Tag Archives: Coach Brent Munroe

Newburyport finishes regular season with 2-0 win over Lynnfield

Thomas Buston (12) pressures goalie Aiden Guthro

Eamon McElhinney (4) and Nate Bass (8) battle near the goal

(Newburyport MA) A win would have given Lynnfield the most wins they’ve ever had in a season.

But there was a bigger picture, and that changed the tone of today’s matchup with Newburyport.

The seedings for the post-season tournament are in and Lynnfield is #1.  That position would not be affected by this afternoon’s game.

“The kids wanted to win it,” said Lynnfield coach Brent Munroe, “but it wasn’t a meaningful game for us.”

Dangerous play

The Clippers also had a position in the tournament sewn up too.  So you had two teams in their own versions of “spring training” mode.

Newburyport won the game 2-0 getting second-half goals from Andrew Moreland and Ronan Harrington.

The Clippers (9-4-5) had lost 3-0 to the Pioneers (14-2-2) in September.

“That loss fueled us to come back here and play better,” Newburyport goalie Aiden Guthro told me afterwards.

Despite playing everyone who was dressed to play, the Pioneers put plenty of pressure on the Clippers.  “They have some great players,” said Aiden.  “I can’t say enough about everyone in the back.”

The most dangerous of the Lynnfield forwards was senior Nate Bass.  He was a master at winning 50/50 balls and dribbling past players.  His best chance was a break-in from the right in the second half.  Aiden came out to challenge, and may have deflected the shot, as it rolled just wide left late in the game.

While the Clippers may have had fewer chances, they did cash in two of them.

Andrew Moreland (17) celebrates with teammates

Senior Andrew Moreland collected his fourth goal of the season less than minute into the second half.  “The ball bounced back to me after a throw-in,” explained Andrew.  “I was at the corner of the box when I got the ball.  I deliberately drove it into the upper right corner.”

Harry Bovee (9) and Andrew Moreland (17) eye an incoming ball

“That first goal surprised us,” said Coach Munroe.  “It was a long shot to a good spot.  Our goalie had no chance.  I’m not sure that he knew that the shot had been taken.”

Lynnfield carried the play after Newburyport’s first goal but couldn’t find the equalizer.

In the last two minutes the Clippers were awarded a free kick from straightaway.  Senior Ronan Harrington took the kick.

“Ronan is probably the best free-kick taker in the Cape Ann League,” said Aiden.  “Anywhere inside of twenty yards he’ll put it in the top corner.  I felt confident with him taking the shot.”

Ronan sent his shot into the same upper corner that Andrew Moreland had earlier.

The Clippers came away with a satisfying 2-0 win.

Brent Munroe: “We’ll be the #1 seed in the tournament and hopefully we’ll play our best soccer during the next two weeks starting Sunday.”

Jon Luders

Jon Luders: “It was good to get guys minutes.  I still don’t like losing.  You want to win no matter what.  Now we’re on to the tournament.”

The Pioneers had gone nine straight games without a loss prior to today’s game.

The Clippers haven’t lost in six of their previous seven games.

Newburyport’s stadium is a terrific place to watch a soccer game with its elevated viewing on both sides.  I was on the turf surface which is also very good.

I wanted to talk to Newburyport coach Shawn Bleau after the game, but he “opted” to go to the parent/teacher open house being held indoors.  As a former teacher, I know that there are some things you don’t miss!

Over the past five years against each other, both teams have won three times and lost three times and there have been four ties.

The shutout was GK Aiden Guthro’s ninth of the season.  He holds the Newburyport career shutout record with twenty-three of them.

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

Joe Cibelli

Jack Healy (11), Eamon McElhinney (4), Ronan Harrington (6), Harry Bovee (9)

Jack Healy (11) and Thomas Buston (12) vie for a corner kick

Trying to contain Nate Bass

Ronan Harrington

Nate Bass (8) gets into a kick with Ronan Harrington (6) nearby

Jack Healy

George Coryell

Nate Bass threatens

Chris Connor

Aiden Guthro leaps to save

Aiden Guthro and Jack Healy celebrate the win

 

 

 

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Lynnfield stuns Masco with 2-2 tie in Cape Ann League boys soccer

Devin Ralph, David Gentile (22) and Pioneers keeper Jack Campbell

David Gentile (22) above the crowd

(Boxford MA) Those who saw this coming are part of the same (very) small group that expected David Price to pitch so well against Houston.

Lynnfield gained a 2-2 tie with Masco this afternoon at Masco.

Surprising?  You bet!

When it comes to Cape Ann League opponents, Masco doesn’t lose.  Happened only once in the last 102 matches against CAL teams.  That’s no typo!

Tom Buston gets high fives from teammate Jon Luders after tying the game in the second half

There had been six ties.  Make that seven after today.

Back to the improbability of these teams tying.  The Chieftains earlier this season had defeated the Pioneers, on their field, 5-1.

