North Reading Defeats Winthrop Vikings

The Winthrop High School ran into a strong North Reading team and dropped a 42-6 decision Friday night on the Hornets’ home field.

Winthrop’s record fell to 3-5 overall heading into a home game against Weston High Friday at 7 p.m. at Miller Field.

“We had a little bit of a letdown after not qualifying for the playoffs last week,” said Winthrop head coach Sean Driscoll. “North Reading is a very good team but we didn’t play very well.”

Junior running back Jake Chuidina scored the Vikings’ lone touchdown on a 6-yard run. Senior captain Jordan Corbett-Frank rushed for 70 yards, boosting his season output to 778 yards with three games remaining.

According to coach Driscoll, the last Viking player to eclipse the 1,000-yard milestone was Chris Beranger, who went to star at the University of New Hampshire.

“Our goal right now is to win the final three and finish over the .500 mark,” said Driscoll. “We want to keep our streak of winning records going.”

Following Friday night’s home date, the Vikings travel to Amesbury next Friday night and conclude the season on Thanksgiving versus Revere at Miller Field.

Girls soccer team wins pair  to advance to tourney semifinals

The Winthrop High girls soccer team pitched a pair of shutout victories in the opening and quarterfinal rounds of the Division 4 North Sectional of the MIAA state soccer tournament to advance to tonight’s (Thursday) semifinal contest against the top seed, Austin Prep, in a match to be played at North Reading High School at 7:00 p.m.

The winner of that game will advance to the D-4 North championship contest to be played at Manning Field in Lynn Sunday. The Austin Prep/Winthrop winner will meet the winner of the Georgetown/Maimonides semifinal from the other side of the D-4 North bracket.

Coach Tracey Martucci’s Lady Vikings opened tourney play with a 4-0 blanking of the number five seed, St. Joseph’s of the Catholic Conference (Small), Sunday morning at Victory Field in Watertown. The Lady Vikings poured 26 shots on the St. Joseph’s goal with four of them reaching the back of the net. Holly Benson staked the Lady Vikings to a 1-0 lead in the first half and teammates Amy Sena (assisted by Stephanie O’Brien) and Heidi Benson, who had two goals with long-range shots, added insurance markers.

Martucci and her crew then made the trek Tuesday evening to Malden to take on Mystic Valley of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and came home with equally-satisfying results, a 3-0 triumph. Winthrop took a 2-0 lead in the first half on goals by Nikki Tsiotis (assisted by Sena) and Sena (assisted by Heidi Benson). Sena then scored her third goal in the tournament after the intermission to ice the Lady Vikings’ victory cake.

“The girls have been playing amazingly, the best they have all year” said WHS head coach Tracey Martucci. “They are all working together as a unit and getting the job done. All season we had been struggling with scoring, but we’ve found the net seven times in the last two games.”

Sena has been a newly-found force on offense in the tourney for the Lady Vikings. “We had changed Amy’s position from midfield to forward in the last game of the regular season (in which she scored a goal against Revere) and now in the two tourney games, she has three goals. She is playing phenomenally,” noted Martucci.

Another key to Winthrop’s successful tourney run has been the performance of its defense, which has been a solid wall in the two tourney encounters. “Annie Mahoney had a big game for us against Mystic Valley, shutting down their star player. And as always, Poli Tsiotis stayed strong for us in net with two shutouts,” said Martucci.

Thursday’s semifinal opponent, Austin Prep, the champion of the Catholic Conference (Large), compiled a 16-1-2 record in the regular season and drew a bye in the first round. The Prep easily handled Minuteman Regional, another entry from the Commonwealth A.C., with a 7-1 victory in their quarterfinal matchup Tuesday.

Austin Prep and Winthrop had a common opponent this year, that being Mystic Valley. Prep defeated Mystic Valley 5-0 in the first game of the season for both teams, while Winthrop earned the 3-0 win in the tourney Tuesday night.

“Hopefully we can keep the momentum going for Thursday night against Austin Prep,” added Martucci. “This will be a good game. Austin Prep has some great players, but if we continue to play like we have, we should be successful.”

WHS volleyball team ends on upbeat note

The Winthrop High volleyball team saved its best for last, concluding its season in outstanding fashion with an exciting victory over Revere in a match that went the full five games.

“We played our best volleyball of the year,” said WHS head coach Christie Scott. “There was a big crowd on hand at the Revere court because it was their Senior Night, but we came out equally pumped up and played an outstanding match. I told our girls to give it their all and leave everything out on the court, and that’s what they did.”

The contest was a see-saw affair all the way, with the momentum shifting throughout the match. The Lady Vikings handily took the first game in runaway fashion, 25-10, only to see Revere regroup and take the second game, 25-19. Winthrop counterpunched with a 25-16 win in the third game, but Revere once again evened the score with a 25-20 victory in game four.

That set the stage for what always is a dramatic fifth and deciding game in which the first team to attain 15 points wins the match, though a team still must win by two.

The fifth game mirrored the previous four games, with the teams exchanging long volleys and trading points. “Both teams played excellent defense and kept the ball alive for long periods of time,” noted Scott. “It was our longest match of the year. ”

Finally, with the Lady Vikings ahead 14-13, sophomore Nina Bartlett made an outstanding block at the net of a Revere volley to put away the point, game, and match. “Nina made an outstanding play. She was a force at the net all game,” said Scott of her tall middle hitter, who was responsible for 14 kills and three blocks on the night.

Also making major contributions for Winthrop were senior Jen Adamson with six service aces and fellow senior Lexi Vaccaro with 13 digs. The Lady Vikings played without the services of Vanessa Dale, one of their starting middle hitters, who was ill, but sophomore Nicole Pucillo stepped in and did an outstanding job, as did all of her teammates.

In  addition to Adamson and Vaccaro, the contest marked the final appearances in a WHS uniform for fellow seniors Carly Corbett-Frank, Lizzy Anderson, and Jackie West. They had the distinction of playing on the first-ever WHS varsity volleyball team, which concluded its initial season with a 4-16 record.

“The win over Revere, which has a long established program and which qualified for the state tourney (the Lady Patriots compiled a 13-7 record this year), marked a fantastic finish to our first season,” said Scott, whose varsity team and JV team poured onto the court to celebrate the dramatic victory when the final ball of the long night hit the floor after Bartlett’s block.

With the Lady Viking junior varsity squad putting together an impressive 14-6 record and with some 40 girls in the program, the future looks bright for volleyball at Winthrop High.

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