The Hornets celebrated an undefeated regular season with a win over Lowell Catholic at home last Friday night. It was a true team effort as scores from AJ Pallazola (x2), Brennan Twombly (2 throwing, 1 running), Jesse Oliver and Steve Martin gave the home team a 34-6 win. The defense once again performed at a high level and held the powerful Lowell Catholic offense to just one touchdown. The defense was anchored by Ben Hurd and Troy Flood up front. Henry Thurlow and Danny Wood did a great job denying the pass from LC with an interception each.
The Hornets hosted Ipswich HS on October 28th and took a 2-0 loss and with the win Ipswich prevailed as the CAL Baker division leader.
The Hornets struggled to maintain possession of the ball and to capitalize on offensive opportunities. The teams defense fought off Ipswich's strong offense, with Hornet Goalie Paige Garlitz making 9 saves. The next day the Hornets travelled to Georgetown for the final regular season game. Els Wood had a hat trick, Ava Grace Magnuson, Torrin Kirk and Anya Bixby each scored a goal apiece. Helaina Davis and Phileine deWidt had defensive saves in the game. The team is currently ranked #2 in Division 4 and awaits the pairings of the state tournament.
The Manchester Essex boys’ soccer team closed their season out with two impressive wins over Georgetown and Ipswich to secure their fifth CAL Baker title in the last six seasons. On Monday, the boys traveled to face Georgetown, who had handed a loss to the other Baker division leader Hamilton Wenham earlier in the season. The physical Royals came out with excellent energy and scored in the first minute of the match. After regrouping, the Hornets were able to settle in and link passes together. Naderson Curtis struck first with a low shot from distance and moments later Brady Gagnon may have had the most athletic goal of the season on a bouncing loose ball in the box Brady reacted with an overhead scissor kick and struck it past the bewildered Georgetown keeper. Later on in the second, Aiden Cunningham added a third goal on a cannon of a shot from distance which skidded past the keeper. That goal would prove to be the game winner as Georgetown found another goal late in the contest. After an entire CAL season, the league title would come down to a senior night battle against Ipswich. With a capacity crowd and the team featuring an astonishing seventeen seniors, the atmosphere was ripe for a CAL title clinching win for the Hornets. Ipswich, however, had other plans. The tigers came out with some very well organized high, on ball, pressure from their strikers and midfielders, which caused some trouble for the passing attack of the Hornets as they struggled to build out from the back. Ipswich would strike first on a turnover and goal and the Hornets had some problems to solve at halftime. However, 20 minutes into the second half, the Hornets would tie up the match with an un-assisted Naderson Curtis goal on a net drive and a longer strike which hit the lower left post and banked in. Just two minutes later, freshman Sammy Bothwell would find Curtis again cutting to the goal and slid a perfect pass to him for the 2-1 advantage. Then, just 10 minutes later, Bothwell would again connect with Curtis to provide some breathing room for the Hornets. The entire team played well to seal the victory with the midfield triangle of Gus Brown, Beren Schmidt, and Becket Spencer locking things down in the midfield while center backs Gannon Costello and Theo Brown were winning head balls and organizing the back four to clinch the title.
With their final record of 11-5-1, the Hornets look to be possibly hosting a first-round match in the Division IV State Tournament on Thursday.
The Hornets wrapped up the regular season this past week, dropping both matches. What has become the story of the season for the Hornets, competitive in both games, but just couldn't put the ball in the back of the goal enough to win. The girls kicked the week off Monday at home against Georgetown, playing their best game of the season, but losing 0-1. The Hornets were led by the defense of senior captain, Parker Brooks, who just returned from injury the prior week, and Libby Lawler creating many scoring chances for the Hornets. Freshman goal keeper, Madi Cook, had 5 saves. On Thursday, the Hornets finished off the regular season, traveling to Ipswich, whom the Hornets defeated at the beginning of the season, 2-0. Freshman Libby Lawler scored her first career goal early in the first half off a corner kick by Sarah Baker to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead, but unfortunately, couldn't hold on to the lead, giving up a goal in each half to Ipswich. Madi Cook made several difficult saves with 9 overall. Cook finished the season with 3 shutouts. Despite the final 2-15-1 record, the Hornets have secured a playoff spot. The new MIAA strength of schedule rankings place Manchester-Essex in the top 32, with the second most difficult schedule in Division 4 statewide.
The Boys and Girls Cross Country teams competed at the Cape Ann League meet at Wrentham on Saturday. The Varsity boys placed fifth with 152 points, girls placed seventh with 167 points and JV boys placed seventh with 179 points just behind Lynnfield which also had 179 points but beat us on a tie breaker (sixth runner) Finn O'Hara earned All Star by finishing fourth and received a plague for Baker Division Runner of the Year. Also scoring for the boys were Colin Harrison 24th, Charlie Lations 27th, Logan Cooper 43rd and Max Kirk 54th. Scoring for the girls were Whitney Turner 20th, Jane Whitten 30th, Lassen Ando 32nd, Sabine Cooper 34th and Faye Bourgeois 51st. Next meet is the State Division 3 meet at Westfield on November 13.