NEWBURYPORT – Just three days removed from a lacrosse double header in the semifinals, the Clippers boys and girls teams will once again play back-to-back in today’s Regional Finals with the hopes of earning a chance to compete for a state title.
It’s a situation that doesn’t happen much in Newburyport, or any high school athletics program for that matter. After the Clippers boys lacrosse team (17-1) pulled away from Pentucket on Wednesday to earn a spot in today’s Division III North Final, the girls lacrosse team (12-4) took the field and squeaked out a two-goal win over Manchester-Essex to do so in the Division II North Final.
Because of their top-seeds earned during the regular season, the Clippers won’t have far to travel today, as both have earned the opportunity to remain home. The top-seed boys team will hope to advance as it hosts No. 2-seed Hamilton-Wenham while the No. 2-seed girls team will host No. 4-seed Marblehead.
“This is the furthest both teams have ever gone, so this is pretty exciting for the program,” Newburyport Athletic Director Bob Clarke said. “One of the nicest things about watching the games the other day were all of the young kids with lacrosse sticks in the stands. It’s nice to see the growing popularity of the sport in Eastern Massachusetts.”
While in similar situations, the Clippers had very different seasons. While the boys excelled from the get-go, falling only once in now 18 contests, Newburyport’s girls team fought to regain its season after losing its first three.
“The boys got off to a great start while the girls got off to a shaky start but pulled it together,” Clarke said. “Then, we get into the tournament and the way that it’s now run makes it very interesting. It’s pretty exciting to watch them play through the brackets.”