(Amesbury MA) A month ago it took a penalty-kick save by Indians goalie Alli Napoli to preserve a scoreless tie.
This time around it was all Amesbury as they routed Essex Tech, 5-0, on a cold, breezy Monday afternoon at Cashman Elementary School.
The non-league match involved two Division 4 teams who could meet again in the MIAA tournament.
ET (12-4-2) had won nine straight before losing to Georgetown and now Amesbury, both from the Cape Ann League.
The Hawks from Danvers have dominated their league (Commonwealth Athletic Conference) the last few seasons but this season’s short sample suggests that the competition is more rugged in the CAL. One of ET’s other defeats was to another CAL team, Triton.
Amesbury (9-4-5) had a slim 1-0 advantage after the first half. Credit the Hawks defense led by junior Skylah Mahon-Dixey for some of that. The Indians hit the goal post (Emma Richardson) and the crossbar (Chelsea Lynch) in that first half.
The only goal of the half belonged to senior Mollie Lynch. Mollie got in close from the left and overpowered freshman GK Olivia Cassidy early in the half.
Things got off to a bad start for Essex Tech in the second half. Senior Ella Spiess chased a ball that Amesbury GK Alli Napoli was sliding out to save. The two collided and Ella landed on her back and left the game. Ella is the Hawks second leading scorer with thirteen goals.
After a Chelsea Lynch near-miss (wide left) a long punt by GK Alli Napoli sent Chelsea away for a long run down the middle. Chelsea sped in close and didn’t miss. Alli should have an assist on that second goal.
Essex Tech never gave up but the chances for Amesbury kept coming. The Indians had only nineteen goals in seventeen games coming in but you couldn’t tell that by the way they pressured the visitors in this game.
A good example of pressure was the number of corner kicks that Amesbury had. In the second half two of those corner kicks turned into goals.
The third goal belonged to Ashlee Porcaro who parked in front of the net on teammate Ashley Pettet’s CK. A loose ball turned up in front and it was an easy finish for the freshman.
A later CK, by Emma DiPietro, was mishandled by Hawks GK Olivia Cassidy and junior Michaela Halloran had a juicy setup on the doorstep which she converted.
The final goal was a throw-in by senior Mikayla Porcaro which she literally threw into the goal. The throw-in was high and Olivia Cassidy jumped in vain for it.
Christine Russo (nineteen goals, three assists) made several good runs for the Hawks in the game. Amesbury, however, had three second-team Cape Ann League All-Stars (Alli Napoli, Julia LaMontagne, and Mikayla Porcaro) as their final three defenders so the chances for ET were few.
Amesbury’s two first-team CAL All-Stars (Emma DiPietro, and Ashley Pettet) played that way. They controlled the ball without panicking and could get by defenders often with clever dribbling. Their passing was excellent.
Some things are what they are. The Cashman Elementary School field leaves plenty to be desired. Uneven, muddy, and minus a scoreboard would be starters. There will be no tournament games there.
For a team like Amesbury, which had only nineteen goals in seventeen games, to get five in one game was a nice way to end their regular season.
This was the Indians first winning season in a while. The previous three have been, 5-10-3 (2015), 5-12-1 (2014), and 6-10-1 (2013).
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)