New Hampshire catches Villanova in the second half winning 28-20

Plenty of celebrating for New Hampshire after their big CAA win over Villanova

NH coach Ricky Santos

(Durham NH) New Hampshire looked done for at halftime…………but they weren’t.

The NH Wildcats (5-3) turned offensive and defensive in the second half and erased a 20-7 halftime deficit and recorded a satisfying 28-20 win over the Villanova Wildcats (6-3) on Saturday afternoon in Colonial Athletic Association action.

The loss was the third straight for Nova and Coach Mark Ferrante expressed that frustration postgame: “We came out and put up a zero in the second half.  We need to figure out how we can play the full four quarters.”

New Hampshire remains undefeated at home (4-0) and owning the home field factored into their second-half turnaround, according to Coach Ricky Santos. “In the first half, they (Villanova) were playing downhill on us.  Halftime wasn’t so much the X’s and O’s.  It was a matter of challenging the guys.  Villanova was playing harder than us on our field.  No one in our locker room was going to allow that to happen in the second half.”

So, back came NH in the second half with three scores and a defensive shutout to grab the W.

Daniel Smith

Nova quarterback Daniel Smith dazzled in the first half (10/18 – 189 yards).  The Wildcats junior passed for a TD (Zac Kerxton) and ran for another (1 yard) on a fourth-down leap.

Second half it was NH’s Max Brosmer’s turn to shine.  The true freshman was 10/10 totaling 132 yards and two touchdowns (both to Dylan Laube).

Max had to recover from an interception (Keeling Hunter) in the last minute of the first half that cost NH some possible points.  “Max had a turnover right before the half,” recalled Coach Santos.  “It could have gone one way or another for him after that.  He internalized it, however, and wouldn’t let it stop him in the second half.”

New Hampshire QB Max Brosmer at halftime

“I erased it from my head,” explained Max postgame.  “I made a bad throw.  I had to move on.”

Villanova QB Daniel Smith came into today’s game with twenty-one touchdown passes.  He added one to that total today.  He also came into the game with only seven interceptions over eight games.  Key stat?  NH picked him three times this afternoon.

Two of the NH interceptions (Randall Harris & Evan Horn) ended Villanova’s last two drives of the contest and both were close to the NH end zone.

Efficient use by Villanova of timeouts (an issue in an earlier loss) gave the visitors possession in a one-possession game (28-20) at their twenty with 1:49 left and no timeouts.  Daniel Smith used time-stopping sidelines passes and a long scramble to reach the New Hampshire thirty-two with twenty seconds left.  A pass attempt down the middle, however, was overthrown and defender Evan Horn intercepted and sealed the win for the home team.

Dylan Laube (20) scored twice in the second half

NH freshman back Dylan Laube twice swung out of the Wildcats backfield to beat Nova defenders deep.  In the third quarter, Dylan escaped senior Julian Williams to give NH the lead for good, 21-20. In the fourth quarter, Dylan added an insurance score.  This time it was linebacker Drew Wiley who was burned deep.

“We wanted to get Dylan matched up on a linebacker because we thought he could run by them,” explained Coach Santos.

Big plays by the offense and the defense in the game-changing second half.  Not to be overlooked, for certain, was the very important handiwork of punter Drew Sanborn in the final quarter.  Drew had a punt deflected by freshman Elijah Solomon in the first half which set up a Nova drive that ended with a TD pass to Zac Kerxton.

Twice in the tense final quarter, Drew handled one-hop snaps and delivered long boots.  (Bless the turf-field true bounces?)  “Drew did a great job fielding those snaps and getting long punts,” said Coach Santos.  “Snapper Tim Bouchard has usually been very consistent.”

Darius Pickett led the Villanova defense with nine solo tackles.

Villanova coach Mark Ferrante

New Hampshire has now won five of their last six games.

Villanova will play their next three games at home.  “We never got it going offensively in the second half,” explained Daniel Smith postgame.  “That can’t happen.  I’ve got to do a better job.”

I knew that I wasn’t covering a high school game when I stepped out of my truck at UNH about 1 ½ hours before the game started and was confronted with grills and enticing aromas!

The second quarter has been the best for Villanova all season.  They have outscored opponents 130-47 in the second period.

My thanks for Mike Murphy for arranging today’s visit for me.  The stats (pre and post-game) as well as the rosters are never taken for granted by those of us covering high school events.

