winter, Ethan Drummond, and Chris Tineo.”

Chase is also a very talented baseball pitcher.  “He has several options for next year,” added Coach Hayden.

Chase’s three TDs today give him six for the season.

William Pessina (26) strips the ball from Jack Sullivan (22) on the second half kickoff

A key missing piece for Newburyport is Luke Stallard.  Luke had four TD receptions and may well have been Newburyport’s best defender.

“Luke is out for the season with a broken collar bone,” said Coach Smolski.

Newburyport (3-2) had won three straight.

Two years ago, Pentucket defeated Newburyport, 35-7.

I was impressed with Haverhill’s Trinity Stadium.  There are plenty of seats and there is room behind the team areas.

It was senior day for Pentucket, and twenty-one students/cheerleaders were honored.

Chris Tineo signals Chase’s touchdown

AD Dan Thornton has PA announcer skills!

(All the pictures should enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Will Sutton’s interception ended Newburyport’s last chance
Chase Dwight
Chase Dwight tries to avoid Will Walsh (88)
Eamonn Sullivan and Chris Salvatore converge on Chase Dwight
Chase Dwight throws on the move
Iyobosa Osazuwa (80) runs after making a catch
Finn Sullivan avoids a tackler
Jake Sherman (51) tackles Chase Dwight
Grant Mosesian
Finn Sullivan finds an opening

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Newburyport hitting key to 7-1 win vs Pentucket

Jake Buontempo (gold helmet) congratulated after 2-run homer in sixth inning
Sophomore Owen Tahnk won his first varsity start.

(Newburyport MA) “Our whole team swings the bat well,” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe post-game.

That skill was certainly on display today with eleven hits recorded for the home team.

Eight different Clippers (2-0) had hits as they defeated Pentucket, 7-1, on Tuesday afternoon at Pettingell Field in Cape Ann League action.

Meanwhile, the pitching of Owen Tahnk and Jack Fehlner held Pentucket to three hits. Only one of those hits came over the final five innings.

The Sachems (1-2) led early, 1-0, and could have had more.  They had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning but came up empty.

“We’ve got to do a better job swinging the bat with runners in scoring position,” said Pentucket coach Kevin Murray.

Trevor Kamuda and Bryce Winter pitched for the Sachems.

Sophomore Owen Tahnk got the win for the Clippers going five innings in his first varsity start, giving up three hits, and striking out five.

Will Roberts drove in Pentucket’s run

“Owen was dominant early,” said Coach Rowe.  “When he did get some baserunners (bases loaded in the 3rd, second and third in the 5th) he managed to find a way out of it.  I’m incredibly proud of him.”

The Clippers struck twice with two outs; first in the fourth inning and then in the fifth.

In the 4th, the runs came on a Luke Stallard double, an intentional walk to Jake Buontempo, and a bases-clearing double by Ryan Archer over the leftfielder’s head.

“The pitch was in my sweet spot, a little inside, a little low,” recalled Ryan Archer.  “I just wanted to put it in play.

Those two runs gave Newburyport the lead, 2-1.

In the 5th, Charlie Forrest was hit by a pitch and took second on a passed ball.  Jack Fehlner’s double to left scored Charlie, and Tony Lucci’s next-batter double scored Jack.

Jack Fehlner had 2 hits, an RBI, and 2 innings of scoreless relief

The Clippers added three runs to their 4-1 margin in the sixth inning.

In that 6th inning, Newburyport had four straight hits off reliever Bryce Winter.

The big shot was Jake Buontempo’s 2-run homer over the leftfield fence.

“It felt really good off the bat,” said Jake afterwards.  “It was a fastball up and in. I caught it at the right time, and it just flew.  It was my first home run in high school.”

Junior Quinn Fortuna drove home the seventh Newburyport run.

Coach Murray: “I thought we pitched well.  We just didn’t swing the bats.  We were better than what the score shows.  We’re two weeks in with room to grow.”

Shortstop Andrew Melone throws to first

Coach Rowe: “It was a good baseball game.  I give the (Trevor) Kamuda kid a lot of credit.  He was your typical crafty lefty.  He threw strikes and he kept us off balance.  We had hits at key opportunities.”

