NEWBURYPORT — The Triton and Newburyport girls lacrosse teams have already faced off twice this season, and today when the two rivals face off at World War Memorial Stadium in the Division II North Quarterfinals, the Vikings are hoping that the third time’s the charm.
Triton (11-7-1) and Newburyport (11-4) have gotten to know each other quite well this season. The two teams squared off on back-to-back nights two weeks ago, with Newburyport winning a tightly contested affair 14-12 at Triton before blowing out the Vikings 20-11 on their home field.
Since then, Triton has responded with three straight wins, beating Swampscott and Georgetown to finish the regular season before topping Melrose 14-9 in Wednesday’s first-round tournament matchup.
“Triton is playing very well, they’re playing with a purpose, which is a dangerous thing for a team playing against them,” said Newburyport coach Catherine Batchelder. “I think they’re a better team than their record shows. They have great athletes and they play the game fast and aggressively, so we’re going to have our hands full.”
Regardless, Newburyport figures to be the heavy favorite coming into today’s game. The Clippers have won nine straight games, and since opening the season 0-3, Newburyport’s only loss has come against Masconomet, who went undefeated in Cape Ann League play.
Newburyport has been one of the most prolific offensive teams in the league this season. The Clippers have scored 187 goals and are averaging 12.4 per game. The team also boasts the top two goal scorers in the CAL, Julia Kipp (78 goals) and Ali Peffer (71 goals).
Newburyport’s defense has also excelled, thanks in large part to seniors Mary Pettigrew, Shannon Tinkham and freshman goalie Izzy Sarra, who was recently named a CAL All-Star. After allowing double-digit goals in each of its first three games, the Clippers clamped down and held opponents to nine goals or fewer in all but two games the rest of the way — both of which came against Triton.