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

Brian Espanet (80) scores in the first quarter

Carlos Washington (26) congratulated by Curtis Linton (76)

Daniel Smith sneaks for TD

David Perry postgame

Evan Gray (22)

Evan Horn (33) after end-of-game interception

Forrest Rhyne (43) tackles Evan Gray (22)

Jaaron Hayek (26) makes a leaping catch

Malik Love (1) makes a nice catch

Max Brosmer on the sidelines

Max Brosmer (16) passes to the flat

Evan Horn (33)

Riley Burns

Oleh Manzyk

Jared Nelson (46) brings heat to QB Max Brosmer

Randall Harris (24) intercepts pass for Andrew Perez (80)

Simon Bingelis (81) makes a nice catch for VU

UNH Max Oxendine

Villanova gang tackles

Villanova pressures NH punter Drew Sanborn

Villanova’s DeeWil Barlee runs

Zac Kerxton (82) catches with Randall Harris (24) nearby

 

 

 

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Undefeated Masco downs Triton 5-2

Mak Graves had a goal and two assists for the Lady Chieftains

Freshman Maggie Sturgis (1) scored twice for Masco

(Byfield MA) Masco can score goals.

This afternoon the Lady Chieftains (14-0-2) put up five of them, including four in the first half, and that was enough for a field hockey win over Triton, 5-2.

Senior captain Mak Graves paced Masco with a goal and two assists.  Teammate Maggie Sturgis added two scores for the team from Boxford.

That Masco scored was no surprise; they now have sixty-nine goals in sixteen games.

That Triton (10-4-2) scored against Masco was a big surprise. Why?  The last time the Vikings had a goal against the Chieftains was on September 11, 2015!  That shutout lasted seven games.

Triton broke a four-year scoring drought vs Masco today

Gianna Conte had a goal and an assist for the Vikings

D1 commit (UMass Lowell) Gianna Conte assisted on Triton’s first goal (first half) and tallied their second one in the second half.

Junior Brianna Hood was the Viking set up in the first half.  That goals evened things at 1-1.

The Lady Chieftains responded with three unanswered goals over a ten-minute segment.

“I was proud of the girls for fighting back after being scored on,” said Masco coach Maggie Bridgeo.  “It hasn’t happened very often.”  The LC’s had only allowed SIX goals in their previous fifteen contests.

Two of Masco’s answering goals were by freshman Maggie Sturgis.  In both instances it was sophomore Lily Conway assisting from the right.

Maggie Sturgis (1) gets a goal

“Lily did a great job of getting the ball down the wing and crossing it,” added Coach Bridgeo.

Sophomore Ava Collins pushed the Masco advantage to 4-1 with three minutes left, set up nicely by Mak Graves.

“They outplayed us, “explained Triton coach Donna Andersen afterwards.  “We were, however, much better in the second half and they didn’t do a lot of subbing.”

Gianna Conte’s goal made it a two-goal game with twenty minutes left in the second half but the home team would get no closer.

Kate Zamagni

Kate Zamagni’s score with 8:24 remaining gave Masco a 5-2 lead and more than enough separation to gain their 14th win of the season.

“Kate’s goal was probably the prettiest of them all,” said Coach Bridgeo. “It was a corner play and Kate took a straight shot.”

Coach Andersen was impressed with Masco: “They have a lot of speed and stick skills.  They are very fast and very well positioned.”

Coach Bridgeo on Triton: “Triton played an unbelievable game.  Their pressure cover defense befuddled our girls for a while.”

The Vikings entered this afternoon’s game undefeated in their last seven games.  Last loss?  To Masco (3-0) on September 23rd at Masco.  Maggie Sturgis, Cecily Paglierani, and Kate Zamagni were the goal scorers for the Lady Chieftains in that one.

Kate Zamagni (4) and Jamie Bell

The LC’s two ties have been to North Reading and Central Catholic.  There is a rematch with NR ahead on the schedule.

The Division 2 Vikings have reached post-season six straight seasons.

Masco won the D1 North last year and fell to Somerset in the state semi-finals.  The Lady Chieftains lost only two starters from that 19-2-2 team.

I have seen Mak Graves play basketball, now field hockey.  The girl has multiple game!

