WHS Sports Roundup
WHS hockey team ties Mansfield; shoots for NEC North title
Winthrop High captain Sam Yarrow scored a dramatic goal with 40 seconds left in the game to give the WHS hockey team a 2-2 tie in a battle with non-league rival Mansfield, a Division 1 school that is ranked 12th in the state, this past Saturday afternoon at Larsen Rink.
Luke Evangelista, assisted by Yarrow and Brian Chalmers, gave the Viking a 1-0 advantage in the opening period, but Mansfield lit the lamp twice in the middle period to take a 2-1 lead that held up until Yarrow’s heroics in the closing moments.
WHS sophomore goalie Ryan Hovermale made 26 saves in his first complete game in the net.
Saturday’s contest was highlighted by Senior Night festivities at which the eight members of the Class of 2019 — Sam Yarrow, Luke Evangelista, Chris Finn, Ryan Skoczylas, Brian Chalmers, Marc VanBuskirk, Corey Cherico, and Andrew DiMento — were honored for their contributions to the WHS hockey program.
WHS head coach Dale Dunbar and his crew were set to meet Saugus last night (Wednesday) with an undisputed Northeastern Conference North Division title at stake.
The Vikings entered the contest with an 8-2-1 record in the NEC North, tied for first place with Marblehead (7-2-3 in the NEC North) with 17 points. A victory or a tie would give Winthrop an outright title.
Winthrop edged Saugus 3-1 in their first meeting at Larsen Rink in mid-January and last night’s encounter at Kasabuski Arena promised to be a fierce battle. Although Saugus entered the tilt with a seemingly-mediocre 4-4-3 league mark (6-8-1 overall), the Sachems defeated and tied Marblehead in their two games and will be a formidable hurdle in the path of an outright title for Winthrop.
The Vikings, who are 13-4-2 overall, then will await word later this week of their seeding and first-round opponent in the upcoming Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA state hockey tournament.
Yarrow is NEC’s MVP; Dunbar Coach of the Year
Post-season accolades poured in for the Winthrop High hockey team this week with the announcement of the all-star teams of the Northeastern Conference.
Viking senior captain Sam Yarrow, who has tallied 41 points on 20 goals and 21 assists, was named the NEC’s Most Valuable Player and WHS head coach Dale Dunbar was named the Coach of the Year.
Yarrow was joined on the NEC’s All-Conference team by co-captain Luke Evangelista (21 goals, nine assists) and co-captain and goalie Ryan Skoczylas (1.69 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage).
Three other Vikings were named to the all-star team: captains and defensemen Chris Finn and Brian Chalmers and junior forward Joey Holgersen.
The NEC all-star game is set for this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Salem State College.
WHS girls hockey knocks off Masco
The Winthrop High girls hockey team turned in what head coach Anthony Martucci termed “our most complete game of the season” to earn a 5-3 victory over Masconomet Regional last Saturday,
The loss was Masco’s lone defeat in the Northeastern Hockey League and left the Lady Chieftains with a league mark of 7-1-2, tied for first-place with Peabody.
Winthrop finished in third place in the NHL with a league record of 6-3-1. The Lady Vikings tied Peabody and defeated Masco in the final week of the season after having lost to both teams earlier in the year.
Emma Carleton gave Winthrop a 1-0 lead in the opening period, scoring off a great rush that Emma finished with a pretty backhander between the legs of Masco goalie Molly Elmore, who is committed to Division 1 school Sacred Heart.
The period was a back-and-forth affair that was highlighted from a Winthrop perspective when Lady Viking netminder Summer Tallent stopped Masco’s top player, Abby Gendron, on a breakaway to preserve the lead.
The teams traded goals in the middle stanza. The Lady Vikings increased their advantage to 2-0 on a beautifully-executed passing play from Julia Holmes to Kaiya Rodriguez.
“Kaiya played her best game of the season and Julia is having a huge year for an eighth grader,” noted Martucci. “On that particular play, Julia made a nice rush, taking the Masco defense wide, and then sending a perfect pass across to Kaiya at the far post. Kaiya one-touched it right into the short side.”
Masco got one back from their freshman sensation, Isabel Hulse, who took advantage of a poor Winthrop line change and scored on a breakaway.
