SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 2, 2014

Kick Saves: Smith, Marblehead hoping to get back to tourney

(Continued)

“We have a young team, but the younger kids are good,” said Smith. “I think our goal is to get back to the state tournament. It was a bummer not to make it last year, so stepping up and making it back there has to be our biggest goal.”

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Peabody caught a bit of bad luck before the holiday: rookie goaltender Lauren Hennessey was lost to a knee injury. The middle schooler from Lynnfield had a 1.99 goals against average in two-and-a-half games, and the Tanners (now 1-6) are hoping to get her back by the end of January. Jillian McCormick will see the bulk of the minutes in the meantime, and she brings back experience after having split the job with a graduated senior last year.

Sophia Post continues to be a goal scoring force for Peabody, on a newly formed line with Alise Murphy and senior Kristen Hennessey. Coach Larry Minehan has also been impressed with the second unit of Courtney Smith (a strong forward who can play in goal if needed), Hannah Travers and Caroline Buckley. Minehan also praised the play of defensemen Kaydee Purcell and Bella Piscatelli.

The Tanners are back in action Saturday against Arlington, hopefully with recharged batteries after having played three times in five days between Dec. 26-30.

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Beverly coach Brian Seabury knew he’d have a strong first line led by senior Nicole Woods. But the instant chemsitry and monster numbers put up by Woods, Kristen McCarthy and Julia Nearis so far are beyond his wildest dreams.

The line has combined for 18 goals in four games so far, with Woods amassing 23 points, McCarthy close behind with 21 and Nearis scoring a team-best 12 goals to go with 20 points.

“They’re even getting better,” Seabury said. “It’s only been four games so for them to gel this quickly has been a bit of a surprise. The way they’re moving the puck is impressive. Everything has been tape to tape.”

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