The defense was solid for both teams.  Trevor Kamuda started a double play in the first inning.  Shortstop Andrew Melone made a nice running catch in short left to end the Newburyport second.

The weather was good.  It was breezy but the fielders didn’t let it bother them.

In the Newburyport win over Triton, the game ended on a running catch in foul territory.  More of the same today, as 1B Charlie Forrest avoided the out-of-bounds line to catch the final out.

Ryan Archer: “We’re just two games in with a long way to go.  We’ve got bigger goals than winning this game today.”

Charlie Forrest ends the game

You know it’s not your day when you’re driving past the game and a foul ball catches your car on the roof as it did to some unlucky driver today.

Pettingell Field looked to be in terrific shape.  I saw why afterwards when every member of the Newburyport team went to work on it to keep it that way.

(All of the pictures should enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

(Some of the pictures will end up on Instagram eventually.)

Demetri Connor
Quinn Fortuna

Two of the Cape Ann League’s best athletes
Max Ligols makes a catch
Andrew Melone makes a running catch
Joe Lynch (two hits) leads off second
Trevor Kamuda
Ryan Archer drove in the first two Newburyport runs
Jake Buontempo and Luke Stallard scored on Ryan Archer’s double
3B Luke Stallard gets a forceout to end the Pentucket 3rd inning
Leftfielder Alex Pinkham chases a hit to the outfield
Jake Buontempo
Alex Pinkham scores while catcher Nick White waits for the throw
Newburyport box
Pentucket box

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Triton gets twenty-five hits defeating Pentucket 27-12

Haleigh Harris had one of Triton’s three home runs
Grace Romine gets an out at first

(Groveland MA) “Triton is a crazy hitting team,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.

No chance of an argument on that one from anyone at Groveland Pines this afternoon.

Triton put on a hitting show defeating Pentucket, 27-12, in a game called after five innings.

“We can hit,” said Triton coach Alan Noyes, “and when our pitching develops, we’re going to be pretty good.”

Triton coach Alan Noyes and Emily Johnson

The Vikings (1-1) climbed off the bus hitting today jumping into a seven-run lead in the first inning.

Credit Pentucket.  They put a six-run inning together in the second inning and the game was tied, 7-7, after two innings.

“Pentucket girls don’t quit,” added Coach Noyes.  “A lot of these kids play together on club teams.”

“I liked the way we came back after falling behind early,” said Coach Smith.

The good news for the Sachems (0-2) was the early comeback.  The bad news was that the Vikings weren’t done scoring.

Shortstop Sarah Sargent throws to first

The visitors from Byfield sent fourteen batters to the plate in the third inning adding nine runs.  In the fifth inning it was sixteen batters and ten more runs.

“Triton hit the ball so hard and so well and they were very disciplined waiting for their pitch,” said Coach Smith.  “It was hard to defend.”

Haleigh Harris, Natalie Indingaro, and Mallory Johnson had over-the-fence home runs for Triton.

Sophomore Grace Romine took the win going four innings in relief of starter Mallory Johnson.  Grace also scored three runs, had four hits, and drove five runs in.

Freshman Mallory Johnson collected three hits (including the HR), scored two runs, and added six RBI.

Mallory Johnson homered in the first

Sophomore Natalie Indingaro contributed four hits (including the HR), scored two runs, and drove in six.

Everyone in the Triton starting lineup had at least one hit.

Pentucket did end up getting twelve runs which would be enough to be competitive with many Cape Ann League teams.

Sophomore Ella Agocs and junior Bailey Stock each had three hits for the Sachems.

“There’s nothing we can do but get better,” said Coach Smith.  “I’m not worried.  We’ll learn from today and hopefully get some wins next week.”

Coach Noyes: “Seven of our starters are either freshman or sophomores.  Twelve of the thirteen kids on our roster had never dressed for a varsity game.”

Coach Smith: “We have almost all new players with only one returning starter.”

Crowd at second

Senior Charlotte Latham and junior Meg Hamel did the pitching for Pentucket.

It may be early, but Triton’s freshman shortstop Kyla Story looks to have the range and arm of her predecessor CAL All-Star Bridget Sheehan.  Kyla had three hits and scored three runs.

