NEWBURYPORT – Matt Kelleher scored five goals yesterday to lift the Clippers to a 15-2 win over Dedham, giving the team its 13th straight win while putting him within striking distance of the program record for goals in a season.
While Newburyport (14-1) punched its ticket to the playoffs a while ago, its contest against Dedham (2-14) was far from void of opportunity. Winners of 13 straight games dating back to their only loss of the season on April 16, finishing the regular season with the streak intact was of vital importance for the Clippers.
“Our last loss was to Masconomet, which I know our team is aware of,” said Newburyport head coach Ed Gaudiano. “Obviously it’s part of what they think, but I tend to just look toward the next one. Georgetown played us tough last time, and I believe the last two games they’ve scored 16 goals, so we have to be ready for a game.”
In the streak, Newburyport has outscored its opponents 187-83 while holding opponents to just 6.3 goals per game. Of those 13 games, Newburyport has scored more than 10 goals in 12. While the winning streak has become a source of pride for Newburyport, closing the regular season on a high note at Georgetown (7-10) this afternoon is also important for team confidence heading into the postseason.
“I think we have to really go out and play well against Georgetown so we have that sort of momentum and confidence going into the playoffs,” Gaudiano said. “That is more important to me than anything else.”
Owning just a 2-0 lead after one quarter, Newburyport found its rhythm in the second and took a 11-1 score into half time. In that first half, Kelleher scored five goals and recorded an assist before being rested for the rest of the game.
“We’re really hot right now,” Kelleher said. “I think we’ve been really good with transition. (Dillon Guthro) is making saves, we’re getting it to our defense, into our middies and to the attack so it’s really going smoothly.”