Girls Hockey Team Skates to a Fast Start
The Winthrop High girls hockey team opened its season in strong fashion, winning both of its contests this past week against Northeastern Conference rivals Gloucester and Beverly.
The Lady Vikings traveled to Gloucester last Wednesday and made the long trek a worthwhile endeavor, coming home with a 5-1 triumph.
Captain Mia Martucci and Emma Holmes lit the lamp to give Winthrop a quick 2-0 lead in the opening period and the Lady Vikings never looked back.
After Mia Norris made it 3-0 in the middle stanza. Mia M. upped the count to 4-0 early in the third frame. Gloucester got on the board to cut the lead to 4-1, but Martucci answered that with her third goal of the evening for the hat trick and the 5-1 finale.
Martucci served notice that she will be a force in the NHL this season, leading the WHS offense with a four-point night (three goals and an assist). Emma Holmes also recorded four points with her goal and three assists.
The Lady Vikings’ goalie, captain Summer Tallent, turned in a solid effort with 16 saves.
“It was a nice start for us, especially in a season of such uncertainty,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “It was a very good game. Gloucester was very young, but they worked hard, and they had two very good goalies.
“We got incredible leadership from our captains, juniors Summer Tallent and Mia Martucci,” the coach added. “Summer made some highlight-reel saves. She is a great athlete and she is a competitor. You know what you are getting from her and it is 150% all the time.
“Mia scored her first career hat trick and,was on fire. She is a pass-first player and always is looking to set up plays, but on this night it was her positioning that translated into some great scoring opportunities and she buried pucks.
“Emma Holmes had a great game as well,” Martucci continued. “She is a great hockey player and a true power forward in every sense of the word, but it is hard to downplay her skill set. She has great hands and can shoot the puck.
Martucci also lauded the performance of Mia Norris. “I have been singing Mia Norris’s praises since the beginning of this season,” said Martucci. “She has taken her game to another level. It was awesome to see her get rewarded for all her hard work with a goal.”
On Saturday Martucci and his crew journeyed to Peabody and came back with a 3-1 triumph.
The teams battled evenly through most of the first period, but a breakaway goal by the Lady Tanners’ Paige Thibodeau made it 1-0 at the first buzzer.
“Summer almost had it, but it snuck through,” Martucci noted.
However, the Lady Vikings came out after the intermission and took charge of the contest with three unanswered goals.
After Emma Holmes lit the lamp off a nice pass from Mia Martucci to even the count at 1-1, Amelia Spencer (an eighth grader from Lynn) notched her first career goal, assisted by Julia Holmes. Moments later, Emma Holmes made it 3-1 off a nice feed from Martucci.
The third period was an up-and-down battle. Peabody did its best to cut into the Winthrop lead, but Tallent and the Lady Viking defense held firm.
“Summer was on her game and our defense played tough the whole way,” said Martucci. “We also got some great backchecking from our forwards and it translated into a big win for us. Peabody is a very strong and well-coached team. We will expect a war at Larsen in February in the rematch.”
The final line score showed Emma Holmes with two goals, Mia Martucci with two assists, Amelia Spencer with a goal, Julia Holmes with an assist, and Summer Tallent with 19 saves.
Afterwards, Martucci had words of praise for many of his players.
“Mia Martucci was immense in this game with her leadership and team play,” said the coach. “I have never seen her backcheck like she did in this game. She wanted to win this game, not just for her, but for her team.
“All of the forwards had a hand in this one,” Martucci continued. “Mia Norris was a beast. Hanna Parker, Sami DiMento, Lily Tallent, Jenna Lindinger, Talia Martucci, Julia Holmes, Emma Holmes, Izi Hain, and Gabby Buonapane have been working so hard and it is paying off.
“Amelia Spencer had her best game to-date,” Martucci added. “She scored a beautiful goal — she picked a great game to get her first career varsity goal — and also made an incredible diving play in the third period to cancel out a Peabody 2-on-1 opportunity.
“Emma Holmes has had a great start to the season,” Martucci said. “She now has six points in just two games. If she continues to play like this, she will cause trouble for anyone we play.”
