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June 20, 2014

TRUE CHAMPIONS

Julia Kipp and Ali Peffer spark Newburyport to a state championship

(Continued)

Every game was the same story. On April 29 against North Reading, Kipp had five goals and two assists, and Peffer had four goals and one assist. On May 7 against Pentucket, Peffer had six goals and Kipp had five, and on May 16 against Triton, the pair combined to score 16 goals in front of the home crowd on Senior Day.

Once the postseason started, the pair torched Triton again in the second round of the state tournament before leading a second-half comeback to beat Manchester Essex 10-8 in the North Semifinals, avenging one of their losses from earlier in the year.

Then in the North Finals against Marblehead, the Clippers had a performance that most of the players would cite as the highlight of their season prior to winning the state championship. The Clippers came from behind multiple times in the second half before finally winning 12-11. Kipp and Peffer combined for seven goals in that game.

Finally, in the state semifinal against Norwell, the Clippers trailed 6-3 late in the first half when the Newburyport offense gained possession with 10 seconds on the clock. Rather than rush the net, the Clippers calmly rotated the ball around to Peffer, who made a move to the front of the net and scored with two seconds left to cut the deficit to 6-4.

The Clippers dominated the second half, with Kipp scoring arguably the iconic goal of the season when she forced a turnover and scored on a clean break to the net to tie it at 7-7. Newburyport would go on to win 11-9, and the rest after that is history.

Kipp will play soccer at Union College in upstate New York next year, while Peffer will attend Drexel University, and though their high school careers are now over, their legacies at Newburyport High School will surely live on for a long, long time.

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