GEORGETOWN - Newburyport (15-1) held off a late rally to beat Georgetown (7-11) by a score of 17-11, claiming its 14th straight win while junior Matt Kelleher etched his name into the program’s record books by breaking the school record for goals in a season.
Kelleher led the Clippers with seven goals and two assists, setting a new record with 79 goals on the year. The record was previously held by David Nicholson, who had 72 goals in a season early in the program’s history, and Kelleher said he was surprised that he was able to get close to the record, much less surpass it.
“I never thought that I would get it, but halfway through the season it looked like it could happen,” Kelleher said. “But I didn’t really expect it to ever, really happen.”
Kelleher’s record came amid a flurry of goals early. After Georgetown scored the game’s first goal just seconds in, Newburyport would proceed to score the next eight before taking an 11-4 lead into half time.
From there, much of the second half belonged to Georgetown, who found its offensive rhythm and trailed just 13-9 after three quarters.
The Royals would eventually cut the lead to two, but then the Newburyport defense clamped down, and ultimately the Clippers were able to win its regular season finale.
“I think it’s good that we ended with Georgetown,” said Newburyport head coach Ed Gaudiano. “They’re a good team and they pressed us hard. We saw how they came back and I think we needed that type of game after the games we played earlier this week, where we kind of went out there and really weren’t pressed that hard. We had to get our wheels going and get some real good game speed with those guys. We saw them come back and we responded the way we wanted to.”