“She was the Cape Ann League Player-of-the-Year last year in basketball and field hockey,” said Coach Bridgeo.  “She’s a great athlete who is usually two plays ahead in everything.  She picked up a lacrosse stick and was good at it without even knowing how to play.”

Mak Graves after scoring a goal

It appears that Mak will be attending Northeastern in 2020 to continue playing field hockey.

There was a side feature to Masco’s state semi-final loss in 2018 to Somerset; the opponent had two boys on their team.  “In my opinion,” said Coach Bridgeo, “the title laws were created to make it equal for females.  It is difficult to play against two males.  There’s a big physical difference between 18-year-old boys and 18-year-old girls.  Years ago, when I was in high school, Masco had a boy on their field hockey team, and they played in a co-ed state tournament.  Maybe it’s heading in that direction.”

The stadium at Triton is very nice.  The lights were good too on an overcast afternoon.

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

Andrea Walker

Ava Collins (23) scores

Ava Collins and Kelly Sharkey (12)

Brianna Hood had a goal for Triton

Cecily Paglierani (15) chased by Rylee Lucia (8)

Jamie Bell surrounded by Lady Chieftains

Julia Miller (12)

Maddy Peterson breaks in as Masco coaching staff looks on

Madison Hillick

Mia Gustafson

Sarah Burd

A second goal by Maggie Sturgis (1)

Mak Graves and Jamie Bell

Masco celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Triton sweeps challenging Pentucket in CAL volleyball

Mia Berardino (13) led Triton with thirteen kills.

Katherine Quigley (11) and Arielle Cleveland (21) at the net

(West Newbury MA) What a difference a month makes!

Pentucket continues winless in their first volleyball season but their improvement was noticeable.

“Pentucket has improved considerably since the last time we saw them,” said Triton coach Bob Van Etten after tonight’s match with the Sachems. “Their middle was a lot better.  They passed better and were able to work the middle.  It was a hard-fought win for us.”

Jillian Sheehy readies to hit

The Sachems reached a season-high twenty-two points in the second game.

“Our confidence is getting better,” said Pentucket coach Lauren Bennett.  “The skill levels have improved so much.”

The final scores were; 25-16, 25-22, and 25-18.

Mia Berardino was the star of the show for the (5-11) Vikings.  The tall sophomore was able to produce a steady flow of serves and hits that gave the home team trouble.

“She (Mia) had an outstanding night,” said Coach Van Etten.  “She had a lot of kills, smart hits, and great serves.”

Mia finished with fifteen kills and four service aces.

Arielle Cleveland and Coach Lauren Bennett

“Mia is very, very talented,” said junior Macey Cowl of Pentucket.  “When she gets set up you know it’s coming and it’s coming hard.”

Despite Mia’s impressive performance, Pentucket kept things interesting in all three games.

In the first game, the Sachems rode some Triton errors and Arielle Cleveland hits to a 15-12 lead and a Vikings timeout.  After the timeout, the team from Byfield put a lengthy run together.  The Vikings won ten straight points, with sophomore Molly Kimball serving and Mia getting set up for kills, and Triton gained separation, 22-15.

The best takeaway for Pentucket would be the second game.  The Sachems trailed early, 6-2 and 10-6 before rallying on Triton miscues and Arielle’s serves to tie things at 16-16.  Later a serve by senior Caitlin Kutcher hit the net and dropped in and the game was tied 22-22.  But along came Mia Berardino.  Three straight times she was beautifully set up for kills and Triton escaped 25-22.

Molly Kimball serves

“I give so much credit to our setters,” said Mia afterwards.  “They did such a great job putting the ball on the net so that we could hit it down.”

The Sachems never led in the final game, but the deficit was small (16-15) late in that game.  The biggest cheer from the Pentucket faithful was after sophomore Nicole Zahornasky was able to block one of Mia’s kill attempts and have the rebound drop in for a Sachems point.

Coach Van Etten gave special credit to Molly Kimball: “We were playing a 6-2, not a 5-1, so Molly was only getting half the touches.  For her to get nineteen assists under those conditions was huge.”

Jillian Sheehy: “We had some people step up tonight.  We could have won.  This was one of our best games.”

Nicole Zahornasky checks out

Macey Cowl: “Our serves were good.  We had some really nice rallies.  We’re getting there.”

The Vikings have now won two straight.

