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Amesbury glides by St. Joseph’s Prep 6-0 and into the D4 state semifinals

The Amesbury Indians are the Division 4 North champions

Maddy Creps (2) ripped a goal from the left side in each half.

(Lynn MA) This was not a game to come late to.

Two minutes into it the Amesbury Indians had two on the board against St. Joseph’s Prep on Sunday afternoon.

The final was 6-0 and with the win Amesbury reaches the Division 4 state semifinals.

The Indians (16-5-1) will face Millis (16-2-2) on Wednesday night (5PM) at Manning Field in Lynn.

Amesbury has had few games this season in which they dominated a team the way they did in this one.  “Being in the Cape Ann League has helped prepare us for the tournament,” explained AHS coach Adam Thibodeau.

Chelsea Lynch gets a full swing at a shot from very close.

Newburyport, also from the CAL, reached the D3 state semifinals on this same Sunday at Manning Field.

“Amesbury came out with the horses and we just didn’t match up, “said St. Joseph coach Damian Shiner afterwards.  “We gave them the freedom and opportunity to take the shots they wanted.”

It was a busy and dangerous afternoon for Phoenix netminders Maria DiFelice (first half) and Shannon Daly (second half).  Both girls allowed three goals.

Michaela Halloran and the ball arrive at the same time.

I say dangerous because multiple times those goalies and incoming Amesbury players were on collision courses chasing an incoming ball.

Sophomore Maddy Creps paced the Indians with two goals and an assist.  Both of Maddy’s tallies were similar.  In each she found an opening on the left side and was on target with her left foot.  Both shots in each half ended in the upper right corner above the Phoenix goalie.  “I wasn’t aiming for that spot,” Maddy told me.  “I was just trying to get it on net.”

Chelsea Lynch, Ashley Pettet, Brooke Taylor, and Maia Esty had Amesbury’s other goals.

While the Indians had a feast of opportunities the team from Boston didn’t.  AHS goalie Alli Napoli touched the ball for the first time fifteen minutes into the game.

Credit the Amesbury defense.  Hannaih Burdick, Ashlee Porcaro, Alyssa Pettet, and Madison McGrath were terrific in their half of the field.  There were few panic kicks and plenty of passes to each other to keep St. Joseph’s from threatening.

Anne McElroy and Maddy Creps battle for a loose ball

Despite the mismatch, St. Joe’s and their fans never quit.  “We’re a young team,” said Coach Shiner.  “We’ll be back next year.”

The Indians notched their first goal (Chelsea Lynch from Brooke Taylor) at 38:47. Thirty-three seconds later, Maddy Creps had her first successful blast from the left on a pass from Ashley Pettet.  A timeout by the Phoenix quickly followed.

“I told them to calm down and relax,” said Coach Shiner. “We had plenty of game left but Amesbury is an excellent team.”

The prettiest goal of the game was the third one, Ashley Pettet’s.  The Cape Ann League Player-of-the-Year dribbled past two defenders into the middle of the field and ended up with a straightaway, clean look which she buried.

Nice November weather.  Temps in the upper 40s with sun and little wind.

AHS coach Adam Thibodeau cleared his bench early and often.  Freshman Julia Campbell played the final nine minutes in net for the Indians.

Anne McElroy and Molly Wheet were tireless on defense for the Phoenix.

Ashley Pettet fires a shot.

Covering games is never easy during the regular season.  Many teams have no scoreboards.  Rosters are seldom available.  In the tournament you expect better.  Well, the scoreboard at Manning Field worked.  The rosters?  Not so much.  I noticed right away that the two St. Joseph goalies had numbers that aren’t on the rosters the MIAA handed out on the way into the game.  I chased down Coach Shiner afterwards to get the names of the two goalies he used.  Then there was the Amesbury roster. I knew that roster because I had done their game with St. Mary’s.  I never looked at it until I was home.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that the Amesbury roster was the 2016 edition!

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

Amesbury seniors with Coach Adam Thibodeau and the D4 North trophy

Coach Damian Shinere, Nailah Khoory, Hannah Sansone, Assistant Coach Lindsey Hughes

Maia Esty (15) after scoring the 6th Amesbury goal

Second half action in front

Maddy Crep’s 2nd goal celebrated

Brooke Taylor (7) shoots

Goalie Shannon Daly and Chelsea Lynch

Michaela Halloran on the doorstep in the first half

Freshman Alyssa Pettet

Emma DiPietro

Chelsea Lynch and Camille Taylor

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Amesbury advances to D4 semis with 2-0 win against St. Mary’s

Amesbury put pressure on the St. Mary’s defense. Here Sherly Feliz (24) is chased by Brooke Taylor (7)

Michaela Halloran’s tap heads for the goal line as a lunging Morgan Mackie tries to stop it.

