Pentucket Sachems Field Hockey '07

Ben Laing, Staff Photographer

Pentucket moving to the front of the pack in Cape Ann League

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Tuesday, September, 25 By Dan Guttenplan
Staff writer

Last year's Pentucket field hockey team was the first in program history to post a tournament victory.

So for a squad that returned nine seniors this fall, there was instant pressure to eclipse that accomplishment. "Coming into the season, we knew having all of these seniors would either work out really well, or it wouldn't work at all," said co-captain Briana Dunn.

Through eight games, it is working just fine.

The Sachems improved to 5-1-2 yesterday with a 3-1 victory over Georgetown. It was Pentucket's fourth consecutive victory | a streak that started with a 2-1 victory over perennial power Amesbury. It was the first time Pentucket beat Amesbury since Sept. 19, 2005, and it has appeared to spark a belief among the Sachems that no team is bullet-proof against them.

"We're getting through the first round of our Cape Ann League Large games," Sachems co-captain Sarah Galligan said. "Now we're going to play all of these teams again, and when we do, I think we'll get the better of them."

It's a bold statement considering the second round of games will include a rematch with North Andover | the lone team to deal Pentucket a loss this season. North Andover, which is now 8-0, beat the Sachems, 1-0, Sept. 14 in West Newbury. They will play again Oct. 19 at North Andover.

The Scarlet Knights have the history edge; they are 48-4-2 since 2005.

"We'll always have North Andover looming in front of us until we can beat them," Sachems coach Ruth Beaton said. "I wouldn't say beating them is unattainable, but right now, they're moving at a different speed than the rest of us."

If North Andover is, in fact, a step above the rest, Pentucket would find itself in front of the next tier of CAL Large teams that includes Masconomet (4-2-1) and Amesbury (4-3-1). It's certainly a new pecking order for Amesbury. The Indians have a 61-15-16 record since 2003 compared to Pentucket's record of 36-24-19.

"I knew they had some good players coming back, so I'm not surprised," Amesbury coach Gail Kelleher said. "Their program is really solid right now. I think it's going to be close between us, them and Masco. North Andover is the premier team, so we'll see."

But perhaps the only thing that truly could give Pentucket bragging rights over Amesbury is a prolonged tournament run. As is evidenced by the Sachems' first-ever tournament win last fall, they do not have a history of postseason success. They are 1-3 in tournament play in the last four years compared to Amesbury's 5-4 mark.

"That's what we're focused on," said Sachems co-captain Lyndsay Beaton. "We had our first tournament win ever last year, and we're hoping to make history again. This time we want

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