Gloucester 1 Marblehead 1
The Gloucester girls soccer team did not want to go into Friday’s season finale with Saugus needing a point or two to qualify for the state tournament. So the Gloucester girls did something they are not used to doing in Monday’s tilt with Marblehead, play for a point. One point was all Gloucester needed to get into the postseason and that’s exactly what it got in the form of a 1-1 tie on the road against a tough Magicians team.
The tie moves Gloucester’s record to 7-5-3 on the year and gets them into the state tournament for the fourth straight season under head coach Alex White.
“We were playing for the point today,” White said. “You never really want to do that but with two tough games coming up (against Danvers and Saugus) we wanted to secure the bid. That’s the way it goes sometimes and we did what we needed to do, it’s great for the girls, they earned it.”
Senior captain Kali Cook tied the score at 1-1 with 15 minutes to play in the game. Laura Johnson, Elle Wierbicky, Bianca Giacalone and Caroline Greeke also played well for Gloucester.
The Fishermen have been in tournament mode for a while as a slow start left little room for error down the stretch. Since it’s 0-4-2 start Gloucester has gone 7-1-1, the only loss coming against Peabody, who is ranked No. 1 in the state and the nation.
“We started the year a little rough and we had to work for it,” White said. “We had the potential to get back in and we lived up to it. I think these games have prepared us for the tournament both mentally and physically.”
Rockport 2 Manchester Essex 1
The Vikings improve to 5-10-1 with the win over their Cape Ann counterparts, who fall to 2-13-1.
Rachel Haselgard gave the Vikings a 1-0 first half lead with an assist from Eva Weinstein. Manchester Essex tied things up in the second half but Rachel Davis broke that tie scoring after a long pass from Hannah Lorden.
Manchester Essex 3 Rockport 2
The Hornets (5-7-3) needed a win to keep their state tournament hopes alive and thanks to a second half goal from Will Nadai they are still in the state tournament mix.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the second half Rockport played a ball out of its area and Nadai ran up on the clear attempt and blasted it into the goal from about 40 yards out for the game winner.
“When Rockport and Manchester Essex play you can throw the records out the window, it’s always a great game,” Vikings coach Dave Curley said. “Hats off to (Manchester Essex) they buried their opportunities. It was a great effort by both teams, hopefully Manchester Essex can get into the postseason.”
Conor Douglass gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead two minutes in chipping a shot over Hornets goalie Chris Xavier off of a great feed from Shaun Aspesi. Hornets midfielder Liam Aldrich tallied the next two goals to make it 2-1 Hornets before Aspesi evened things up just before halftime converting a penalty kick.
Xavier had a strong game in net as he usually does for the Hornets making what Curley called “four to five game-changing saves” in the second half. Rockport can clinch the Cape Ann League Small title with one win over its final two games while Manchester Essex needs five points in its final three games to get into the postseason.
Manchester Essex 3 Ipswich 0
The Hornets move to 16-1 with their tenth shutout win of the year. Nicole Bradley, Anna Heffernan and Brittany Smith were the goal scorers. Coach Andrea Slaven praised the play of her seniors on senior night in Bradley, Kelsi Field, Maddi Bistrong, Olivia Mastendino, Allyson Conway, Megan Jones, Ivy Silag-Stearns, Carolyn Heslop and Sarah Sargeant.