(Amesbury MA) The scoreboard at Landry Stadium wasn’t up to speed but the Amesbury girls’ soccer team sure was as they defeated St. Mary’s, 2-0, in the Division 4 North quarterfinals.

The Sunday evening matchup featured a heavy dose of pressure by the Indians on the Spartans.  There were plenty of passes away from the middle that gave Amesbury’s speedsters opportunities to create scoring chances.

“When we play fast, we play our game,” said Amesbury coach Adam Thibodeau afterwards.

Ashley Pettet (8) chased by Joslyn Deschenes (16)

The Indians (14-5-1) scored both of their goals (Hannaih Burdick, Michaela Halloran) in the first half.  Instead of playing conservatively in the second half, Amesbury just kept attacking.

And there was only one reason why this didn’t end up being a seven or eight goal game: Alex Iacoviello.  The St. Mary’s goalie faced shots from just about everywhere in the second half and dazzled everyone with the saves she came up with.

“She (Alex) kept us in the game,” said Spartans coach Jim Foley.  “Several of her saves were unbelievable.”

Chelsea Lynch stopped by Spartans goalie Alex Iacoviello

“Their goalie was absolutely spectacular,” said AHS coach Adam Thibodeau.

By keeping the heat on the St. Mary’s defense, Amesbury was able to limit the chances the Spartans had.  But the team from Lynn did have several anyhow.

St. Mary’s top scorer (Kayla Demers) had a good look in the second half.

There was also a situation where Amesbury GK Alli Napoli had the ball get away from her after attempting a save.  The ball was loose close to the corner and a St. Mary’s player was about to take a shot at an unguarded net but three Amesbury players slid in to block any straight shot at the goal.

That’s what makes Amesbury so tough: Not only are they fast into the attacking zone but they are also fast to get back to help on defense.

Amesbury GK Alli Napoli (green) gets help from three teammates

“Amesbury is probably the best team in the D4 North,” explained Coach Foley.  “We ended up meeting them a little earlier than I had hoped.”

The #6 Indians will meet #2 Essex Tech in the semifinals on Wednesday night at Manning Field in Lynn.

Freshman Alyssa Pettet (5) pressured by Kayla Demers (27)

Hannaih Burdick’s goal was set up by Emma DiPietro seventeen minutes into the first half.  A throw-in from the left side reached Emma.  Instead of trying to go toward the goal, Emma passed further right to an uncovered Hannaih.

The shot was a long one but Hannaih had experience taking it from that far out.  The shot was a high one and sailed into the top of the net on the left side.

“I thought that the shot had gone over the net,” recalled Hannaih afterwards.

The battle AFTER Michaela’s shot had crossed the line

The second Amesbury goal was set up by Chelsea Lynch.  Down the middle she came with defenders on either side.  Alex Iacoviello came out to challenge and Chelsea’s shot bounced off her and over her.  The ball headed ever so slowly toward the net.  Michaela Halloran saw it and tapped it just enough to get it across the goal line.  Michaela and Morgan Mackie battled for possession inside the net, but the goal had already been scored.

In the second half, St Mary’s (9-8-3) couldn’t get the goal that would have made things more interesting down the stretch.  “We’ve had trouble scoring all season,” added Coach Foley.

The speed of Amesbury has been noted.  Also important is to have players in the midfield who have the dribbling skills to make players miss.  Most opponents attack someone with the ball at full speed.  The talented players often make those attackers miss by pulling the ball back.  Those of us who enjoy watching Charlie Brown attempt to kick a football with Lucy holding the ball know what I mean!  Midfielders Ashley Pettet and Emma DiPietro make players miss on a regular basis.

Freshman Susannah Cornell (17) and senior Ashley Pettet (8)

Morgan Mackie was a standout on defense for St. Mary’s.

Part of the scoreboard was not working.

The lighting in Landry will test the quality of the best of cameras.

Pleasant night in the 50’s.

Pretty good crowd for a Sunday night.

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

Captains Brooke Taylor (7) and Caitlin Foley (3)

Chelsea Lynch assisted on Amesbury’s second goal

Morgan Mackie

Alex Iacoviello

Maddy Creps in for a testing shot that went just wide.