“We have more wins than we had last year already,” said Mia.  Mia was a Cape Ann League All-Star last year.

Arielle Cleveland: “Volleyball is helpful for basketball.  It improves my anticipation and my jumping.  I enjoy the game a lot.  We’re progressively getting better.  I have been playing AAU basketball on a team that has been winning a lot of games.”

Mia Berardino: “A lot of things worked tonight.  It was a loud crowd, but we stay focused.”

Coach Bennett: “I could see the disappointment in the girls’ faces afterwards and in some ways I liked that.  Even though this was our best game, the girls still want more.”

The quest for that elusive W will continue for Pentucket.  The rematch ahead with Georgetown might be the place for it to happen.

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

Ava Ford (23)

Caitlin Kutcher

Jillian Sheehy

Katherine Quigley serves

Hit in the middle

Lena Freeman (26) and Molly Kimball (8) at the net

Lena Freeman (26) blocks Nicole Zaharnasky

Macey Cowl (18) blocks

Mia Berardino hits and Macey Cowl tries to block

Mia Berardino

Molly Kimball had nineteen assists

Paige Volpone

Waiting for a serve

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport keeps ALS Cup with 3-0 win over Pentucket

Clippers celebrate a 3-0 shutout over Pentucket

Meaghan O’Leary sets up for a direct kick.

(Newburyport MA) She couldn’t have picked a better time.

Senior Meaghan O’Leary turned two direct kicks into the first two goals of her high school career helping Newburyport (7-4-2) shut out Pentucket, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Newburyport.

The win kept the coveted ALS Cup in the possession of the Clippers.

Pentucket (8-4-2) has yet to win the ALS Cup in the annual crowd-drawing event.

There was valid optimism that today might be the day for the Sachems’ drought to end.

Why?

Shot coming in

Pentucket had a 6-5 win over the Clippers on September 10th at West Newbury.  The Sachems were down twice by two goals in that back-and-forth contest but rallied to stun the visitors.

The Sachems could score (46 goals) and they had the character to rally back if necessary.

On this cloudy afternoon, however, the Clippers kept both of those things from happening.

“The differences this time,” said NHS coach Kevin Sheridan, “were the organization of our defense, the discipline of our defense, and the communication all the way from the keeper to the strikers in terms of who’s covering who.  That first game was a wakeup call for us.”

Sabrina Campbell (19) and Page Cole (24)

“We came out in the second half determined to crush any hope they had of winning,” explained captain Molly Elmore.  “There was no letup.  We played the full eighty minutes.”

“Newburyport was very organized and defended well,” said Sachems coach Dan Millard.  “We had scored forty-six goals but got none today.”

Eight minutes into the first half (32:19), Meaghan O’Leary’s direct kick from the right deflected off the fingertips of Pentucket netminder Ashlynne Reade to put Newburyport in front, 1-0.

The visitors had some good chances to tie the score in the first half.  The best may have been with less than two minutes when Sabrina Campbell sent a ball into the middle that GK Anneliese Truesdale caught with Mackenzie Currie bearing down on her.

“We were better in the first half than we were in the second,” recalled Coach Millard.

The Clippers were awarded two direct kicks within the span of four minutes in the second half.  Meaghan O’Leary cashed the second one at 25:41.

First goal – upper left corner

“We practice a lot of free kicks,” said Meaghan.  “We have about ten girls that can take really good ones.  I was lucky enough to be the one who stepped up.”

Meaghan’s second goal (25:41 – second half) was off a direct kick from straight away.  Both of her goals were driven toward the upper left side and deflected off GK Ashlynne Reade into the net.

Clippers celebrate 2nd goal

Another set play produced the third goal at 14:26. Senior Cricket Good had plenty to do with this one.  The St. Anselm’s commit came across from the right into the middle and fired a shot back toward the right post that GK Ashlynne Reade make a brilliant save on.  The deflection gave Newburyport a corner kick from the right corner.

Cricket’s 13th goal was off a corner kick with her left foot that was sent low toward the goal.  Ashlynne came out to get the ball, between two teammates, but the hard shot deflected off her hand into the net.

Cricket Good’s CK coming in

Down 3-0 with fourteen minutes remaining, the Clippers had the lead and the solid defense to keep the shutout.

Referencing the three goals on set plays, Coach Millard said, “There were things out of our control.”

