Categories: Sports

WHS Sports Roundup

WHS Boys Lacrosse Looks To Get Back on Track

The Winthrop High boys lacrosse team will be seeking to get back on the winning track after a pair of hard-fought losses this past week.

Last Thursday the Vikings made the long trrek to non-league opponent Tyngsborough and came up on the short end of a 15-14 decision and then traveled to Northeastern Conference (NEC) North powerhouse Masconomet and fell short, 19-13, this past Monday.

“We have had a tough little run over the last week,” said WHS head coach Brian Donnelly. “We lost to a strong Tyngsboro team 15-14 last Thursday. It was really back and forth all game and they just ended up on top with a minute to go and we were unable to get one back to push it to overtime. They had a pretty strong offensive unit that had good ball control. They had a stellar face-off guy as well, which saw them with a lot more time of possession.

“Sophomore Sean Dolan and freshman Paul Ferrara were excellent off the edges on face-offs and defense in general,” said Donnelly. “They did a great job getting ground balls.  Ace Daignault continues to impress with his offensive prowess, scoring four goals and adding three assists to the ledger. He is a super hard-working attack and not only gets a massive amount of ground balls and forced turnovers on the rides, but also creates opportunities for our other guys.

“Tyngsborough is  a solid D-4 team that I think we matched up well with, unfortunately they just ended up on top this time around,” Donnelly added. “It was also great to see freshman CJ Cifuni put it in for the hat trick and junior Luke Githinji find the net twice. We are really spreading our goal-scoring to a variety of players, which is a promising sign.”

In Monday’s contest at Masco, which is 7-2 in the NEC North, the Chieftains moved out to an early ladf in the opening half. The Vikings responded well and eventually cut the margin to two, 15-13, with about six minutes left in the game. However, Wimthrop could not quite get over the proverbial hump and fell short, 19-13.

“Masco is a solid NEC team who came out fast,” said Donnelly. “Our players did a great job battling back after the half to make it very close with about six minutes left.

“Seth Sacco had an unbelievable game, finding the net five times,” Donnelly continued. “Seth is becoming an absolute force on the field and his confidence is growing every game. He is a true playmaker and it’s awesome to see him progress as a midfielder and taking on a larger role defensively as well.”

Ace Daignault turned in his usual strong performance at the offensive end with four goals and four assists.

“We’ve had a really tough, three-game losing streak, but we are still really proud of the effort that our players are putting forth,” said Donnelly, whose squad stands at 6-5 on the season. “Many of these games have been decided by only a goal, so it just shows how hard our guys are fighting.

“There are certainly some changes we are going to make as we move forward into the last couple weeks of the season as far as personal and positioning, but the coaches are happy with how our players are dealing with the adversity and are looking forward to their response and trying to turn it around,” Donnelly added.

The  Vikings are scheduled to make the long bus ride to NEC South rival Gloucester today (Thursday) and then  will return home to the turf at Miller Field to host NEC South foe Salem on Monday at 4:30 and NEC North opponent Marblehead on Wednesday at 4:00.

WHS Softball Team Striving

Although the Winthrop High softball team has come up short in its recent contests, WHS head coach Erin Vercruysse’s squad has shown flashes of strength.

In a contest on April 23 vs. Marblehead at home, “Marblehead’s pitcher was on fire,” said Vercruysse, with the only Lady Viking hits of the game coming from Amelia Spencer with a single and Fran Indrisano with a double. Jenna Whitehead totaled four putouts to lead the Winthrop defense.

On April 25, the Lady Vikings traveled to Swampscott and played a brutally-cold five innings, dropping to the Big Blue 22-5. Winthrop started off strong with a double by Izzy Cash, who tallied another single in the fourth. Kylie McFarland swung a big bat with a triple and a double and an RBI. Bree Rizzotto also had an RBI with a single in the first inning.

