By Jim Sullivan Correspondent
Newburyport Daily News
---- — AMESBURY — The Newburyport field hockey team celebrated its Columbus Day by passing with aplomb to send Georgetown home from Amesbury Sports Park with a 7-0 loss.
“They played well,” Clippers coach Lauren Hefferan said of her team. “Their passing was really good. We had people outside to attack in (two vs. one) and they started to get the idea of that.”
The Clippers (7-2-2) tested the Georgetown (1-7-1) defense for the first 18 minutes of play until Lea Tomasz dialed in, scoring past Georgetown goalie Kinsey Brennan’s left side, assisted by Mary Pettigrew. The Clippers added a score just before the half courtesy of senior Erika Rikeman, assisted by Paige Heffernan.
The second half saw Newburyport sophomore Marie Cahalane record a hat trick. The first goal came just under two minutes in when Cahalane took a pass from Eliza Fillpancic and buried it past Brennan’s right foot.
“It was different,” Cahalane said of yesterday’s game. “We played together as a team with passing, so it made is easier for us.”
Cahalane struck again five minutes later with a slap shot from the blue line, assisted by Heffernan.
“When it was 2-0, we had opportunity to do something with it,” said Royals coach Nichole Turcotte. “And then, when the score just kept tacking up, it got into their head a little bit. They couldn’t shake it.”
And indeed the floodgates had opened. Rikeman scored her second goal next, assisted by Heffernan. Then Emma Bartol had a taste. Cahalane ended the day with her third goal, and that would be all she wrote while Newburyport goalie Kendra Dow looked on with nothing to do since there were no shots on her net.
“This was definitely not the way we wanted to be spending our day,” said Turcotte. “A good positive was our goalie Kinsey Brennan. She had 25 shots on net and 18 saves. I’m proud of her. It’s hard to keep going at it. You kind of lose the momentum after a while, and it gets the best of you. Kinsey was there the whole entire time. The defense really did try their best. But the score just got to them.”
Clipper midfielder Molly Stanton, one of only three juniors on the team, was happy to see her team coming together heading down the stretch.
“The team was really good at passing,” said Stanton. “We cut to the ball. We dodged the defense much easier than we have in other games. It was much easier for us to get it down the field. We’re starting to get the hang of the game and working together as a team more.”
Coach Heffernan agreed with Stanton’s view and likes her team’s progress to date.
“I’m trying to get the younger kids to not be afraid — to try to dodge and try to track it,” said Heffernan. “The things that we do in practice. They still get a little nervous doing it in a game, but they’re getting it. They’re working on it. That’s the big thing that I see there.”
Looking to the future, Heffernan is already gearing up for tomorrow’s tilt against a 6-2-1 Lynnfield.
“We’ve got to keep our heads in the game,” Heffernan said. “Because Lynnfield is huge. We have to beat them to tie them for third in the whole league.”