I haven’t done a Pentucket softball game for a while.  Last time for me may have been when Julie Freitas (assistant coach) pitched the Sachems past Newburyport.  Julie is now at UNH playing club softball.

There was plenty of “action” beyond the leftfield fence if dogs barking is your thing.  One of Triton’s home runs gave those dogs something to bark about landing in the midst of them.

I’ve done a few games and the pattern is for the visiting team to be late arriving.  Learned why today.  It’s because of a shortage of bus drivers due to Covid-19.  A driver has to finish his/her route before bringing a team to a game.

Pentucket scored twelve runs

Sunny afternoon but breezy.

When I get into Groveland Pines it takes me back to college days when I used to come here to watch drivers such as Bentley Warren and Ollie Silva in action.

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

Pitcher Meg Hamel waits for a throw
Emma Lopata caught in a rundown
Play at the plate
Ella Agocs and Grace Romine
Freshman Mallory Johnson
Freshman Kyla Story
Sophomore Liv Kiricoples
Sophomore Sydney Pichette
Senior Sarah Sargent
Junior Emma Lopata
Senior Charlotte Latham
Sophomore Ella Agocs

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Chase Dwight puts on a show in scrimmage against Ipswich

Chase Dwight pitched four shutout innings

(Groveland MA) Impressive.

Chase Dwight had a 3-run homer in the 4th inning against Ipswich
Chase Dwight in the midst of the HR celebration

Pentucket sophomore Chase Dwight pitched four shutout innings and drilled a 3-run homer.

Chase’s shot over the fence in left center in the 4th inning off Ipswich relief pitcher Jake Reily scored Joe Lynch and Andrew Melone.

It was only a scrimmage so overreacting in any direction is folly.

However, it seems quite certain that Chase Dwight will play a prominent role for the Sachems in the Cape Ann League regular season which starts later this week.

The Monday afternoon event was played at Groveland Pines.

Shortstop Ethan Hunt takes charge on an infield popup

The prevailing winds there made every ball in the air toward right field an adventure for the fielders.  Several drives that way either sliced away, or dropped in front, of fielders.

That same wind turned things from cool to cold for those of us spectators.  I lasted four innings.

Chase Dwight and catcher Joe Lynch

As is the habit with a scrimmage, there were no numbered uniforms worn or rosters available.  I took pictures but won’t be putting names to most of them.

I do plan to post the unnamed ones on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea) asking for IDs.  Once I get the names, I will add that picture to my online blog (McClelland Miscellanea) coverage of the scrimmage.

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

Senior Andrew Melone
Kyle Ventola
Bryce Winter
Finn MacLennan
Evan Stein
Will Baise
Cade Wetter
Trevor Kamuda scores for Pentucket against Ipswich
Kyle Ventola at the plate
Will Roberts
Ipswich starter Will Baise
Jack Wile
Cade Wetter
Jake Reily
Brad McGowan

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Amesbury unveils more weapons in 22-0 win over Pentucket

Nick Marden brings Andrew Melone to a halt
Kyle Donovan follows blocker Jarrid Schwindt

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury is good and appear to be getting even better.

Today the Indians (4-1) made it look easy as they defeated Pentucket, 22-0, on Saturday afternoon.

The significant issue for Amesbury ahead is whether or not they will play another game.

Next Friday they were scheduled to face Newburyport but the Clippers, for Covid-19 reasons, have cancelled that game and therefore the rest of their season.

Amesbury will try to find an opponent to fill that final slot.

“It’s a shame what happened to Newburyport,” said AHS coach Colin McQueen afterwards.  “We just want to keep playing if we can.”

Kyle Heidt tackles Johnny Igoe near the Pentucket sidelines

The Indians might scare off possible opponents if the livestream of this afternoon’s game is seen.

Amesbury now has three straight shutouts and appears to be getting stingier each week.

“Our defense loves running to the football,” said Coach McQueen.  “They take pride in it.  They watch a lot of film and they understand the game.  They have a good idea what the other team is trying to do.”

I don’t keep “official” stats, but I think Pentucket had only one first down all afternoon.