Martucci also praised his team’s contingent of blue-liners.
“Our defense and goalie have been awesome every single day, both in practices and games,” said the coach. “Elle English, Taya Schlichting, Adrianna Rizzotto, Amelia Spencer, Fallon Hurley, Casey Petersen, and Abby Holmes are all playing great hockey, as is our goalie, Summer Tallent. We have very high expectations for Summer, and that is not always easy, but right now she is playing above those expectations.
“The entire team was the reason we won this game,” Martucci concluded. “Everyone contributed something to the win. Everyone.”
The Lady Vikings were scheduled to host Newburyport last night (Wednesday) and will travel to Beverly on Saturday. They will play at Masconomet next Wednesday.
WHS Boys Hockey Defeats Beverly, 3-0
The Winthrop High boys hockey team turned in a strong performance at both ends of the ice to earn a solid 3-0 victory over Beverly on Monday afternoon at Larsen Rink.
The Vikings grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes with a 5-on-3 power play. Winthrop clung to their slim lead until 7:52 of the third period when the Vikings yet again took advantage of a power play opportunity to add an insurance goal.
Winthrop then put the game on ice with a lamplighter with 1:29 remaining in the contest.
The Viking defense proved to be the big story, limiting the visiting Panthers to few scoring chances in front of senior captain Ryan Hovermale, who earned the shutout in net.
Winthrop opened its season last Wednesday, dueling visiting Peabody to a 4-4 draw at Larsen.
Coach Dale Dunbar and his crew were scheduled to travel to Gloucester last night (Wednesday). The Vikings then will engage with archrival Marblehead in back-to-back games on Saturday at Larsen and then on Sunday at Cronin Rink in Revere. They will play at Masconomet next Wednesday.
WHS Boys Hoop Play Well in Contest with Beverly
Although the Winthrop High boys basketball team dropped a 72-59 decision to Beverly last Tuesday, first-year Viking head coach Mike Triant saw encouraging signs in his team’s performance.
“We played them incredibly tough,” said Triant. “Last year, Beverly outscored us 47-0 in transition points in an 86-42 loss. As a team, our goal was to take away their transition opportunities and create our own, and I felt we did a tremendous job at that.”
The Vikings were up, 38-34, with three minutes left in the third period, but Viking captain Cam Conway picked up his fourth foul, sending him to the sidelines.
“Cam had a great take that was a bang-bang call, but the refs ruled it a charge and it was his fourth personal, so we had to take him out for the rest of the quarter,” said Triant.
With the Viking captain on the bench, the 38-34 Winthrop advantage turned into a 46-39 deficit heading into the fourth period.
“We kept battling, but Beverly got really hot from beyond the arc,” said Triant. “They made five three-pointers in the final period.
“It was a tough loss for the boys, but we did a lot of good things,” Triant noted.
Conway and sophomore Zach Bogusz led the way offensively for Winthrop with 16 and 15 points respectively. Junior Luca Zanelli reached double figures with 10 points and Chris Cappuccio hit for seven, including a great 35-foot bank shot at the end of the first half.
Earlier in the week, the Vikings took on a strong Peabody squad in a contest in which the Vikings never were able to get on track.
“Peabody’s half-court pressure gave us fits all night,” said Triant, whose Vikings managed only three points in the opening period. “Our own defensive effort was almost as good enough to keep us in the game, but we trailed by 19 at the half. We fought until the end, but just couldn’t overcome their pressure and our shooting woes. We shot 18% from the floor as a team.
“0-3 was not how we planned on starting the season,” Triant added. “We just need to keep improving.”
The Vikings were scheduled to play at Masconomet this past Tuesday and will entertain Danvers tomorrow (Friday) night. They will trek to Gloucester next Tuesday.
WHS Gymnasts Impressive in Season-Opening Victory
The Winthrop high gymnastics team opened its 2021 season with a command performance to defeat Beverly, 136.5-125.9, last Saturday at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy.
The Lady Vikings took control of the meet from the outset, taking the top four places on the uneven parallel bars.
