(Newburyport MA) All Georgetown wanted to do was keep the game close on the scoreboard.
So they packed in the defense around goalie Kyle Davies.
The undefeated Clippers (12-0) were still able to win, 3-0, but their high-powered offense was slowed down a bit.
“We were just trying to keep it close,” said Georgetown coach Chris DiFranco afterwards. “I thought our guys did a good job at that.”
The Royals (3-8) gained some satisfaction defensively, but in doing so, they surrendered on the offensive end.
About thirteen minutes into the game, a weak roller reached Newburyport goalkeeper Owen Tahnk. That was the ONLY time he touched the ball the entire game.
Down the other end, Georgetown goalkeeper Kyle Davies was busy.
“It was crazy back there,” said Kyle postgame. “They had a ton of shots on net (20?), but I had my defense in front of me keeping me alive.”
Jameson Brooks and Henry Acton scored in the first half while Caelan Twitchell added a goal in the second half.
“Georgetown had a defensive plan for us, and it frustrated us for a bit,” said Coach Shawn Bleau of Newburyport afterwards. “They made it difficult for us after the first two goals.”
“They dropped a lot of guys back and were well organized,” added Coach Bleau. “They always had 2-3 players around our top players.”
“We did well possessing the ball,” recalled Clippers senior Jack Fehlner. “They didn’t seem to want to go on attack. They would boot it out. We would settle it and pass it around some more.”
“The score doesn’t show how well we played,” added Jack.
The Clippers moved closer to the school’s record for goals scored in a season. The record is currently forty-five. By adding three goals today they have now reached forty-four.
“We had some great goals today,” said Coach Bleau.
“We work in practice on getting the ball to the end line and then cutting it back,” said Coach Bleau. “That’s what happened on the first goal. Great timing and the shot (by Jameson Brooks) went inside the side post.”
“The shot was unstoppable,” said Royals GK Kyle Davies. “He got it at the top of the box and turned and shot. It went in the bottom corner.”
Jameson’s goal happened four minutes into the game.
Thirteen minutes later (23:21) it was Henry Acton’s turn to score. Instead of a pass to get closer to the goal, a back pass set Henry up further away from the goal. Henry had time to really get his foot into a shot.
“It was a complete bomb from twenty-five yards,” said Coach Bleau. “He couldn’t have gotten a much better hit.”
“It was just a rip to the top corner,” recalled Kyle Davies. “I couldn’t do anything about it.”
Coach DiFranco said that he, “hadn’t seen a shot like that all year.”
The Royals persisted with the defensive strategy in the second half.
“Their goalie was good,” said Jack Fehlner. “He’s big and he came out and caught a lot of our crosses.”
Although the outcome was settled, the Clippers wanted at least another goal.
“We pressed and pressed at the end to try and get one more goal on account of the ranking stuff,” said Coach Bleau.
With 7:50 remaining, Caelan Twitchell ruined Georgetown’s second-half shutout.
“It was off a side volley which is a pretty impressive shot,” recalled Coach Bleau.
“He made a good move,” said Kyle Davies. “It was a good turn-and-shoot.”
It has now been eight years since Georgetown had a win versus Newburyport.
The Royals have now lost four straight games. They have wins over Triton, Cristo Rey, and Hamilton-Wenham.
The twelve wins to open the season are the best in NHS history.
The Clippers have nine shutouts in their twelve wins. I did see NHS goalie Owen Tahnk make some saves in practice!
Newburyport is 49-14-17 since the start of the 2017 season.
I asked Coach Bleau what makes the 2021 team so good. “We have a lot of kids who came up through our youth system. They’ve been together for a while. We’ve got depth. We’re playing a lot of guys, so we don’t have any injuries.”
Coach DiFranco was very optimistic about the future for Newburyport this season. “They have a good chance at a state championship. It’s a special year for them.”
Senior Jack Fehlner has been a terrific athlete for NHS in soccer, basketball, and baseball. I asked him about next year: “I haven’t really decided. I probably won’t play soccer at the next level. It could well be baseball.”
New England weather! A nice warm morning and afternoon turned into a cold, windy evening.
(All pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)