That set the stage for the Lady Vikings to pull out the win in superb fashion in the final 15 minutes of play.
Masco brought the game back to level when the Lady Chieftains took advantage of a two-on-one break, converting on a nice passing play from Hulse to Hendron to draw even at 2-2.
The battle ensued in that status until WHS senior captain Abby Stafford took the bull by the horns and finished off a perfect, end-to-end rush with an incredible snap-shot goal that brought the WHS fans to their feet.
Rodriguez struck again to boost Winthrop into a 4-2 advantage, but Masco refused to give in and scored a nice power play goal to get back within one with five minutes to go.
However, the Lady Vikings would not be denied. A power play goal from Emma Holmes with just under two minutes to play proved be the insurance tally that sealed the victory.
“We played three solid periods and really stuck to our game plan,” said Martucci. “It was great to get our 10th win of the season, and to get it against a very good team like Masco was even better.
“Our goalie, freshman Summer Tallent, once again was amazing in net,” Martucci continued. “She is just a warrior. She battles, she fights, and she makes huge saves for us game-in and game-out.
“Our newly-formed line of Julia Holmes, Emma Holmes, and Kaiya Rodriguez looked unreal,” Martucci added. “They created offense on every shift they got. Kaiya had her best game in a Vikings’ uniform. She is only a sophomore with crazy speed and an awesome energy.
“Abby Stafford’s goal ignited a fire in this team that had been missing for a few games,” Martucci said of his captain’s crucial lamplighter. “She is a heart-and-soul player and the team feeds off the things she does. When they saw her do that, it erupted the crowd, and it ignited the team.”
Stafford has been selected to represent Winthrop in the Shriners all-star game this year. Only three other girls from the Lady Viking program (Kara Donati, Cat Salvetti, and Bella Perotti) have been selected to play in this very distinguished game of the state’s best players.
Captain Emma Carleton (19 goals, 16 assists) now stands just three points shy of 100 points for her career.
“Emma has been the bulk of our offense from game one and she has continued to put up points regardless of opponent,” lauded Martucci. “She has simply done what we needed all season long. Emma has two games guaranteed to try to get the three points she needs to reach 100 and be among a very small group (Taylor Brown, Mackenzie Clark, Caroline McKinnon, and Mia Price) from our program to achieve this milestone.”
Martucci and his crew were set to wrap up their regular season last night (Wednesday) with a non-league encounter with Winchester. Senior Night festivities will highlight the evening at which Emma Carleton, Abby Stafford, Kirsten Griffiths, Bella Perrotti, and Olivia Holmes will be honored for their contributions to the WHS girls’ hockey program.
Winthrop then will await word of their seeding and first-round opponent in the upcoming state hockey tournament.
WHS girls host Austin Prep tonight
The Winthrop High girls basketball team will host Austin Prep this evening (Thursday) at the Winthrop High gymnasium in the Lady Vikings’ season finale. Tip-off for the junior varsity squad is set for 5:00 with the varsity contest set to get underway at 6:30.
Last week Winthrop Lady Vikings traveled to Saugus and came up on the short end of a 51-34 decision.
The opening period was back-and-forth, with Saugus holding a slight edge, 11-9, at the first buzzer. However, the Lady Sachems stepped up their defense in the second period, holding Winthrop to just four points, to leave the Lady Vikings trailing, 25-13, at the intermission.
Winthrop continued to have trouble on the offensive end to start the second half. Saugus increased its lead to 40-17 after three periods. The Lady Vikings hit for 17 points over the final eight minutes, drawing as close as 11 points, but it proved too little, too late.
Maura Dorr paced the Lady Vikings with 15 points. Lily Pulsifer and Caroline Earl hit for six points each.
In the JV contest, Saugus bolted to a big lead in the opening period and held a 25-7 advantage at the half. The junior Lady Vikings rallied in the third period, scoring 16 points to draw within 38-23 at the third buzzer.
Winthrop continued to play hard and pulled as close as two points in the fourth quarter before dropping a 44-38 decision.
The Lady Vikings were led in the scoring department by MacKenzie Acevedo with 12 points, followed by Emma Forsyth with eight points, Polina Bell and Alana Grillo with five points each, and Sam Galuris with four.