Vikings Fall Short, 14-13, at Danvers
The Winthrop High football team learned the truth of an ages-old sports axiom: Close only counts in horseshoes.
After falling behind 14-0 in the first half, the Vikings scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, but then failed on a two-point conversion after the second TD and a field goal attempt with 6:50 remaining in the game, leaving the Vikings a point shy at the final whistle, 14-13.
“Once again we played well, but we came up short,” said WHS head coach Jon Cadigan. “Even though we trailed 14-0 at the intermission, I felt good about our prospects because we had moved the ball well against Danvers, only to have penalties set us back.”
The Vikings proved Cadigan’s analysis correct at the start the second half, moving the ball the length of the field after taking the opening kickoff, with quarterback Bobby Hubert taking the ball into the end zone from five yards out to slice the lead to 14-7.
After the Viking defense forced Danvers to punt on its ensuing possession, Hubert and Co. went back to work, driving 70 yards for another touchdown. Running back Austin Daigneault, who set up the Viking TD with a 60-yard scamper, went in from 10 yards out to make it a 14-13 affair.
The Vikings, who were successful on a pair of two-point conversions in the previous week’s victory over Saugus, elected to go for two, but Hubert’s bid fell short, leaving Winthrop trailing by a point.
The Viking defense then shone on Danvers’ next possession, stuffing the Falcons on a 4th-and-one at the Danvers’ 35. The Winthrop offense took over, but could not take advantage of the change of possession on the short field, with the drive stalling at the Danvers’ 12 yard line, from where the field goal attempt was muffed.
The Winthrop defense forced Danvers to punt once again, giving the ball back to the Vikings with 2:30 left on the clock. However, Winthrop turned the ball over on downs to end their bid for a victory.
Cadigan was effusive in his praise of the effort turned in by his defensive unit in containing a high-flying Falcon squad that had rung up 85 points in victories in its first two games against Masconomet and Lynn Classical.
“Our defense was solid,” said Cadigan. “Danvers had been successful running wide in its previous two wins, so our plan was to contain them on the edge and force them to go inside. Our junior outside linebackers, Steve Perullo and Ryan Hovermale, did a tremendous job in setting the edge. And when Danvers went inside, interior lineman Ian Harris, who led the team in tackles, was up to the task.”
Hovermale and Harris shared the weekly Black Shirt award for leading the Vikings cumulatively in defensive metrics.
Cadigan also praised the play of running backs Daigneault and Tyler Rockefeller.
“We have relied on our quarterback, Bobby Hubert, for most of our offensive production, but Austin and Tyler have come into their own in the past two weeks, which will add extra dimensions to our offensive attack,” Cadigan noted.
The Vikings will play at Swampscott Friday evening for the first time under the new lighting at Blocksidge Field.
Maura Dorr Sets New WHS Goal Scoring Record
Junior Maura Dorr set a new Winthrop High girls’ soccer career goal-scoring record when she recorded her 50th goal last week in a contest with Beverly.
“Maura is a very talented, smart, and skillful player,” said WHS head coach Tracey Martucci. “She’s a great kid and we are very lucky to have her on our team.”
Ironically, Martucci had held the WHS goal-scoring mark until her record was broken by Julie Dowson in 2008 — and Dowson herself is now an assistant coach for the Lady Vikings and was on the sideline when Dorr topped her mark.
Dorr brought herself even with Dowson’s career record when she racked up three goals in a 4-0 Lady Viking victory at Gloucester last Monday.
Senior captain Sydney Mignosa also reached the back of the Gloucester net in the triumph. Assists on the four Winthrop goals were earned by Emma Forsyth, Nora McCarey, Miya Grein, and Mia Martucci.
The win over Gloucester came on the heels of a big victory over Boston Tech. Not only did the Lady Vikings win by a 6-0 margin, but the triumph came against a Division 4 rival that placed Winthrop in good position to qualify for the post-season state tournament.
Mia Martucci led the offense with two goals. Single tallies were recorded by freshman Abby Holmes, freshman Emma Holmes, junior Grace Galuris, and Maura Dorr, with assists by Alex Gibbons (2), Mia Martucci, and Julia Marcoccio.
Martucci also had words of praise for the Lady Vikings’ sophomore keeper, Manuela Mejia.
“Manuel has been outstanding for us,” said Martucci. “She is a first-year goalie and has so much heart. She is going to be a huge help for us over the next two years.
“Also in the back line for us are Julia Marcoccio, Summer Tallent, Jenna Dorr, Sydney Mignosa, and Jill Johnson, who are just a few of our defenders who give us stellar efforts game-in and game-out,” Martucci added.
