NEWBURYPORT — The playoff bound Newburyport boys lacrosse team made quick work of Ipswich on Monday night, scoring seven goals in the second quarter to power the Clippers to a 10-4 victory.
Newburyport (13-1) took a 9-1 lead over Ipswich (6-9) going into halftime, effectively putting the game away before it even started. Perhaps because of their dominance early, the Clippers wound up taking their foot off the gas pedal in the second half, and Ipswich wound up outscoring Newburyport 3-1 over the final two quarters.
Newburyport coach Ed Gaudiano said after the game that he felt his team played well early on, but can’t afford to lose its edge like that again over the final two games of the season. He added that with the state tournament coming up, the team has to play its best lacrosse possible, and that didn’t happen against Ipswich.
“I think we took care of business in the first half, and I’d say the second half was less impressive,” he said. “We did what we had to do and we have to be a lot sharper going into the end of the season, especially with the tournament and good competition on the horizon.”
Matt Kelleher once again led the way for Newburyport on offense with 5 goals, Jared Healey scored 2 goals, Mike Shay had 1 goal and 3 assists, Nick Federico had 1 goal and 1 assists, JJ Bajko had 1 goal and Dillon Guthro made 9 saves.
With his latest offensive outburst, Matt Kelleher improved his season totals to 66 goals, 11 assists and 77 total points, which ranks him among the top scorers in the state.
Kelleher may also have a chance to break the school record for goals in the season over the last two regular season games. Gaudiano said he can remember one instance where a player 72 goals in a season, and if Kelleher keeps up at his current pace, he could easily surpass that mark.