Girls Soccer

North Reading stuns Hamilton-Wenham

The North Reading girls soccer team is headed back to the Division 3 North Final, shocking top seed and previously unbeaten Hamilton-Wenham 1-0 in penalty kicks. Katerina Hassapis had seven saves in the shutout, and in the shootout she scored the Hornets' first goal and then saved Hamilton-Wenham's first attempt. Karlie Vesey, Jessica Muise and Marissa Zarella all followed with goals, and then Jillian Comeau scored the winner. North Reading will now face Bishop Fenwick in the North Final.

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Girls Soccer, 11/10/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Champions at last: Pinkerton beats Londonderry in penalty kicks to win first ever state championship

EXETER — Midway through the first half of Sunday's Division 1 state championship game against Londonderry, Pinkerton Academy's Courtney Velho was awarded a penalty kick and given a chance to put her team ahead, but her shot sailed wide of the net.
The miss loomed large as the game remained scoreless through regulation, and then through two periods of overtime, but when the junior midfielder got a shot at redemption in the decisive penalty kick shootout, she made it count.
"I just knew that I had to make it," Velho said. "I couldn't let myself and my team down, it was a lot more important than the first so I just put my mind towards it and it went in."
Velho's shootout goal put the Astros on the board, and when goalie Sammy Mitchell stopped Londonderry's last attempt four rounds later, she and her teammates flooded onto the field to celebrate the first girls soccer championship in Pinkerton's history.
"Truthfully, I didn't realize it was over until they all came running to me, but after that it was just the most unbelievable experience ever," Mitchell said. "Senior year and you just won the state championship, nothing can get better than that."
Pinkerton's 1-0 shootout win played out like most predicted, as a low scoring, defensive grind that ultimately came down to a handful of plays. All but one of the two teams' last nine matchups since 2009 had been decided by one goal, and Pinkerton (18-1) coach Steve Gundrum said coming into the game that scoring on Londonderry (16-4) would be a major challenge.
"They have a great defensive team, they've only given up [nine] goals all year long, and to score on them is quite an accomplishment," Gundrum said. "We didn't quite get that, but then again, we played pretty well too. Either team could have won, it sounds cliche, but it's true, and we did."
Pinkerton did get some good chances, with the best being Velho's penalty kick, which she drew in the 34th minute after a Londonderry handball in the box. Even after that, the Astros finished the half with a pair of juicy shots from deep, one from Velho and another from forward Melanie Roberge, both of which forced Londonderry goalie Jackie Luckhardt to leap up for the saves near the crossbar.
The Astros continued to threaten the rest of the way, but couldn't find a way to beat Luckhardt, who finished with 12 saves on the day. Londonderry had some opportunities too, including a strike in the 56th minute from midfielder Mackenzie Donovan that Mitchell had to punch over the crossbar.
"I always felt like we'd win the game, always felt like we'd find an opening and finish it, and we were unfortunate a couple times," said Londonderry coach Derek Dane. "It's the agony of the game."
Once in penalty kicks, Londonderry midfielder Halle Hamilton scored first to put the pressure on, but then Velho came back with her goal to tie it at 1-1. Samantha LeClair and Catherine Goodwin traded goals in the second round, but in the third, Londonderry's Gretchen McGrath hit the crossbar, allowing Reanna Romano a chance to give Pinkerton all the separation they'd need.
Londonderry pulled even in the fourth for a moment when Erin Barnes scored bottom left, but Roberge came back with a goal of her own to make it 4-3, and after Mitchell saved Donovan's attempt to clinch the win, the victorious goalie had only one thing left to say.
"Number one, we're number one baby!"

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Girls Soccer, 11/08/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Methuen girls eliminated

The Methuen girls soccer team's dream season came to an end after No. 2 seed Masconomet won 1-0 in the Division 1 North quarterfinal, scoring 10 minutes into the second half before holding on for the win. Megan Langlois made 16 saves in the loss, and the Rangers finish 13-6-3.

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Girls Soccer, 11/08/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Raider Rematch

Central Catholic opened up in the girls soccer tourney with a 4-0 win over Brookline. Grace Quaratiello and Ashley Raphael each had a goal and an assist. In the Division 1 North quarters, the No. 1 Raiders will play No. 4 Lincoln-Sudbury, the team which ousted them last fall.