Mackenzie Currie (9) and Izzy Kirby (13)

The key defensive player for the Clippers was sophomore Izzy Kirby. Izzy had the job of trying to contain high-scorer Mackenzie Currie.

Meaghan O’Leary: “#13 (Izzy Kirby) was unbelievable.”

GK Anneliese Truesdale: “Izzy was always there to help with Mackenzie.”

“When their top guns received the ball, we had them marked and we had help there as well,” said Coach Sheridan.

A large crowd enjoyed the middle game of today’s triple-header at Stehlin Field.  Only on a turf field could you play a football game and two soccer games, after a night of rain, and still have a great field in place.

GK Anneliese Truesdale up for a save with Mackenzie Currie (9) close by

Anneliese Truesdale: “In the beginning of the season I struggled with high shots but Coach (Sheridan) had worked a lot on it with me.  Give credit to Pentucket.  This is the toughest competition we’ve seen in the ALS Cup.”

Cricket Good: “We were expecting a ton of goals, but we did a good job of knowing their players this time specifically.  It could have been a closer game, but Anneliese had some amazing saves.”

Olivia Sullivan: “We knew what we had to do after the first game with Pentucket.  We came out with plenty of energy this time.  Everyone was focused in warmups.”

Molly Elmore: “Today’s game was bigger than us.  It was for a cause.  I have been going head-to-head with Jacey Jennings for a couple of years.  I tried to find her because she can be a big threat.  She has a good shot.”

Molly Elmore and Jacey Jennings

Coach Sheridan: “Pentucket is a really good team.  We expected them to come out firing in the second half and we knew we had to match them.  It was a great statement game for our girls.  They are thrilled to maintain the cup.”

The Clippers have now won four straight and allowed only one goal during the win streak.

You couldn’t help but notice how dangerous Mackenzie Currie can be.  The combination of size, strong shot, and hustle make her a constant threat.

Cricket Good received a yellow card in the second half.  She was sent off in the first half. “The first time off I said that I’d keep my mouth shut and figure it out,” she said. “There’s still work to be done.”

Yellow card for Cricket Good

Both teams are in Division Three.  “I’m hoping that maybe we can play them again in the tournament,” said Coach Millard.  The Sachems have already made the tourney.  The Clippers need a win or two ties in their remaining schedule to also qualify.

Another Division Three Cape Ann League team is Lynnfield.  They have beaten Newburyport twice and Pentucket once.

That 6-5 win in September was the first time Pentucket had defeated Newburyport in NINE years.  From 2013-2018, in twelve meetings with the Clippers the Sachems had scored only TWO goals. That is why that 6-5 win sent the message that things had changed in West Newbury.

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

Annabelle Sylvanowicz and Olivia Sullivan

Anneliese Truesdale, Meaghan O’Leary, Katie Gallagher

GK Annaliese Truesdale corrals a loose ball

Deidre McElhinney (8) and Katelyn Sudbay (21)

Deidre McElhinney

Kinneal Dickens

Sage Seymour sang The National Anthem

Molly Elmore will attend Sacred Heart (Fairfield CT) next year

Molly Elmore and Jacey Jennings

Olivia Coletti and Syiera Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Purdue commit Sydney Yim leads Newburyport past Whittier 3-0

Sydney Yim unleashes a hard hit at the Whittier defenders

Sydney Yim committed to Purdue VB on Friday

(Newburyport MA) Impressive.

And I wasn’t the only one impressed by junior Sydney Yim of the Newburyport Clippers.

“She’s one of the best I’ve seen,” said Whittier coach Paul Bonosaro after his team fell, 3-0, to Newburyport on Wednesday evening.

“She can hit it hard and she can hit it soft,” the Wildcats coach added.

Taking that “impressive” label even further, Sydney has obviously gotten the attention of Purdue University VB head coach Dave Shondell as well.

“I committed to Purdue on Friday,” Sydney told me after the win over Whittier.  “I visited there and enjoyed the campus.  I also had a really good connection with the coaching staff there.”

Julianne Heath had twenty assists

No question that the Division One Boilermakers (West Lafayette IND) had an advantage.  “My mom went there, and she encouraged me,” laughed Sydney.

Tonight, the Clippers (9-5) swept Whittier; 25-16, 25-16, and 25-23.

“We certainly competed in the last set,” said Coach Bonosaro.  “We needed just a few things to go our way to win it.”