The Lady Vikings, who now are 4-4, took on Danvers this past Saturday night and came out on the short end of a 9-1 decision in which Maura Dorr, assisted by Mia Martucci, scored the Winthrop goal.
“The girls played hard,” said Martucci. “One thing that this team will never do is give up. I’m so proud of them. It’s hard to continue to play and keep your mind in the game when a score is so lopsided. The positive of playing good competition is that it makes us a better team.”
Martucci and her crew were set to take on Marblehead yesterday (Wednesday) and will travel to Peabody for another Saturday game at 4 p.m. They will host Swampscott on Monday.
WHS Cross Country Girls Defeat English
Although the Winthrop High cross country teams are in the midst of a rebuilding season, WHS head coach Mark D’Amico has seen a lot of improvement in his runners through the first month of the 2019 campaign.
“We are in a rebuilding stage this year for the boys and girls, but have had some great performances,” said WHS head coach Mark D’Amico.
The Viking girls team earned its first victory of the season with a triumph over Lynn English on the Deer Island course.
Lady Viking Beatriz Holzbach came in first place overall with a time of 19:07. Teammate Fiona MacPhail grabbed fourth spot with a clocking of 21:19. Libby Carney came across the line in fifth place in 20:20, followed by Ana Baurly in sixth in 21:22, Zara Powell in seventh in 25:31, and Heather Buccini in eighth in 27:16.
On the boys side, although the Vikings came up short, they received strong performances from captain Pat Haskell, who finished in second place overall with a personal record (PR) time of 16:22, and Dan Tracy, who was right behind Pat in third place overall with his own PR clocking of 16:33.
In the season opener with Swampscott, Haskell (16:28) and Tracy (16:36) were the top Viking boys. For the girls, Holzbach set a PR on the 2.7 mile Deer Island course with a clocking of 18:44. She was followed by MacPhail in 21:45, Baurly in 22:07, Carney in 22:08, Powell in 25:43, Buccini in 25:49, and Carly Zichella in 32:23.
Both teams then traveled to Peabody for their second meet of the season. Haskell ran a PR time at the Brooksby farm course in 20:17. For the girls, Holzbach came in fifth overall in a clocking of 24:41, followed by Carney in seventh in 28:44, Baurly in eighth in 28:50, Powell came in12th in 31:59, and Zichella in 13th in 35:10.
Last Tuesday the teams traveled to Gloucester. Baurly was the first finisher for the Winthrop girls, coming across the line in third place overall in a time of 30:43. Carney finished fourth in 30:44, followed by Powell in fifth in 31:19 and Zichella, who ran her best race of the year, in sixth in 32:37.
For the boys, Andrea Opincaru led the way for Winthrop with a time of 26:16.
Both teams were set to host Lynn Classical yesterday (Wednesday) at Deer Island and will trek to Salem next Tuesday.
WHS Volleyball Team Hosts Peabody Tomorrow
The Winthrop High volleyball team has a busy week ahead. The Lady Vikings will host Peabody tomorrow (Friday), and then will travel to Matignon on Monday, to Northeast Regional on Tuesday, and then to Lynn Classical next Thursday.
Winthrop dropped its two contests this past week to the two top teams in the Northeastern Conference, Danvers, which stands at 9-0 on the season, and Revere, which is 10-1.
However, thanks to the Vikings’ previous victories earlier in the season over fellow Division 3 schools, the team learned that it has qualified for the post-season state tournament.
“The girls are very excited that we are heading to the tournament at the end of the month,” said WHS co-head coach Rachel DelSolio. “They have been working hard and will continue to work hard leading up to the playoffs.”
Rough Stretch for WHS Boys Soccer
The Winthrop High boys soccer team ran into a rough stretch this past week.
Last Monday the Vikings hosted Gloucester and came up on the short end of a 5-4 decision.
Kim Haddar scored two goals for Winthrop. Seniors Kevin Dorr and senior Abdul Hamada also reached the back of the Fishermen’s net. Freshman Esteban Alvarez had an assist on the day.
“We played really well until the last three or four minutes and fell apart,” said WHS head coach Kyle Gagin, “and that cost us the game.”
Last Wednesday Winthrop traveled to Beverly and dropped a 6-2 decision. The Vikings trailed by only one goal, 3-2, with 15 minutes left in the game, but the Panthers added three markers before the ref’s final three whistles to claim the win.
Hamada had a goal and an assist. Sophomore JD Parker accounted for the other Viking tally with his first career varsity goal. Alvarez had an assist.
Last Friday at home against Danvers, Hamada scored the lone Viking tally in a 4-1 loss.
Gagin and his crew travel to Marblehead today (Thursday) and will entertain Peabody tomorrow (Friday). They will trek to Swampcott on Monday.