Eighth grader Isabella Rice got the team off with a clean routine to start the season and the meet. Shannon Abbott followed with a great routine, keeping the momentum going. Megi Zogasi then stuck her routine, with captain Danielle Carter doing the same. Junior standout Brandi Diccico hit a fantastic routine and last year’s bar champion, Mary O’Donnell, delivered a perfect routine, bringing all of her teammates to their feet.
“Uneven bars is our weakest event, so to start the season sticking 6-out-of-6 routines was incredible,“ said WHS co-coach Daria Millerick.
In the next event, the balance beam, the Lady Vikings similarly took charge. First up for Winthrop was Julia Hurley with a 6.9, followed by O’Donnell and Zogasi, who both scored an 8.0.
Sophomore Alayna Ronan followed with an 8.1, good for fourth place. Senior captain Danielle Carter hit her routine to capture first place with the highest score of the meet, a 9.2. Not to be outdone, Brandi Diccico followed with a great routine to grab second place with a 9.0.
The vault was next and Winthrop continued its dominance, taking the top six places among the 12 girls who competed. Leading the charge was senior captain Rachel Farley.
“Rachel is coming back from getting a devastating diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma this summer and is a true inspiration for everyone,” said long-time Winthrop co-coach Pete Gobiel. “Finishing treatment in late November and then competing in a gymnastics meet in January is truly remarkable. I could fill every page of the newspaper with how special Rachel is to her family, friends, and teammates.”
Next on vault were Isabella Rice and Danielle Carter, who took fifth and fourth places. Alayna Ronan hit her full twisting handspring to grab second place. Mary O’Donnell did her somersaulting vault to grab third place with a score of 8.5.
Brandi DiCicco hit both of her tsukahara vaults, scoring the second-highest score of the day with a 9.1.
The last event, the floor exercise, likewise was a strong suit for Winthrop. First up was freshman Ellie O’Donnell, who hit a clean routine to start the Lady Vikings on a positive note. Isabella Rice followed with an impressive 8.1. Senior captain Gabriella Guiffre hit her routine, scoring an 8.2, and a tie for fifth place.
Alayna Ronan, performing her well-known routine, scored an 8.7 for third place. Winthrop’s top two all-arounds, Carter and DiCicco, then hit both of their routines for identical scores of 8.9.
“Overall, we made very few mistakes,” said Gobiel. “The girls have been working incredibly hard this season. There is no individual state meet, no sectional team meet, no state team meet. It’s been hard for any high school gymnast in the state to be motivated. As a team we decided our goal was to set the Winthrop High School record which stands at 141.4, a lofty but attainable goal, especially after a great first meet.”
Gobiel and his crew will trek to two-time defending state champion Masconomet, a team that features senior Gracy Mowers, last year’s individual state champ, who is one of the best gymnasts the state has seen in a long time.
Dorr Hits for 22 to Pace WHS Girls to Victory Over Masco
Senior Maura Dorr pumped in 22 points, including six free throws in the final 55 seconds, to lead the Winthrop High girls basketball team to a 46-37 triumph over Masconomet Regional Tuesday evening at the WHS gym.
The contest initially appeared as though it would be a romp for the Lady Vikings, who bolted to a 17-3 lead in the opening period. Dorr got Winthrop rolling with a pair of three-pointers and Maddie Stiglets sank three buckets to propel the Lady Vikings into a 12-3 advantage.
Jenna Dorr hit Lily Pulsifer with a nice pass in the lane for a hoop and Grace Galuris drained a trey to close out a dominating first period for the Lady Vikings.
When Galuris tossed an outlet pass to Pulsifer for a fast-break bucket to start the second period to make it 19-3, the Lady Vikings appeared to be on their way to an easy “W.”
However, Masconomet refused to throw in the towel. The Lady Chieftains mounted a comeback effort in which they outscored Winthrop 16-2 to close the gap to 21-19 as the period came to a close. Dorr notched the lone basket for Winthrop in response to the Masco run and Maura added two more hoops in the final minute of the half to leave matters at 25-21 in favor of the Lady Vikings.
