, Newburyport, MA


November 2, 2012

Exit Stage Left

Clippers fall to Wayland in tourney opener

What goes around, comes around, and things came around for the Newburyport field hockey team (13-3-3) in the first round of the Division 2 North tournament at the Amesbury Sports Park yesterday.

The Clippers, taking on a team they eliminated from the tournament last year in 13th seed Wayland (5-6-5), found themselves the victim of their own postseason jitters in a 3-2 loss.

“I don’t think we played our game,” confessed Newburyport coach Lauren Hefferan. “We needed to sick with it. (Wayland) did and they outran us.”

The fourth-seeded Clippers started out strong, scoring in the first minutes of play, when Erika Rikeman juggled the ball directly in front of Wayland goalie Maddie Kiefer, then found her angle to bury the shot.

But the Warriors were about to show Newburyport just how tough they would be, scoring just 21/2 minutes later when Nina Price waded into the middle of a scrum to score past Clippers goalie Kendra Dow’s right side to tie things up at 1-1. That is where it would stay for the rest of the half.

Just as they did in the first half, the Clippers scored quickly in the second half when Paige Hefferan drew a penalty stroke and shot it past Kiefer’s right side to put Newburyport up 2-1 into the last minute of the game.

Wayland’s Alice D’Orlando began what would be a career night for her when she took advantage of another scrum that found Dow back on the turf. D’Orlando grabbed possession of the ball and sailed it in to send the game into sudden death.

Both teams would have their moments in overtime, but D’Orlando found herself in a one-on-one breakaway with Dow. D’Orlando won to give her team new life in the state tournament.

“The girls played solid, they wanted it, they played with heart,” said Wayland coach Shelly Fraser. “We’re a very good team. Don’t underestimate us. We played in a very good league with some very tough teams. We play hard and we play strong and the girls really brought it.”

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