“The difference today was that in the first half we managed to get out, 1-1,” explained Lynnfield coach Brent Munroe afterwards.

Understand that the Masco soccer field clearly has its good end and its bad end.  Defending the “bad” end involves looking directly into the sun, facing the wind, and being noticeably downhill.

Connor Fitzgerald lines up a free kick late in the game

“They had those advantages in the first half and we came out with a tie,” added Coach Munroe.  “We had the advantages in the second half and although we didn’t outplay them we were closer to even.”

Masco broke the 1-1 tie thirteen minutes into the second half after a lot of good chances.  In the first meeting, the Chieftains (13-2-1) went from there to score three unanswered.  Not this time.

The Pioneers (12-1-2) hung tough today and with sixteen minutes left turned a corner kick into the tying goal.

Alejandro Lynch (13) and Josh Rubin (44)

I expected the home team to turn up the pressure but instead it was the visitors with the better chances in the closing minutes.

“I felt like we wanted to go for the tie,” said Coach Munroe, but our assistant coach said that we can win this one.  I’m so happy not to lose to Masco.  The last time we beat them was 2010.  The fact that I know that will tell you how meaningful it is.”

Masco coach Jared Scarpaci came away concerned about conditioning and scoring chances: “Near the end I think that fatigue kicked in for some of our guys.  We left some good chances on the table.”

Coach Scarpaci added that his team needed to work on dead ball plays.  “Both their scores were dead ball plays, one was off a free kick and the other after a corner kick.”

Nathan Bass tallied the first LHS goal.  Nathan was at the heading end of a straightaway free kick.  “It was a long ball into the box,” recalled Coach Munroe.  “Nathan Bass, who wins tons of head balls for us even though he is 5-6, went up, won it and put it in.”  That was scored fifteen minutes into the game.

Masco celebrates their first goal

Masco senior Darren Cryan tied things sixteen minutes later.  “Devin Ralph got the ball in from the outside to Darren Cryan in the middle,” said Coach Scapaci.  “Darren shot through traffic and it went in to the side.”

The Chieftains pulled ahead in the second half after misfiring on several glittering chances.  The goal came off a direct kick from Connor Fitzgerald.  The kick was from straightaway and was high. Both Lynnfield GK Jack Campbell and defender David Gentile went for it.  The result was that neither of them dealt with the ball cleanly leaving a juicy rebound for Masco’s Harry Kessel.

“Harry came off the opposite side,” said Coach Scapaci.  “He followed the shot and headed it in.”

Jon Luders (4) and Harry Warshafsky (10)

The Pioneers had an answer to the Masco goal eleven minutes later.  Jon Luders took a corner kick and the LHS senior sent the ball to the far post where teammate David Gentile got a head on it.

“David Gentile hit the ball back across the goal,” remembered Tom Buston. “I was on the near post and it came right to my feet and I placed it in.  I had taken a wide run in on the corner kick and they (Masco) weren’t ready for me to be on the front post.”

Masco certainly had the upper hand in scoring chances, but Jack Campbell, in the Lynnfield net, made wise decisions.  “Their goalie had great positional play,” said Coach Scarpaci.

“Both of the kids that scored (Nathan Bass and Tom Buston) have about ten goals each,” said Coach Munroe.

Senior Jon Luders was excited about the Pioneers good showing. “We gave it 100%.  It was awesome.  We have so many great athletes on this team.  Every guy on the field is a special, special player.  I love the way we’re playing right now.”

Haolan Zhan (22) gets between GK Jack Campbell and defender David Gentile (22)

Jon told me that he has committed to going to Seton Hall next year to play baseball.  “Soccer too?” I asked.  “I’ll be sticking with baseball,” he said.

The D2 Chieftains have non-league losses to D1 St. John’s Prep and D2 North Andover.

The last time I saw the Masco boys play was in the 2016 D2 title game versus unscored on Nauset.  The Chieftains did get a score but lost 2-1 at Manning Field in Lynn.

Lynnfield is unbeaten in their last seven games.  The tie today ended an eleven-game win streak for Masco.

Josh Rubin (44) and Aedan Salvador (11)

Masco’s only loss in the last 102 matches against Cape Ann League opponents was in 2015 against Pentucket.

A key to the tie today for Lynnfield?  Keeping high-scoring Josh Rubin in check.  Josh has had several hat tricks this season including one against Lynnfield in their earlier meeting.

Nice weather for the last part of October.

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

Mine!

Nathan Bass (8) had the first Lynnfield goal

Tom Buston

Aedan Salvadore (11) and Luke Martinho (9)

Aedan Salvadore (11) and Tom Hauser (2)

Connor Fitzgerald

Darren Cryan

Devin Ralph (6) and Jack Cleary (10)

Devin Ralph (6) dribbles and Matthew Juliano (3) defends

Chasing a lose ball

Jack Campbell saves

 

 

 

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