Kyle Donovan powers toward a 2-point conversion

Five of the Sachems six series ended in punts.  The other series was done after a fumble.

“Amesbury was tough,” said Pentucket coach Steve Hayden postgame.  “It was what it was.”

The Indians scored on both possessions in the first half and were on the Pentucket two when the half ended.

Amesbury loves to run the ball and run the clock.  Teams that can’t stop the run are likely to get a non-stop dose of it.

That’s what happened to Pentucket early on. 

The Indians reached the Pentucket 32 on run after run (three first downs). 

JT Tilton on his way to the first Amesbury TD

A fake inside and JT Tilton went around the left side to open the scoring for his second TD of the season.

“That buck sweep today for the first touchdown may have been executed as well as we’ve done it during the four years I’ve been here,” said Coach McQueen.

“We kept on our blocks and the back let the blocks develop.  He cut up like he was shot out of a cannon!”

Senior Kyle Donovan plunged over right tackle for the 2-point conversion.  Amesbury was in front, 8-0, at 3:40 of the first quarter.

The AHS second touchdown drive was the one that surely would get a future opponent’s attention. 

The key to the second drive was the passing of QB Drew MacDonald.  Who saw this coming?  To date, the AHS passing attack had been as ineffective as the running game had been effective.

QB Drew MacDonald (10) has Tyler Mazzaglia (9) open

“Drew told us pre-game that he felt good,” said Coach McQueen.  “He played with confidence.  He threw some awesomely catchable passes.  It was certainly his best passing game.”

Completions to Kyle Donovan and Tyler Mazzaglia put Amesbury in the Red Zone.  Runs by JT Tilton, Jeremy Lopez, and Kyle Donovan (1 yard score) took it the rest of the way. This was Kyle’s sixth touchdown of this season.

Drew’s pass to all-alone Kyle Donovan gave Amesbury the 2-point conversion and a 16-0 lead with 4:24 to go in the second period.

“We wanted them to pass, and we made them go to the air more than they usually want to,” said Coach Hayden. 

Brady Dore follows Jeremy Lopez (2)

Unfortunately, for the visitors from West Newbury, the Amesbury passing game was very good on this afternoon.

“We did pass more than we usually do,” confirmed Coach McQueen.  “It’s all about what the defense will give you.  They were stout in the middle and were moving defensive linemen and slanting a little bit.  It was difficult at times for us to do what we wanted to do.”

The “difficulty” seemed a minor hindrance on an afternoon when the home team moved the chains twenty-two times, by my count.

The Pentucket defense had their best moments in the third quarter.  On Amesbury’s first second-half series, junior Will Sutton intercepted a pass at the goal line.  On AHS’s next series the Sachems were able to take over on downs.

Coach Steve Hayden and Joe Lynch at halftime

On Amesbury’s third possession of the second half, Pentucket wasn’t as fortunate. A heavy dose of Brady Dore’s running led to a score.  Brady ran for three first downs in the drive and finished the final eight yards on a sweep left for his second TD of the season.

The two-point conversion attempt was easily Pentucket’s best defensive effort of the day.  Drew MacDonald tried to roll right but at least five of the Sachems had the play figured out and drove him out of bounds with authority.

The Amesbury lead was 22-0 with 7:40 left in the game.

After Andrew Melone’s fifth punt, the Indians went heavily to their reserves.

“It’s the best when you can get everyone in,” explained Coach McQueen.  “We don’t have many bodies, so everyone is involved in some capacity.  They work and prepare just like the starters.  I’m proud to see how happy our team was to see them out there.”

Pentucket (0-4) will get another chance to get that elusive first win on Friday against Triton.

Derek Couture celebrates a fumble recovery

Pentucket had won six of the previous seven meetings against Amesbury.

Taking pictures of the Amesbury offense in action is particularly challenging.  There are often fake handoffs and many of those fakes worked against ME! 

I asked Drew MacDonald about the steady flow of deception, that he’s a big part of, after the game: “It is the whole point of this offense.  If the defense doesn’t know where the ball is, then they can’t stop it.”  Or get many good pictures of it…..in my case.

Pentucket fumbled on the first play of three drives and were able to recover two of them.

