Tag Archives: Michaela Halloran

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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Amesbury girls win rematch with Essex Tech 5-0

In front of the Essex Tech goal was a busy place most of the afternoon.

In front of the Essex Tech goal was a busy place most of the afternoon.

Cape Ann League All-Star Emma DiPietro (11) looks to pass

Cape Ann League All-Star Emma DiPietro (11) looks to pass

(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.

The shot of Mollie Lynch (19) goes over ET goalie Olivia Cassidy

The shot of Mollie Lynch (19) goes over ET goalie Olivia Cassidy

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.

Ella Spiess flies over Amesbury goalie Alli Napoli

Ella Spiess flies over Amesbury goalie Alli Napoli

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.

Chelsea Lynch (12) finds the far corner for Amesbury's second goal

Chelsea Lynch (12) finds the far corner for Amesbury’s 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.

Ashlee Porcaro (left 14) set to cash in a loose ball

Ashlee Porcaro (left 14) set to cash in a loose ball

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.

Michaela Halloran (9) eyes the goal she just scored

Michaela Halloran (9) eyes the goal she just scored

Mikayla Porcaro turned a throw-in into a goal

Mikayla Porcaro turned a throw-in into a goal

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.)

Mikayla Godding

Mikayla Godding

CAL All-Star Ashley Pettet

CAL All-Star Ashley Pettet

Amesbury shot grazes the crossbar in the first half

Amesbury shot grazes the crossbar in the first half

Christine Russo (17) and Maddy Creps (2)

Christine Russo (17) and Maddy Creps (2)

Maia Etsy (15) and Emma Richardson (25) chase Rachel Luddy (6)

Maia Etsy (15) and Emma Richardson (25) chase Rachel Luddy (6)

Olivia Cassidy makes a save

Olivia Cassidy makes a save

ET defender Skylah Mahon-Dixey

ET defender Skylah Mahon-Dixey

Amesbury captain Julia LaMontagne

Amesbury captain Julia LaMontagne

Virginia Vienneau (39) chases a loose ball

Virginia Vienneau (39) chases a loose ball

 

 

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