Category Archives: Winthrop

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

Plenty of pressure applied game-long by Amesbury on Winthrop

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

(Wakefield MA) Everyone knew her name.

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

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

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

The Amesbury defense was active and effective all night long.

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

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

Maura Dorr and Avery Hallinan battle for a rebound

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alli Napoli on the fly

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maura Dorr (11 points)

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

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

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

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

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

Avery Hallinan (18 points) guarded by Maura Dorr

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

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

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

Great lighting at Wakefield High School.

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

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

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

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

Winthrop box

Amesbury box

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

Maura Dorr gets a block in front of the Amesbury bench

McKenna Hallinan

Sadie Kermelewicz

Izzy Cambece

Lily Pulsifer

Freshman Maddie Stiglets in the air

Avery Hallinan guards Maura Dorr

McKenna Hallinan in the lane

Carolyn Kinsella

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

Alli Napoli waits for a pass




Leave a comment

Filed under Amesbury, Winthrop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabby Smyth (17) and Miya Grein (2)

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

But the goal didn’t happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avery Hallinan ahead of Stefania Spinzzola (15)

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

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

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

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

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

Maura Dorr

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

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

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

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

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

Alyssa Pettet (5) heads home her second goal

Alyssa Pettet’s second goal celebrated

Beverly Browne

Ella Marinopolous

Goalie Manuela Mejia makes a stop for Winthrop

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

McKenna Hallinan in the middle of two Vikings defenders

McKenna Hallinan (1) and Emma Forsyth (21)

Nora McCarey








Leave a comment

Filed under Amesbury, Winthrop

Georgetown beats Winthrop 2-0 and takes Division 4 North girls’ soccer title

Georgetown captains and Coach Colleen Gibbs with Division 4 North trophy

Georgetown captains and Coach Colleen Gibbs with Division 4 North trophy

Jen Migliaccio pops the ball over the onrushing goalie Poli Tsiotos

Jen Migliaccio pops the ball over the onrushing goalie Poli Tsiotos

(Lynn MA) Two second half goals gave the Georgetown girls soccer team all they needed to win the Division 4 North title defeating Winthrop on a cloudy/cold Sunday afternoon.

Senior Jen Migliaccio had an assist and a goal for the 11-5-6 Royals.  Jen was part of the 2011 team that also won the D4 North crown.

The Georgetown Royals girls’ soccer program has never won a state semi-finals game.  They’ll get the chance to correct that flaw in their history when they face South champ East Bridgewater on Wednesday night (5PM) at Manning Field.

East Bridgewater was the #1 seed in the South and sports an impressive 18-1-3 record.

Mollie Swanton chased by Holli Benson

Mollie Swanton chased by Holli Benson

Winthrop, out of the Northeast Conference, made the post-season tournament thanks to the Sullivan Rule.  But once in as the 16th seed, showed that they belonged bringing a six-game win streak to the title game with Georgetown.

The Vikings (10-10-2), however, were facing a team that had a winning record in the Cape Ann League and had a string going of three straight shutouts.

You knew something had to give and what did give, for a half, was runs to scoring position.  More passes were kicked out-of-bounds then connected to teammates on the field.

But one advantage that G’Town had, in my opinion, was speed.  Jen Killian, Cayla Durkee, and Mary Laut put game-long pressure on the Vikings’ defense with their speed.

Cayla Durkee moves in for a shot that produced the first Royals goal

Cayla Durkee moves in for a shot that produced the first Royals goal

That pressure paid off at 30:21 of the second half when junior Cayla Durkee took a pass from Jen Migliaccio and ran into space on her right.  Winthrop GK Poli Tsiotos stayed back in the net and Cayla was able to pick the left corner on the ground to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.

Four minutes later Poli made a remarkable save on a blast from straight away by Jen Killian.  I thought, at the time, that the save might be memorable if Winthrop came back to tie the score……..and they nearly did.

Senior GK Kaylie Sapienza ended up with a shutout but nearly was burned shortly after the big save by her counterpart.  How?  Amy Sena launched a high shot from the right at Kaylie.  It had the makings of a routine save but the ball went through the G’Town GK’s hands and right to the Vikings Holli Benson in close.  Holli shot quickly and the ball sailed over the top of the G’Town goal.  Very close to a tie game.

Junior Cayla Durkee

Junior Cayla Durkee

Royals’ coach Colleen Gibbs called both of her team’s goals, “smart goals.”  “Winthrop’s defense was very strong especially in the net,” said Coach Gibbs.  “Cayla couldn’t have placed that ball any better.”

Jen Migliaccio explained how she scored the second Georgetown goal.  “When I had the ball coming in (from the right) I wasn’t sure what the goalie would do.  If she stayed in net I’d go for the corner but she came out and I just popped it over her head.”

Jen’s goal gave the Royals a two-goal lead with 7:35 left.  The 4th straight shutout was preserved the rest of the way.

There was plenty of contact in this game.  Right away you could see that the Winthrop players were bigger than most of the Royals.  Many of the 50-50 balls ended up with someone on the ground.