Derek Couture had a fumble recovery for Amesbury.

It was a cloudy day, but it didn’t rain.  Surprised a bit by the teams that opted to play in the bad weather of Friday night.

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

Runner J’Quan Neal faces tackler Frank Majewski
Tom Buetow runs for a big gain
Henry O’Neill follows blocker Jarrid Schwindt
Luke Arsenault (3) takes over at quarterback
Tremendous blocking for Kyle Donovan
Runner Jeremy Lopez faces tackler Will Sutton
Brandon Lee
Drew MacDonald scrambles for a first down
Brady Dore makes a sidelines catch
Pentucket sidelines
Kyle Donovan hands the ball over after scoring
Ball on the ground
Kyle Donovan pre-game

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Trevor Ward and Finn Sullivan shine in Newburyport’s 35-6 win over Pentucket

Trevor Ward (21) scored three times for Newburyport
Finn Sullivan had three TD passes and ran for a score

(Newburyport MA) Talk about filling the stat sheet!

Senior Trevor Ward rolled up numbers as the Clippers rolled over Pentucket, 35-6, on Friday night at Stehlin Stadium.

Trevor had a three-touchdown evening combined with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Quarterback Finn Sullivan had his best game for Newburyport.  The junior threw three touchdown passes and ran for another one.

“They were better than us tonight,” said Pentucket coach Steve Hayden afterwards.  “They were clearly more physical.”

The Sachems (0-3) lost two fumbles and had an interception in the first half and fell behind, 21-0.  There was no coming back against Newburyport (3-2) on Senior Night.

“Their quarterback was outstanding, and their defense was tough,” explained Coach Hayden.

QB Chase Dwight fumble

Newburyport had one turnover but never punted.

Pentucket struggled to stop Finn Sullivan running the quarterback option.  Most of his successful QB options followed good fakes to either Trevor Ward or Jacob Buontempo.

“Shoutout to the line,” said Finn.  “They made great holes.  I couldn’t have done anything without them.”

No question the openings were there but it was the damage that Trevor and Finn did once they broke into the secondary that was noticeable.  Both had great speed.

“That was the fastest I’ve ever seen him (Finn) run,” laughed Trevor post-game.

Trevor Ward’s first touchdown

Trevor claimed that Finn was “throwing the ball on a dot,” while Finn claimed that “Trevor made me look good.”

It was that kind of night with plenty of happiness on the Newburyport side.

It was certainly a boost the Clippers needed after last week’s 33-6 loss to Ipswich.

“We had a tough loss last week, but we had a good week of practice this week,” said Finn.  “Our goal is to win out.”

Dylan O’Rourke (22) had eleven carries for thirty yards

On the first touchdown, Trevor started left and then broke clear as he cut back into the middle.

On the second touchdown, Finn faked a handoff to Trevor and went clear up the middle.

Senior Andrew Goodwin kicked the extra point after both scores.  Not surprising was that holder Trevor Ward righted a low snap to make the second kick possible.

Newburyport’s offensive line gave Finn plenty of protection.  In the second quarter, that lengthy protection gave Finn time to go deep to junior Lucas Stallard for a 24-yard score.

Lucas Stallard celebrates a TD catch

Lucas was able to get behind defenders Ethan Ruszkowski and Joe Lynch.

Newburyport added a fourth TD in the third quarter.  It looked like a harmless pass into the flat to Trevor, but his speed and shiftiness allowed him to score from nine yards out.

Pentucket used a trick play to get deep into Newburyport territory in the 3rd quarter.  Andrew Melone started one way but handed off to Adam Payne going the other way.  The Clippers got caught chasing and Pentucket reached the Red Zone.

However, that promising drive ended with a Trevor Ward interception at the goal line.

Jack Hadden gets a sack

“Trevor is great in man coverage,” said Newburyport coach Ben Smolski.

Trevor closed out the Newburyport scoring in the final quarter with a 15-yard touchdown catch.

“On that last touchdown, I figured that Trevor was there somewhere, and he was,” explained Finn Sullivan.

Pentucket’s Chase Dwight was able to get a four-yard, clock-running touchdown in the final two minutes to put the visitors on the board.