Michaela Halloran surrounded by Spartans

Chelsea Lynch in on goal

Jenna Foley (22), Maddie McGrath (4), Maddy Creps (2), and Kayla Demers (27)

Waiting to head

 

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Emma Richardson 2nd half goal gives Amesbury 2-1 win over Triton

amtr-a5-emma-richardson-shotamtr-a6-er-shot-over-daynaamtr-a7-er-shot-in-net

Alex Kennedy (14) kicks in traffic

Alex Kennedy (14) kicks in traffic

(Byfield MA) Amesbury ended a two week, win drought with a 2-1 Cape Ann League victory against Triton on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

The Indians (4-2-4) used a second-half score (see above) by senior Emma Richardson to get the job done.

Triton (2-6-1) played well enough to win but, thanks to a solid Indians defense, were limited to long shots for most of the afternoon.

Junior Meredith Kennedy drilled home one of those long shots for the Vikings that led to a 1-1 halftime tie.amtr-a1-meredith-kennedy-30-shot-on-way-to-goalamtr-a3-mk-shot-about-to-go-over-alli-napoli

Chelsea Lynch set to score first AHS goal

Chelsea Lynch set to score first AHS goal

Amesbury arrived late (to Triton) but started fast.  Sophomore Chelsea Lynch broke in very early with pregame space and time to dribble closer, look up, fire, and score.  At that point I suspected that Triton might be in for a long afternoon.  But it wasn’t that way at all.

The Vikings defense tightened up considerably and Amesbury chances were few.  On the other hand, Triton made runs down the sidelines on several occasions.

Junior Meredith Kennedy made one of those runs down the left sideline midway through the first half.  Meredith’s left-footed shot sailed over Amesbury goalie Alli Napoli to tie things.

Second half?  Amesbury had chances.  Triton had chances.

The Indians got in real close a number of times but senior Triton GK Dayna Rybicki had answers.

Mikayla Porcaro

Mikayla Porcaro

The Vikings had shots on net and several corner kicks but AHS senior defenders Julia LaMontagne and Mikayla Porcaro helped keep things long range.

Emma Richardson registered the game-winner midway through the second half.  The senior took a feed from teammate Emma DiPietro and raced down the right sideline.  As Emma cut toward the net she lifted a shot over Dayna Rybicki.

That goal held up.

Impressed with Meredith & Alex Kennedy.  Both are returning CAL All-Stars.  Defender Apphia Donoghue was very good handling AHS pressure.

Another returning CAL All-Star, Ashley Pettet, did a nice job passing and defending for Amesbury in the midfield area.

Senior Mikayla Porcaro was the ideal defender in front of AHS freshman goalie Alli Napoli.  Tall and experienced (Bishop Fenwick), Mikayla cleared numerous Triton attempts before they reached the AHS net minder.

Dayna Rybicki saves for Triton

Dayna Rybicki saves for Triton

Next for Amesbury is a game tomorrow (Friday) at home against seriously depleted Pentucket.

Triton will be at Ipswich on the same afternoon.

AHS has now scored ten goals in ten games while giving up seven goals.

Triton has tallied seven goals in nine games while giving up twenty-eight goals.  I have no doubt that the Vikings defense I saw this afternoon is a whole lot better than it was earlier in the season!

Instead of punting the ball out, Alli Napoli often passed the ball toward the sidelines.  That strategy led to several quick Triton counter-attacks.

Sara Stackpole was on the sidelines for Triton.

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

Emma Richardson (25) and Madison McGrath (4) challenge Triton keeper Dayna Rybicki

Emma Richardson (25) and Madison McGrath (4) challenge Triton keeper Dayna Rybicki

Vikings celebrate Meredith Kennedy's goal

Vikings celebrate Meredith Kennedy’s goal

Chelsea Lynch (12) and Apphia Donoghue (4)

Chelsea Lynch (12) and Apphia Donoghue (4)

Ashley Pettet (8) and Skyla Lewis (13)

Ashley Pettet (8) and Skyla Lewis (13)

Elizabeth Lindholm (24), Ashley Pettet (8), and Michaela Halloran (9)

Elizabeth Lindholm (24), Ashley Pettet (8), and Michaela Halloran (9)

Meredith Kennedy (14) and Michaela Halloran (9)

Meredith Kennedy (14) and Michaela Halloran (9)

Alex Kennedy

Alex Kennedy

Julia LaMontagne

Julia LaMontagne

Action in front of the Triton net

Action in front of the Triton net

Josie Smith

Josie Smith

 

 

 

 

 

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