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Girls Soccer, 11/07/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Rodriguez stars in net, but North Andover soccer eliminated

ARLINGTON — Ali Rodriguez made 13 saves, including two outstanding stops to keep her team in the game, but No. 14 North Andover could not score the upset, falling to No. 3 Arlington in the Division 2 North girls soccer first round on Thursday.

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Girls Soccer, 11/05/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

CHAMPIONSHIP BOUND: Pinkerton, Londonderry win in semifinals to set up epic state title matchup

NASHUA - The moment the ball bounced over the foot of the Bedford sweeper, Pinkerton striker Nicole Alves charged forward, gained some separation and just let one rip, hoping for the best.
"I just toed the ball and prayed it went in," Alves said. "I thought it would hit the post, but it went right in and I just got goosebumps."
Alves' goal in the 18th minute proved to be the difference as Pinkerton beat Bedford 1-0 in Thursday night's Division 1 state semifinal, setting up a decisive showdown with archrival Londonderry in Sunday's state championship game.
Pinkerton, the tournament's top seed, came into the game as a heavy favorite and lived up to the hype early on, playing what coach Steve Gundrum called one of its best first halves of the season. The Astros controlled the ball for nearly the entire frame, prevented Bedford from taking a shot, and had several other chances to score besides Alves' goal.
Coming out of halftime, however, Bedford began to pick up its game, and Gundrum said his team started to play nervous.
"It doesn't make any difference what you say to the kids, even professionals do it, once you're leading late, you try not to lose, and they don't play to win," Gundrum said. "That's what happened. We were getting nervous. We were playing nervous. We were just trying to clear it out."
Bedford nearly tied the game in the 53rd minute when a shot from over 30 yards out bounced off the crossbar, but Pinkerton defender, Catherine Goodwin, was able to corral it for keeper Samantha Mitchell before any Bulldogs were able to finish.
Pinkerton had to contend with a handful of juicy corner kicks as well, but ultimately was able to minimize Bedford's chances and come away with the win.
Prior to Pinkerton's game, Londonderry beat Manchester Central 2-1 in penalty kicks to advance to Sunday's Division 1 state final.
Central took the lead in the 55th minute, but Londonderry responded seconds later. Katrina Rivard received a nice through ball down towards the right corner. She then delivered a perfect cross along the turf to Laurel Goding, who was left completely uncovered in the center of the box and was able to finish with ease to tie the game.
With neither team able to gain any separation from that point on, the game went to penalty kicks, which went eight rounds before Isabella Bourque scored the game-winner and Jackie Luckhardt made the decisive save to clinch the win.
Halle Hamilton, Samantha LeClair, Erin Barnes, Mackenzie Donovan and Samantha Lecaroz all scored in the shootout as well.
Pinkerton and Londonderry will square off in the title game at Exeter High School on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. Pinkerton won the midseason matchup 1-0.

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Girls Soccer, 11/05/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Methuen moves on

Nicole Langlois and Jelke Meyer each scored twice and No. 7 Methuen beat No. 10 Medford 5-0 in the Division 1 North girls soccer first round. The Rangers travel on to face No. 2 Masconomet on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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Girls Soccer, 11/05/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

BCA takes title

North Andover's Cassandra Thibeault scored the game-winning goal in penalty kicks to give Bradford Christian the NEPSAC Independent title over Boston Trinity. Hannah Smith, Jen Lynch and Rebecca Ricci also scored in PKs.

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Girls Soccer, 11/05/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Donovan did it

McKenzie Donovan scored in the 67th minute, the lone goal in the game, as Londonderry nipped Concord, 1-0, in the Division 1 New Hampshire girls soccer quarterfinals.
The Lancers will now face off with Manchester Central, Thursday at 4 p.m., at Stellos Stadium in Nashua.
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Girls Soccer, 11/01/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Jags win thriller

A physical game got tighter and tighter as it remained scoreless, but Windham High coach Matt Miller had plenty to feel good about with his team's response.
"It was an incredibly physical game," said Miller. "We kept our composure, never stopped working, and when we got the one chance and we took it."
That one chance came with four minutes to go on a Serena Sauerwald midfield steal. She found Hannah Pesci, who made some space and let a laser go from 25 yards out that found the back of the net in Windham's 1-0, Division 2 state quarterfinal win over Hollis-Brookline.
The Jags advance now to Thursday's 4 p.m. state semifinal at Exeter High against Portsmouth.

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Girls Soccer, 11/01/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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