Beautiful weather.  I was one of those back in the fall saying that football won’t work well in March and April because of the weather.  Okay, I was wrong!

Coach Smolski: “I am happy with the way we played tonight.”

Trevor Ward: “We’re lucky to even be able to play. I’m enjoying it.”

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

Late game scrum
Trevor (5 catches – 64 yards including 2 TDs) gets behind Will Sutton
Trevor Ward tries to escape from Joe Lynch
Dylan O’Rourke surrounded by Clippers
Nick Petty (80) set to tackle Chase Dwight (10 carries – 41 yards)
Andrew Melone looks for room
Finn Sullivan (12-for-18 passing for 127 yards) rolls right
Dylan O’Rourke loses his helmet
Finn Sullivan (15 carries – 169 yards) finds a huge opening
Trevor Ward recovers a fumble
Finn Sullivan (10) into the end zone
Henry Walsh returns an interception
Jacob Buontempo (10 carries – 38 yards) has many blockers
Andrew Goodwin kicks
Trevor Ward had a big game
Lucas Stallard and Finn Sullivan pre-game

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Ipswich sweeps Pentucket on the road in season opener for both teams

Megan Reading (23), Anna Mossler (11), Meghan Wallace (27)

Lou Roesler – 9 digs for Ipswich

(West Newbury MA) Some might call it rebuilding.

Others might prefer reloading.

Ipswich girls’ volleyball started their 2021 season with a three-set sweep over Ipswich (25-15,25-18,25-12) on Monday night.

The Tigers (1-0) reached the Division 3 state semifinals last season.

“We graduated seven seniors from that team (16-7) but the newcomers to this year’s team blew us away in practices and in the game today,” said senior captain Lou Roesler.

Rachel Alleva

“It was a great season opener,” said Ipswich first-year coach Staci Sonke post-match.  “Obviously we had a little bit of rust to shake off because a lot of these girls hadn’t played in six months.  We had four really good seniors (Jillian Gregory,Anna Mossler,Gabrielle Ring, Lou Roesler) giving us a good foundation out there tonight.”

Pentucket is only in its second season of having a team.  With plenty of enthusiasm, but little experience, the Sachems took their lumps going 0-16 in that first season.

Starting this season with the likes of talented/experienced Ipswich was not an ideal matchup for the home team.

But they gave it their best and had good starts in all three sets.

Pentucket coach John McNamara

“We battled, but we gave away a lot of points,” said John McNamara, Pentucket’s first-year coach.

“Ipswich is very good,” he said. “They’re solid.  We had stretches where we made multiple mistakes in a row and all of a sudden you spot them six points.  They’re going to keep that lead.”

“Pentucket gave us a good run in the first set,” said Coach Sonke, “and it was nice to get our groove back in the 2nd and 3rd sets.”

“We’ll get better,” said Coach McNamara, “but we have a lot of work to do.”

Coach Sonke also saw work ahead for her team.  “There are still things to improve on.  The idea is to stay consistent out there.”

These are some of the Ipswich numbers: Jillian Gregory 6 aces, Kendra Brown 7 assists, Meghan Wallace 6 kills, Lou Roesler 9 digs.

Ipswich coach Staci Sonke

Lou Roesler: “I was really excited to get back on the court after Covid.  During the summer, I set my expectations low and prepared myself for no season.  The reality that we would actually play came around Christmas.  I have been accepted at a number of colleges.  I am interested in humanities and environmental studies.”

It was interesting to see senior basketball players, Megan Reading & Mackenzie Currie, giving volleyball a try for the first time for Pentucket.

This story will be linked on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and pictures will appear later on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea).

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

Macey Rodrigues-Cowl leads the Sachems onto the court

Arielle Cleveland and Mackenzie Currie

Megan Reading

Ready for a return

Meghan Wallace

Arielle Cleveland block

Jillian Gregory

Meghan Wallace (6 kills)

Block at the net

Nicole Zahornasky

Kendra Brown (7 assists)

Ally Cacciapuoti

Anna Mossler dives

Anna Mossler and Meghan Wallace at the net

Lou Roesler – backrow hit

Anna Mossler serves the match winner

 

 

 

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