Local teams vying for tournament berth must finish strong

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thursday, October, 18 By John Shimer
Staff writer

Ahh, the glory of October high school soccer. Now that the shadows are creeping out much earlier in the day, each goal seems to matter that much more. And with only a week and a half remaining before the end of the season, the time to figure out which teams will be making their post season appearances is upon us.

Before we get into the teams that may be biting their nails right now, let's take a quick peek at those that are in and those that are out.

On the boys side, Georgetown has been the true feel-good story of the year, already qualifying for the state tournament after a 4-9-4 season a year ago. With impressive performances in back-to-back games against North Andover and Masconomet, the Royals may be real contenders in the Division 3 North bracket.

For each Georgetown, though, there is a Newburyport. A team with seemingly high expectations coming into the season, the Clippers struggled to find the scoring touch and it cost them a third straight tourney appearance.

Joining the Clippers on the sidelines will be Amesbury, but the news is not all bad. The Indians ended a two-year long losing streak by beating arch-rivals Newburyport and then added a second victory against Ipswich yesterday for good measure.

No real surprises, though, on the girls end.

Newburyport took care of business, locking up another trip to the tourney early. The Clippers have shown they will once again be considered a favorite to make a run at the state title. A late season scandal/no scandal regarding accusations of recruiting may be the motivation the Clippers need to win a state title.

In Amesbury the girls started off a strong 4-3, but the Indians could not sustain that momentum as the schedule got tougher in the second half of the season. At 4-11, the Indians will be on the outside looking in again this year. In terms of the nitty-gritty, two boys teams — Triton and Pentucket — remain alive, while three girls teams — Pentucket, Triton, and Georgetown — are also still alive. The team with the most left to do is the Pentucket boys team, which has to win out the remaining schedule against Amesbury, then Newburyport, then Triton | all at home. After a 1-6-4 start, things looked dire and a loss to Wilmington put the Sachems on the brink of elimination needing to win out (no ties and no losses) in order to achieve that magic .500 winning percentage. However, the Sachems have responded since then with two wins over Ipswich and a solid Rockport team to keep those hopes alive. My Pick: Sachems out

I just don't think the Sachems have the fire power this year, and they dug themselves too deep a hole. The River Rival clashes take a lot out of each team because of the passion and pride on the line, and the Sachems have all three left. A 1-1-1 record against the three in the first go-round this season also speaks volumes. However, this may a completely different team | one on a mission | and maybe I am missing the boat. Look for the last game against Triton to potentially be the season for both teams.

The other team on the hot seat is the Triton boys, who also have three remaining road River Rival games to finish the season. With yesterday's crushing loss to Manchester Essex, the Vikings stand at 5-6-4, and only need a win and a draw from their final three matches. However, if recent trends continue, more lackluster performances could be in sight, making tourney qualification difficult. My pick: Vikings out

If the Vikings do qualify, they may want to thank Tewksbury. Triton played two of its best matches against that squad, winning both times. However, as previously stated, River Rival games are no gimme, and the Vikings seem to be running on fumes lately. As stated above, with the pressure mounting the Vikings' finale against Pentucket could easily determine both teams' playoff lives.

The Georgetown girls seem to have the easiest draw of any team of the three River Rival girls teams still in contention for the state tournament. Despite a loss to CAL Large powerhouse Wilmington yesterday which dropped the Royals' record to 7-8, Georgetown closes with Manchester Essex and Rockport | two teams the Royals beat by a combined score of 9-0 already. My pick: Royals in

With apologies to both Manchester Essex and Rockport, Georgetown should wipe out those two teams, which have a combined two wins and eight goals scored between them. Even a win and a tie would get the Royals in, which should be an easy enough job.

Both Triton and Pentucket girls teams still have difficult paths to qualify, because, like their male counterparts, they have three remaining River Rival contests, including a matchup against powerhouse Newburyport. However, each team took a big step yesterday in wrapping up that tourney spot as the Vikings defeated Manchester Essex and Pentucket beat Rockport. My pick: Sachems and Vikings in

Even if you chalk up a loss for both Triton and Pentucket to Newburyport in their respective matches, each also has a date with Amesbury | a team both squads have already beaten. And because of those clutch wins yesterday, three points or one win is all either team needs. It's almost a shame, though, because that would mean the Sachem-Viking showdown will have nothing on the line in the last game, which could have made a great game a potential classic.

0 Story Comments