Newburyport outscored Norwell 7-3 in the second half, starting with a goal by sophomore Olivia Kearney a minute into the half to cut the deficit to one.
Norwell junior Catherine Connerty and Newburyport senior Julia Kipp traded goals over the next few minutes, and then with 18:14 to play, Kipp stripped a Norwell midfielder of the ball and had nothing but daylight between her and the net, finishing the fast break to tie the game at 7-7.
Norwell retook the lead about five minutes later after junior Caroline Walsh scored her fourth goal of the game to make it 8-7, but Kearney struck again with her second goal with 11:19 left to play, and after that the Clippers never looked back.
In the following minutes, Peffer and senior Lilly Donovan each scored to give Newburyport its first lead of the game, and then Izzy Sarra made a point-blank save to keep Norwell from getting any closer. Finally, Kipp scored her fifth goal of the game with seven minutes left to give her team a three-goal cushion, sending both the bench and the sizable contingent of Newburyport fans into a frenzy.
For most of the rest of the game, Newburyport dominated the possession and basically tried to let the clock run out. Norwell was finally able to regain possession with about three minutes to play, and Walsh scored her fifth goal to make it 11-9, but that was as close as Norwell would get.
After starting the year 0-3, the Clippers are now just one win away from winning it all. Newburyport will play in the state championship game on Saturday at Boston University against the winner of today’s semifinal between east champion Wayland and central champion Bromfield.
Newburyport 11, Norwell 9
Julia Kipp: 5 goals
Ali Peffer: 3 goals
Olivia Kearney: 2 goals
Lilly Donovan: 1 goal
Izzy Sarra: 11 saves