Both the Newburyport girls and boys soccer teams started their tournament play off in high style yesterday, as the girls team downed Wakefield, 1-0, and the boys dispatched Boston Tech, 5-3, to give their school wall-to-wall wins.
The girls team hosted the 10-6-2 Warriors at Cherry Hill and proceeded to get into a pitched battle that saw both teams scoreless going into the half. Despite not scoring, Newburyport was the dominant team in the first half and brought the same amount of intensity to the second to make it only a matter of time until they found Wakefield’s weak spot.
Junior striker Amy Sullivan found the way for the Clippers when she nailed an unassisted high shot from 30 yards out that sailed over the head of goalkeeper Jackie Yandell.
“Amy deservedly got the goal,” Clippers’ co-coach Kevin Sheridan said. “She had her best game ever today. She played really well scoring that goal in the second half, and she played well the whole game. She had good control of the ball, good composure. Maryam (Moshrefi) also played well. The two of them led the attack, offensively.”
Clipper goalkeeper Lilly Donovan recorded her 11th shutout of the season.
“Lilly played really well,” said Sheridan. “She had to come off of her line a few times to receive the ball with her hands and she even played it with her feet once. It stops that goal from happening when you proactively read the play.”
With the first round out of the way, the lady Clippers will look to play Bishop Fenwick in the quarterfinals either Tuesday or Wednesday.
“We’re always happy to be going forward,” said Newburyport co-coach Rob Gonnam. “When you get into tournament play, you can have all the training in the world to be technically good, but when you get into games like this, it’s really extremely difficult for kids to have the composure and poise in a crucial game. And you need to be prepared for that, physically and emotionally.”
“They’re a quality team and we knew that going into it,” Wakefield coach Janel Stevenson said of Newburyport. “And it came right down to capitalizing on chances and not making any mistakes. We just couldn’t get possession. We worked really hard and I give Newburyport a lot of credit. They’re a great team.”
The 10th-seeded Clipper boys drew the long ride down to the Fens in Boston to take on seventh-seeded Boston Tech (11-4-1) on a turf field. Junior co-captain Adam Traxler took advantage of the smooth surface and scored the first Clipper goal just 35 seconds into the game.
Sophomore John Milton scored Port’s second goal 24 minutes later and fellow sophomore Tom Graham scored the third goal 10 minutes after that.
Tech scored a goal off a kick-off to end the first half, then had a back-to-back goals within one minute of each other to start the second, tying the game at three-all
But Traxler was having none of it and scored again with nine minutes left, then senior Allan Eagan put things out of reach two minutes later with the fifth Clipper goal of the morning, scoring off a free kick from the side.
Up next for Newburyport will be the Lynnfield Pioneers (9-7-3), who eliminated Matignon 3-0 yesterday, and also happens to be the team that ended Newburyport’s season last year.
“We won our last game against them 3-2,” Eagan said of this year’s regular season match-up with 15th-seeded Lynnfield. “So maybe we can get fired up before our next game.”