On April 29 Winthrop took on Northeast Metro Tech at home, losing 22-5 in five innings. Amelia Spencer had a single and a double with one RBI; Sophia Gonzalez had a double with one RBI; and Fran Indrisano had a triple and a single to tally two RBI.

Defensively,  catcher Indrisano and third baseman Sophia Gonzalez combined to pick off a Northeast runner at third. Izzy Cash made two great catches in center field.

Last Wednesday, May 1, Winthrop hosted Masconoment Regional. Despite a strong start, the Lady Vikings dropped a 23-2 decision to the Lady Chieftains. Vercruysse lauded what she termed “a spectacular pitching performance by Makalya Herdt, but Masco’s bats were just too hot.”

At the plate, Fran Indrisano had a double and a single, Izzy Cash had a triple, and Amelia Spencer also had a hard-hit single. Sophia Gonzalez made five putouts playing the hot corner at third and Brianna Rizzotto got a workout in left field, keeping many runs at bay. Hannah Barrett came on in the fourth to relieve and pitched well.

“Overall, we played a tough game, but kept our  heads high,” added Vercruysse. “We play in an extremely tough conference and we’re seeing progress in our abilities despite the end result scores.”

Vercruysse and her crew have a tough road ahead with four away contests, starting today (Thursday) at Danvers, Saturday at Swampscott, Monday at Peabody, and next Wednesday at Marblehead.

WHS JV Softball Team Doing Well

The Winthrop high junior varsity softball team, a young squad made up of one 9th grader, one 8th grader, and eight 7th graders, has been doing well and currently sports a 4-3 record with wins against East Boston, Beverly, Northeast Metro Tech, and Masconomet.

The junior Lady Vikings have played a number of strong games behind captain and pitcher Lucy Boncore.

“We are certainly happy with what the future holds for Winthrop softball in the coming years,” said WHS head coach Erin Vercruysse, who also noted the successful recent clinic held for future Lady Vikings.

“We had an awesome FUNdamentals clinic and BBQ, with the WHS team hosting girls ages 6-12 in a morning of softball fundamentals followed by a BBQ,” said Vercruysse. “We also participated in a home run derby fundraiser where the community came out to support and watch our girls raise money by hitting some long shots. We had a lot of fun and look forward to continuing this as a traditional event each year.”

Ivanis Wins Match vs. Peabody Rival

Although the Winthrop High girls tennis team came up on the short end of a 4-1 decision in a recent match with Peabody, the Lady Vikings battled hard after falling behind early to their Lady Tanner rivals.

“It was looking grim from the start, with all five of our matches losing their first set,” said WHS head coach Jeff Beck.

However, the Lady Vikings upped their game in their second sets, led by senior captain Mira Ivanis. After dropping the first set to her Lady Tanner counterpart, 3-6, Mira took the second set, 6-4, and maintained her momentum in the third set, winning by a score of 6-2, to claim the match, 2-1.

Although that would prove to be the only winning match for Winthrop on the day, Ivanis’s teammates turned in strong efforts in their second sets.

At second singles, Alesia Collaku dropped her first set, 2-6, and then came close in the second set, mounting what Beck termed “a valiant comeback effort,” before falling 5-7. At third singles, Emily Barrera battled in her two sets, 1-6, 2-6.

At first doubles, the duo of Anila Gjinovci and Kaelyn Foley fell by a score of 0-6, 2-6 and at second doubles, the tandem of Caitlin Fobert and Sophia d’Entremont came up short, 1-6, 0-6.

“Losing the competition 1-4 is not exactly what we strive for,” said Beck. “However, there were significant gains over last year’s performance. Given that Peabody had the exact same line-up as last year, it was nice to see our Lady Vikings improve their performance against a veteran squad.”

Beck and his crew are scheduled to travel to Saugus today (Thursday) and will host Salem tomorrow (Friday). They will make the long trip to Gloucester on Monday and the shorter trek to Peabody next Wednesday.

Transcript Staff

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