I was very impressed with Amy Sena of Winthrop.  The senior was all over the field.  She may have taken at least ten throw-ins.

Nikki Tsiotos and Mary Laut tangle

Nikki Tsiotos and Mary Laut tangle

The hustle of GTown freshman Mary Laut was noticeable.  She had a bunch of runs down sidelines.  She was a big part of the pressure of speed on the Winthrop defense.

Georgetown had a win and a tie against North Division 3 champions Lynnfield in the Cape Ann League.

It I gave out “stars,” I would have given the #1 star to the Royals Jensena Moner.  The midfielder showed up in many of my pictures in different areas of the field.  Jensena was sent flying by several Vikings including one time onto the surrounding track.  Each time she got up, and played on often dribbling into openings or passing to teammates.

Both teams were smart enough to go to their locker rooms during halftime.  The rest of us had to spend ten chilling minutes coveting a warm place.

I saw Jen Migliaccio play on the 2011 Georgetown team.  At first sight I was sure that she had to be Nicoline Holland’s little sister.

(This blog is easily corrected so let me know if there is a miscue.)

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

Jen Migliaccio gets in close in the first half

Jen Migliaccio gets in close in the first half

Winthrop GK Poli Tsiotos

Winthrop GK Poli Tsiotos

Georgetown GK Kaylie Sapienza

Georgetown GK Kaylie Sapienza

Winthrop captains and Coach Tracey Martucci with runnerup trophy

Winthrop captains and Coach Tracey Martucci with runnerup trophy

Amy Sena

Amy Sena

Nicole Hogan

Nicole Hogan

Heidi Benson and Jensena Moner on the run

Heidi Benson and Jensena Moner on the run

Mackenzie Chiudini gets a yellow card

Mackenzie Chiudini gets a yellow card

Cayla Durkee near miss in first half

Cayla Durkee near miss in first half

Leave a comment

Filed under Georgetown, Winthrop

Newburyport Advances in Division 3 North MIAA Boys Soccer by Defeating Winthrop 1-0

Adam Traxler (5) scores the only goal of the Newburyport/Winthrop tourney game.

(Newburyport) The Newburyport Clippers escaped the Preliminary Round of  Division 3 North boys soccer by defeating Winthrop, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon at World War Memorial Stadium.

Harrison Corbett (11) heads near the goal.

The Clippers (9-7-3), from the Cape Ann League, now advance to the First Round of the MIAA tournament and play #2 seed Lynnfield (15-3) at Jordan Park in Lynnfield at noon tomorrow (Sunday).  The Pioneers defeated Newburyport, 5-2, on October 5th.

Adam Traxler’s 19th goal of the season was all that the Clippers needed to get by the Vikings.

The sophomore’s goal came sixteen minutes into the second half at the end of one of his every-game, speedy rushes down the right side.  On the scoring rush, he passed the Winthrop defender and maneuvered in toward the net, firing a shot that went off Viking goalie Bryan Alzate’s hands into the upper part of the goal.

Winthrop, from the Northeastern Conference, had a glowing opportunity five minutes earlier in the second half when they were awarded a direct kick close to the end line just beyond the penalty area to Clipper goalie Matt Canning’s left.  The shot taken tore across the crease and out the other side untouched as far as I could tell.

NHS goalie Matt Canning clears away a Viking threat in the first half.

The Vikings other shots were long range and NHS goalie Matt Canning was positioned well for each of them when they reached him.

Almost all the other good chances belonged to Newburyport.  In the second half, Spencer Traxler had a good look from the middle and later Jordan Steelman reached the goalie’s doorstep.  Adam Traxler had dangerous shots on net in both halves.

The referee had to straighten out the Newburyport student cheering section in the first half.  Several of them persisted with derogatory remarks about the Winthrop players until he stepped in.  Some of them may have been the same individuals drawing attention to themselves, rather than the American flag, during the playing of the National Anthem.

Spencer Traxler (6) has good look from in close.

Winthrop arrived late and the paper given out with their roster on it had numerous inaccuracies.   Try identifying players in pictures when their numbers aren’t on the roster.

Newburyport had to get three points (2 for a win, 1 for a tie) in their last two games to even make the tournament.

Winthrop took a different route to the tournament.  They played a division 3 opponent (North Shore Tech) in their season opener and defeated the visitors, 3-0, on September 10th.  The Vikings (1-16-2) didn’t win another game in 2011 yet made the tournament because of the Sullivan Rule.  According to that rule, if your record doesn’t get you in then you can get in by at least splitting against the teams you faced that are in the same division you are in during the tournament.  That North Shore Tech game was their only one with a D3 opponent.

(I take my own pictures and collect my own information.  I own any mistakes.)  Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them to normal size.

Jordan Steelman (9) on doorstep.

Winthrop goalie Bryan Alzate after Adam Traxler goal.

Adam Traxler (5), Sam Brenner (20), Petrit Kraja (47)

Michael Lessard (3) & Allan Eagan (8)

Adam Traxler (5) & Jordan Steelman (9)

Chris Day (11) & Harrison Corbett (11)

Leave a comment

Filed under Newburyport, Winthrop