(Amesbury) The undefeated Amesbury Indians played without the Cape Ann League’s top scorer (Megan Cullen) and faced a desperate opponent.
Neither mattered as the Amesbury girls soccer team defeated Lynnfield, 2-0, at Cashman School on a sunny/windy Monday afternoon.
Amesbury (13-0-2) have won seven straight since their tie with Hamilton-Wenham on October 1st.
Megan Cullen (17 goals/9 assists) warmed up but did not play. Maybe her absence has something to do with the fact that Amesbury has a spot in the tournament and already owns the CAL Division 2 title.
The Indians have two regular season games left – Tuesday (Georgetown) and Thursday (Rockport). You have to like the Indians chances of going undefeated. They have already defeated the Royals (5-0) and the Vikings (8-2).
Lynnfield (5-7-4) will now need to win their last two games (Rockport & Ipswich) to make the tournament.
The Pioneers’ desperation made this game of interest plus the fact that on September 19th Lynnfield had narrowly lost to Amesbury, 3-2. But in this one, the home team never let the visitors mount much of an attack.
With Megan sidelined, teammate Hannah Zannini cashed two goals (her 14th and 15th) in the first nineteen minutes of play and that was all that Amesbury needed.
Amesbury had seventeen other shots in the direction of the Lynnfield goal. Lynnfield had a shot off of a corner kick in the first half and a flurry of several shots in the second half. Paige MacEachern had a strong bid for Lynnfield in the second half but AHS goalie Sarah Abraham finished with her fifth shutout.
Hannah’s first goal (I saw it from the other end!) was set up by Natalie Dawes. Hannah got in close on the right side.
The second scoring shot was from straight away and it zipped over the left shoulder of LHS goalie Hannah Travers.
After watching Amesbury play a good opponent for eighty minutes it’s easy to see why they have been so good this season.
(1) First of all, they rarely turn the ball over. If an opponent rushed at them they used the, “Lucy-Charlie-Brown-football-trick.” They would pull the ball back and let the opponent fly by. Taylor Tagliente and Erin Leary are two of the best defenders you’ll see.
(2) Second is Janine Fatal at midfield. The AHS senior had marvelous control in midfield traffic with speed and dribbling. And you talk about a hard shot from long distance. She had five of them in this game and fortunately for the Pioneers none of them were on target.
(3) Third is the overall team speed of Amesbury. They seemed a half step faster then Lynnfield over most of the field.
Lynnfield’s positional defense was quite good after the two goals. Even if players were beaten there were always teammates to help further down the field. Trust me, Amesbury did not go into any defensive shell over the last sixty-one minutes of soccer.
(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)