NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

October 31, 2013

Newburyport earns top seed in D3 North tournament

The Newburyport girls soccer team won’t complain about being back in Division 3.

The Clippers left Division 3 for Division 2 after winning back-to-back state championships in 2007 and 2008. In their first season back this fall, they picked up where they left off — earning a spot at the top of the bracket in the Division 3 North tournament.

The Clippers (16-0-2) learned yesterday they will play as the top seed in the Division 3 North sectional, earning a first-round bye in the 13-team field. Newburyport will not play until Monday, when they meet the winner of the first-round matchup between eighth-seeded Ipswich and ninth-seeded Whittier Tech.

At a glance, it seems improbable that the Clippers will fall short in their quest for their fifth sectional title in the last eight years. If the highest possible seeds advance in each round, the Clippers will face eighth-seeded Ipswich in the quarterfinal, fourth-seeded Hamilton-Wenham in the semifinal, and second-seeded Lynnfield in the final. Newburyport beat Ipswich once, Hamilton-Wenham twice, and Lynnfield once during the regular season.

The Triton girls soccer team, making its first state tournament appearance in school history, earned the 11th seed after posting a record of 8-7-3. The Vikings will visit sixth-seeded Swampscott on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

On the boys’ side, Pentucket (10-5-3) was hurt by losses to North Reading and Hamilton-Wenham on the final week of the season, dropping from a likely third seed to seventh. The Sachems will host 10th-seed Triton (8-7-3) on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Cape Ann League Awards

Girls Soccer

Kinney Division

Player of the Year: Aly Leahy, Newburyport

Coaches of the Year: Robb Gonnam and Kevin Sheridan, Newburyport; Mike Weisberg, Triton

Baker Division

Player of the Year: Jackie Whelan, Lynnfield

Coach of the Year: Mark Vermont, Lynnfield

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