The contest turned into a defensive struggle after the intermission. The Lady Chieftains scored the first hoop of the second half to make it a two-point game, 25-23, but Pulsifer took a nice pass from Stiglets to restore the Lady Viking margin to four. A Masco bucket was offset by two free throws by Dorr (who was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the second half), but Masco scored the next five points to take its first lead of the game, 30-29, with 2:30 left in the third period.
Two more free throws by Maura D. and a solo FT by Galuris gave the lead back to Winthrop, 32-30, but Masco sank a trey with 10 seconds left in the period to take a 33-32 advantage entering the final eight minutes.
The lead continued in see-saw fashion to start the final period. Caroline Earl sank two free throws to start the quarter, but Masco responded with a bucket for a 35-34 edge. However, that would prove to be the last lead of the night for the Lady Chieftains. Pulsifer calmly drained a three-pointer with 6:23 to go, pushing Winthrop into a 37-35 advantage that the Lady Vikings never would relinquish. After Julia Marcoccio sank a key free throw with 4:00 to go to make it 38-35, the defenses stiffened on both sides, with Earl drawing a charge, but then Masco returning the favor on a drive by Pulsifer that took away a Winthrop bucket with 2:29 on the clock.
Pulsifer went to the line 40 seconds later and swished a pair of clutch free throws, giving Winthrop some breathing room, 40-35, Masco kept things interesting with a bucket with 55 seconds remaining to make it a 40-37 affair, but Dorr was clutch down the stretch with her six free throws to seal the deal for the Lady Vikings.
In addition to Dorr’s 22 points, Pulsifer hit for double figures with 11 points, followed by Stiglets with six, Galuris with four, Earl with two, and Marcoccio with a free throw.
The Masconomet victory proved to be a mirror image for the Lady Vikings of their contest last Thursday against Peabody. The Winthrop girls overcame a disastrous start — the Lady Vikings trailed 10-2 after the first period and 24-9 at the half — eventually fighting back to take a 39-36 lead with 4:45 to go in the game, only to have all of their good efforts go for naught in a 42-39 loss to the visiting Lady Tanners.
Similar to the Masco game, the contest with Peabody was a story of three chapters. The first extended from the opening pass-in (there are no opening tips per the COVID rules) to the end of the third quarter, which was dominated by the Lady Tanners, who built a seemingly-comfortable 35-21 lead late into the third period.
However, with 1:20 left in quarter, the Lady Vikings went on a remarkable run that erased the Peabody advantage with a 14-1 surge over the next four minutes that boosted Winthrop into a 39-36 lead with 4:45 to go in the game.
Pulsifer started the Lady Vikings on the comeback trail, hitting a three-pointer and sinking a free throw to slice the margin to 10, 35-25, at the end of the third. Maura Dorr opened the fourth period with a nice drive to the basket and a foul shot for a three-point play, drawing Winthrop within seven, 35-28. After a Peabody free throw, Pulsifer grabbed a deflected teammate’s shot inside and banked it off the glass to make it 36-30.
Another drive-and-runner by Dorr cut the gap to four, 36-32, with 6:40 to go and the pressure squarely was being felt by the Lady Tanners, as the Winthrop man-to-man defense forced numerous Peabody turnovers.
Galuris then stepped up to take a bow, draining a trey from the corner, making it 36-35 with 5:40 on the clock. Earl did her part on Winthrop’s next possession, grabbing an offensive rebound that Caroline put back to give the Lady Vikings their first lead of the game, 37-36, with 5:14 to go.
Yet another Peabody turnover led to a 15-foot swisher by Pulsifer for a 39-36 Lady Viking advantage with 4:45 on the clock. Although the momentum clearly appeared to be on Winthrop’s side, that would prove to be the apogee of the Lady Vikings’ effort for the evening.
The third chapter of the contest — the final 4:45 — reverted to a reprise of the first half. Winthrop went ice cold while the Lady Tanners did just enough to outscore Winthrop, 6-0, to claim the win, 42-39
The Lady Vikings, who now stand at 3-1 on the season, will travel to Danvers tomorrow (Friday). They will entertain Gloucester next Tuesday.