Amesbury Indians Field Hockey '07

Wed, Sep 19, 2007 07:00 PM @ Amesbury
Team Final
Newburyport 0
Amesbury 3
Newburyport's Kristen Johnson, front, tries to advance the ball as Amesbury's Kelsey Fournier moves in to block at Landry Memorial Stadium. » Bryan Eaton, Staff Photographer

Three second-half goals lead Indians over Clippers

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Thursday, September, 20 By Jimmy Carroll

The first half of last night's River Rivals field hockey game between Newburyport and Amesbury saw the Indians pounding the ball away at the Clippers' defense and goalie Haley Morris.

Yet at the break, there were still zeroes on the scoreboard. That would soon change as senior captain Kendall Connors broke the scoring drought about four minutes into the second half, and eventually again later in the half, sparking a 3-0 Amesbury victory at James J. Landry Stadium last night.

"In the first half we played hard, in the second half we played well," said Amesbury coach Gail Kelleher. "I told them we needed to play better as a team and make more direct passes, and we were able to do that successfully."

The loss drops Newburyport to 0-4-2. The Clippers have tallied a total of three goals this season for a 0.5 goals per game average. Amesbury (2-3-1) has rebounded from its 0-2 start to win two of its last three.

Adding greater significance to last night's game, of course, is the fact that any Amesbury-Newburyport game is considered to be the biggest of the season by both teams.

"It's our biggest rival so we wanted to pull it all together," said Connors. "It just all clicked today." As far as defense goes, the game was a showcase in the first half, as each team's goaliewas solid. The difference for Newburyport after the break, though, was defensive placement.

"There were too many people playing the ball," said Clippers coach Lauren Hefferan. "It left their players open and they were able to take advantage of that."

The Indians were led by the solid play of Connors, as they were able to constantly pressure Morris and the Newburyport defense with an onslaught of shots-on-net.

"We were really pumped up for this game, especially (because it was) at night," said Kelleher. "I think we are at a point in the season where we are starting to gel as a team." For the Newburyport offense, things have yet to find a solid groove, but the team remains optimistic.

"We haven't been able to put the ball in the net," said Lauren Hefferan. "But there are plenty of games left for us to get it together."

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