But those “few things” were missing for Whittier (10-4) much of the night.  “We had too many service errors and too much miscommunication,” he recalled.

The Wildcats (10-4) have qualified for the post-season and since both teams are in Division 2 North they could meet again, for the third time.  The Clippers won at Haverhill, 3-1, on September 23rd.

Whittier coach Paul Bonosaro

The Clippers haven’t qualified yet for the tournament although just one win in the final six games will get that job done.

“Our ability to communicate was a huge part of tonight’s win,” explained NHS coach Lori Solazzo.

She added that it certainly helps to have a player like Sydney on the team.

It is easy to forget that this is only the Clippers THIRD season with a volleyball team; 1-14 (2017), 4-15 (2018), and now 9-5…….and counting. Remarkable.

I asked Coach Solazzo how her team has become so good so quickly: “The girls have really dedicated themselves to getting better.  Many of them have worked at it during the off-season.  There’s interest in the school in volleyball.  We had sixty-four girls try out.”

The Clippers trailed early (6-5) in the first set before pulling away 16-10 and 20-13. A long hit by Whittier’s Grace Efosa ended the set 25-16.

Grace Efosa will play basketball for Providence next year

The second set was all Newburyport.  Sydney Yim (14 kills, 5 aces) led NHS to a 13-5 advantage.  One time it was serving.  Another it was dropping a shot into an open space.  In one sequence Sydney served a ball that wasn’t handled in the Whittier second row.  A replacement was inserted by Coach Bonosaro to that spot.  A hard serve by Sydney went to the same spot with the same result.

The third set was close.  Grace Efosa had the team from the Commonwealth Athletic Conference up 3-0 early.  But the Clippers (Cape Ann League) used a Sydney soft shot and a Sydney kill to get in front 18-13.  Credit Whittier, they didn’t pack it in.  They rode a drop-in by Meghan Jegerow and an ace by Alyssa Michel to trail by only one, 21-20.  Coach Solazzo called a timeout.  And she called another one after an ace by Alicia Habib tied the score at 23-23.  But that was the best Whittier could do.  A long hit and then a mishandled volley gave the home team the two points they needed to win the match.

“We did a good job of communicating tonight after a rough start,” explained Sydney.  “We gradually ended up learning more about the other team and adjusting to what they had do offer.”

Coach Bonosaro: “We tried to block her (Sydney Yim) and take her out of the game.  We did our best.”

Kate Sarra (19) and Jillian Stallard (12)

I hadn’t been in the Newburyport gymnasium since the boys team lost in the DNorth basketball playoffs to Dracut.  I was delighted with the bright lights.  On the lesser side, the low ceiling was certainly a factor.  With the ceiling actually in play, there were several awkward volleys.  I heard one Newburyport fan explain to someone nearby that the “ceiling was the team’s Seventh Man.”

Senior Julianne Heath had eighteen assists for Newburyport.

Whittier’s Alyssa Michel had twenty service points in the first meeting with the Clippers.

Zaria Collazo

It was interesting to have two Division One college commits on the floor at the same time.  You know about Sydney and Purdue.  The other D1 commit was Whittier senior Grace Efosa who will play basketball at Providence College for the Friars.

Coach Bonosaro is in his first year as head coach.  He was an assistant coach at Whittier for fourteen years.

Coach Solazzo played volleyball for Gordon College (Wenham MA) back in the day.  My wife and I were admiring spectators for quite a few of her games playing for Coach Val Ginn.

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

Sofia Messina serves set point

Block attempt

Meghan Jegerow sets

Siarra Cronin tries to block Sydney Yim

Sydney Yim spikes past Grace Efosa and Siarra Cronin

Meghan Jegerow (4)

Lindsey Hunt (4)

Laney Lucci

Jess Rosseau (8)

block

Battle at the net

Alicia Habib (40) and Siarra Cronin (12)

 

 

 

 

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Shorthanded North Reading defeats Newburyport 28-14

Jack Keller (3 TDs) uses a block by Ryan Kavanaugh (4)

Backup QB Ryan McCullough took a keeper 58 yards in the first quarter

(Newburyport MA) The Hornets starting quarterback Brian Heffernan was out with a sore back.

He already had ten touchdown passes in just three games.

