, Newburyport, MA

October 29, 2013

Port will open against Headers in tournament

By Dan Guttenplan
Sports Editor

---- — The Newburyport field hockey team will begin its state-tournament run in a familiar setting.

The Clippers (10-5-3) learned yesterday they will be hosting a first-round matchup with Marblehead (10-6-2) tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at Amesbury Sports Park.

When the Mass. Interscholastic Athletic Assocation revealed the field hockey pairings yesterday afternoon, Newburyport learned it would play as the seventh seed in the Eastern Mass. Division 2 North tournament, while Marblehead was seeded 10th.

The Clippers will make a state tournament appearance for the fifth year in a row. The Clippers won back-to-back Cape Ann League titles in 2010 and 2012. In both seasons, they advanced to the Division 2 North semifinals.

Last year, the Clippers finished 13-2-3 in the regular season, bringing their cumulative record over three seasons to 43-4-8. However, they fell in the first round of the state tourney to Wayland.

Newburyport is one of four Cape Ann League teams, along with Manchester Essex, Ipswich and Lynnfield, to qualify for the Division 2 North tournament. If the Clippers advance past Marblehead, they will visit second-seeded Manchester Essex (15-0-3) Saturday at 7 p.m.

Newburyport lost to Manchester Essex 3-0 in the regular-season meeting between the schools on Sept. 26. The Clippers finished 6-3-2 in their last 11 games after that defeat.

The tourney matchup

Game: No. 10 Marblehead at No. 7 Newburyport

When: Tomorrow

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Where: Amesbury Sports Park