Gloucester: 2011 Girls Soccer
Season accolades: Most wins in program history... Deepest tournament run in program history... NEC South runner up... Division 2 North Semifinalist.
The skinny: After knocking on the door the two previous seasons, head coach Alex White's squad broke through in the postseason in a big way with a pair of tournament wins, the first two in program history, to cap off the most successful season in program history. Gloucester had every attribute that a successful team needs on the pitch with balance and experience throughout the lineup. After winning a program record 11 games in the regular season, the team won a pair of thrilling tournament games in overtime to advance to the sectional semifinals. Gloucester beat Swampscott, 2-1 in the first round and then knocked off Dracut, 2-1 in penalty kicks on the road to advance to the semifinals, where the team dropped a 1-0 game to eventual state champ Newburyport.
Leading the way for Gloucester was senior midfielder Clare Pleuler, a multiple time All Conference selection who played collegiately at Boston University and currently plays professionally over seas. Pleuler was one of those players that not only dominated games on her own, but made those around her better. Senior Laura Spillman was a force in net and stopped all but one penalty kick in the team's quarterfinal win while senior Nicole Repucci led the defense. Juniors Bianca Giacalone and Kali Cook were the team's top two goal scorers while Melodie Orrell and Elle Wierbicky were also big time contributors.
Rockport: 2013 Boys Soccer
Season accolades: Cape Ann League Small champs... Five wins over CAL large teams... Sixth straight season with at least one tournament win.
The skinny: In a decade that saw Rockport boys soccer establish itself as a dominant force in the Cape Ann League, Dave Curley's 2013 squad was a truly special group that ended up winning the league for the second season in a row. The Vikings took control of the Small Division in late September and never relinquished that lead, finishing at 11-4-2 in the league with dominance against both the Large and Small Divisions. The Vikings edged Georgetown for the league title and earned the No. 2 seed in Division 4 North. Rockport took care of Lynn Tech in the opening round and dropped a heart breaker in the quarters, 1-0 against CAL rival Hamilton-Wenham in a game that Rockport controlled the ebb and flow for much of the night.
Shaun Aspesi was Rockport's leader on the pitch as he was the team's lone first team All Cape Ann League selection. Aspesi was Rockport's leading goal scorer and was also a dynamic playmaker that could create offensive from anywhere on the field. Backs Mike Carbone, a senior, and Matthew Tibert, a junior, were All-Star selections and led a strong core of defensive players. Senior midfielder Sam Roell was also an All-Star performer for Rockport. Junior Jacob Rostkowski was a very consistent commodity in his first season as the team's starting goalie.
Manchester Essex: 2013 Girls Cross Country
Season accolades: Division 6 State Champs... Cape Ann League Small runner-up... CAL Small Runner of the Year Olivia Lantz... Second at All State Meet.
The skinny: Manchester Essex's first of four straight Division 6 championships under coach A.J. Migonis may have been its strongest team with incredible depth and three future Division 1 athletes in the field. Despite a numbers disadvantage against most programs, the Hornets still managed to go 8-3 in the CAL dual Meet season and finished second at the league meet. The team put the program on the map in a big way later in the season at the Division 6 Meet, where the Hornets scored 46 points to put together the lowest score in the field. Manchester Essex followed it up a week later with a second place finish at the Division 2 All State Meet, the programs highest finish at the All-State Meet.
CAL Small Runner of the Year Olivia Lantz was the team's standout performer as she won the CAL Meet, the Division 6 State Meet and the All State Meet, becoming the program's first and only individual All State champ. She just finished up a successful career running at Dartmouth. Fiona Davis, who went on to have a successful career at Harvard, turned in a top six finish in Division 6 and a top 10 finish at the All State Meet. Eve Feuerbach, then only a seventh grader, turned in a top 10 finish at the Division 6 Meet, she will be running at Holy Cross this fall. Holly Fossa and Maura McCormick round out the top five runners for the Hornets, both finished in the top 20 in Division 6.