Tag Archives: Coach Josh Wedge

Cole Mellett perfect as Newburyport defeats North Reading 12-5

Cole Mellett on the attack after winning a faceoff
Jon Groth (3 goals) and Joseph Collins

(Newburyport) He was perfect.

“You can’t do any better than that,” said Newburyport coach Josh Wedge afterwards.

The NHS coach was referring to Cole Mellett and the twenty-one faceoffs he took.

“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone go perfect on faceoffs,” added Coach Wedge.  “He won 21-of-21!”

Cole’s perfect game was a key piece in the Clippers’ 12-5 win over North Reading on Wednesday afternoon.

The win keeps Newburyport undefeated (5-0) in the Cape Ann League.

Ball on the turf

The Hornets (4-5) opened the second half with goals from Dan Oliveira and Ryan Long to cut the Clippers lead to, 6-4.

But the Clippers responded with three unanswered goals (Ryan Philbin, Jon Groth, Cam Tinkham) in a three-minute stretch to close out the third period.

“We kept it close for as long as we could,” said North Reading coach Charles Campobasso post-game.

Hornet in the air

“We struggled with faceoffs and ground balls,” he added.  “If we can’t get possession there, we’re really in trouble and are limited getting down the other end of the field.”

Newburyport jumped ahead, 4-1, after a quarter and led, 6-2, at halftime.

“It was a 6-2 game that felt like it should have been 10-2,” said Coach Wedge.  “We could have shot better in the first half.”

Eli Sirota and Ryan Long (2 goals)

In the second half the Clippers did shoot better after the two early Hornets’ goals. 

Jon Groth and Cam Tinkham led Newburyport’s scorers with three goals each.  Zach McHugh and Ryan Philbin each had two while Ryan McHugh and Owen Kruez had one each.

Ryan Long scored twice for North Reading.  Teddy Suny, Dan Oliveira, and Sam Morelli had solo goals.

Ball in the air

North Reading has now lost four of their last five games.

“Josh (Wedge) does a good job of getting his guys prepared,” said Coach Campobasso.  “We knew going in that we would have our work cut out for us.  Our struggles with faceoffs and ground balls against a good team were a recipe for a tough day.”

North Reading will get another chance against Newburyport in a couple of weeks.

The Clippers were 14-1 last year and aren’t shying away from tough opponents this year with Cape Elizabeth, Portsmouth, and Concord-Carlisle on their schedule.
“Playing those teams will help our power rankings,” said junior Jack Hadden.  “They are all reigning state champions.”

Angus Webster

Jack Hadden: “Cole (Mellett) is unbelievable.  It’s his first year doing faceoffs.  He works so hard.  Lacrosse is all about the faceoffs.  If you can’t win faceoffs, you can’t win.”

Cole Mellett: “I guess it was my lucky day out there.  It’s my first year doing it.  My friend Colin McCoy took them last year and was very good at it.  He taught me over the summer, and I just picked it up.  It gave us a lot of possessions.”

There was a taste of winter in the air.  No snow but temperatures close to fifty with a strong wind.  It is still April.

Newburyport     6   6   =   12

North Reading   2   3   =     5

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Jack Hadden
Shot at North Reading goalie Andrew Peppe
Devin Tran
Cole Mellett was 21-for-21 on faceoffs

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Newburyport rallies past Pentucket 8-6

(Newburyport) “The start was rough,” said Newburyport Clipper defender Jack Hadden afterwards, “but I kept reminding the guys that it wasn’t over yet.”

“It was only 3-0 so there was obviously a comeback waiting,” he added.

Evan Napolitano takes a shot
Newburyport rolled after the first quarter

And there was as Newburyport (2-1) regrouped and went on to defeat Pentucket, 8-6, on Friday night.

“Pentucket is tough, and they won’t give you anything,” said Clippers coach Josh Wedge post-game.  “I don’t think we were fully ready to earn anything at the start of the game.”

In the first eight minutes, Pentucket (1-1) had unanswered goals from Joe Turpin, Ben Turpin, and Evan Napolitano.

“We came in confident because we won our opener on Saturday,” explained Pentucket coach Dan Leary.

Picking up the ball

Coach Leary wasn’t fooled, however, by the early three-goal lead.  “Newburyport is a very talented team,” he said.  “Being down three is nothing to them.”

In the second quarter, the Clippers showed the quality that enabled them to reach the D3 state semifinals last season.

“I was happy with how we played defense after that first quarter,” said Coach Wedge.

The Newburyport defense was tighter and shots on goal became tougher and tougher for Pentucket to create.

Will Gagnon and Nolan Cole

Cam Tinkham, Jack Hadden, and Jon Growth produced scores and had the game tied 3-3 at the half.

Ben Turpin notched his second goal just 1 ½ minutes into the second half and Newburyport needed to regroup again….which they did.

The next five goals belonged to the Clippers.

“We started slowly (again) but gradually found our rhythm,” said Coach Wedge.  “It wasn’t perfect by any means.”

Logan Jones

Ryan McHugh (3) and Owen Kruez (2) were the five-goal finishers for Newburyport.

“As the game went on, we got a little tired and made some mental mistakes in transition that hurt us,” added Coach Leary.  “A talented team like Newburyport will make you pay when you do that.”

“We just couldn’t stop the bleeding,” added Coach Leary referencing the Clippers run to an 8-4 lead.

Henry Hartford and Nolan Cole scored for Pentucket in the last thirty seconds of the game when things were a bit disorganized.

Ben Turpin and Nolan Cole

“In that second-to-last goal there were eleven players on the field,” said Coach Wedge.

“We have a lot of inexperienced guys,” said Coach Wedge.  “We are dressing twenty-nine players and sixteen are either freshmen or sophomores.  But we’re a scrappy team and we play good defense most of the time.  Our team is really good at picking the ball off the ground and we fight pretty hard for it.  What we don’t do enough of is valuing the ball.  Too many bad passes and dropped passes.”

Coach Josh Wedge

“We never quit today,” said Coach Leary.  “That’s all I can ask for.  Our team is always fired up to play Newburyport.”

There will be a rematch at Pentucket later in the season.

Coach Wedge: “Dan (Leary) does an unbelievable job.  I think he’s the most underrated coach around here.  They have low numbers but they’re ultra-competitive.  They know how to play the game.”

I asked Jack Hadden about his choice of the University of Albany to play lacrosse. “The minute I stepped onto the campus I know it was the place for me.  The team and the coaches were so welcoming.  At 12:01AM on September 1st, the first day they could recruit me, they reached out to me.  That meant a lot.  It was an obvious choice for me.”

The weather at Stehlin was pleasant with sunshine and temperatures near sixty.  I nearly froze at Pettingell the day before.

Newburyport   0   3   4   1   =   8

Pentucket         3   0   1   2   =   6

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Angus Webster
Coach Dan Leary
Duncan Coir
Joe Turpin chased by Brian Lucy
Cam Smith
Ryan Portalla
Jon Groth takes a shot
Cam Tinkham
Ball on the turf
Jack Hadden goal celebrated
Owen Kruez and Will Gagnon
Battle in front
Will Gagnon and Nolan Cole
Evan Napolitano chased by Clippers
Jon Groth in the middle
Ben Turpin

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