Not to worry, sophomore fill-in Ryan McCullough was more than up for the job and North Reading continues undefeated after a Cape Ann League win (28-14) over Newburyport on Friday night.

“We had to simplify things,” said NR coach Ed Blum afterwards.  “He (Ryan) hasn’t had many QB reps but he’s an athlete and he did a good job.”

Ryan passed for a touchdown (Jack Keller) and ran for one, all in the first half.

The Clippers (2-2) were unaware that they would be facing a different quarterback.  It didn’t really matter to Newburyport coach Ben Smolski: “They ran what they ran on film and we defended as we taught them to.”

Walker Bartkiewicz (8) scored all of Newburyport’s points

The Clippers matched the Hornets (4-0) with two first-half touchdowns.  Both were by senior Walker Bartkiewicz.

Newburyport squandered a chance to take the lead early in the second half.  The NR punt receiver dropped the ball and Spencer Beane recovered setting the home team up on the NR 23.  But a Charlie Cahalane pass bounced off Walker Bartkiewicz’s hand and junior Jack Donohue had the interception near the goal-line.

Jacob Buontempo (20) turns a fumble into positive yardage

The Hornets turned the NHS turnover into a 94-yard march with Jack Keller finishing the final twenty-two yards on a sweep left with 3:16 to go in the third quarter.  Rob Tammario kicked the extra points just as he had done after the two first-half scores.  NR was now ahead, 21-14.

Jack Keller tallies the Hornets final touchdown

Turning point alert!  Next possession Newburyport started on their own 41 and moved to the NR 13 and had a 4th-and-2 from there as the seconds ticked off at the end of the 3rd quarter.  “There was a miscommunication between us and the refs over the time left on the play clock,” said Coach Smolski.  “We would have called a timeout but instead we ended up with a five-yard delay of game penalty.”  Now pushed back to the NR 18, there were still two options; go for the first down or kick a field goal.

“Walker (Bartkiewicz) was within his range but we wanted to tie the game and then put us in a position to win the game later on a field goal,” explained Coach Smolski.

The Clippers opted for a pass play and it might have worked for the important first down, but the toss was dropped by Trevor Ward.

Brayden Scribner had an interception for NR in the 4th quarter

Newburyport did get the ball back in the 4th quarter (7:54) with yet another chance to tie the score.  However, Brayden Scribner in the Hornets secondary picked off Charlie Cahalane’s pass attempt and returned the interception to the Newburyport 22 with 3:31 left in the game.

North Reading was now running the Wildcat with Jack Keller getting the direct snap.  Jack found a hole up the middle and went in untouched from eleven yards away to seal this one for the visitors.  This was Jack’s third TD of the contest.

This was the 4th time that the Hornets have pulled out a game in the second half.  “I wish we could play a better first twenty-four minutes,” said Coach Blum post-game.

Newburyport has now lost five straight times to North Reading.

In the last two games Walker Bartkiewicz has scored all the Clippers’ points.  He had sixteen last week against Ipswich.

Lovely evening with temps close to sixty with no wind.

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

Aidan Carucci (6) ends Newburyport’s last possession with an interception

Brayden Scribner had an interception in the 4th quarter

Charlie Cahalane looks for a receiver in the flat

Charlie Cahalane throws over Aidan Carucci

Coach Ed Blum

Gerry Callagy

Ryan McCullough

Tyler Foley (15) brings down Jack Keller

Walker Bartkiewicz (8) behind the defense after catching a pass

Walker Bartkiewicz tangles with Robert Tammario (10) trying to catch a pass

Ryan Kavanaugh (4) finds an opening

Ryan McCullough on his way to the end zone

Ryan McCullough runs for a first down

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lynnfield wins six straight edging Newburyport 1-0

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

Lynnfield celebrates at game’s end

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

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

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

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

Ashley Mitchell set up teammate Anna Radulski on a corner kick

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reaction to scored goal

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

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

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

Molly Webster (19) comes close

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

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

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

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

Clippers’ shot goes wide past GK Amberly McCarter

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

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

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

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

Lauren Braconnier (12) and Cricket Good (11)

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

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

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

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

Olivia Coletti

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

Tori Morelli

rainy conditions

Liz Sykes

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

Deidre McElhinney (8) and Lexi Veglia (13)

Ashley Mitchell

Anneliese Truesdale

Amberly McCarter

Lynnfield celebrates

 

 

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