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Sports

October 10, 2012

Just For Kicks: Hamilton-Wenham girls qualify for state tournament

HAMILTON— After a disappointing 2011 campaign, the Hamilton-Wenham girls soccer team was determined to get back to its winning ways and also reclaim a playoff berth.

After yesterday’s 2-0 win over Cape Ann League rival Ipswich, the Generals ensured themselves a tournament spot with a record of 8-1-1 overall.

“Winning is and always has been the main goal for the team and for me as well,” said senior captain Alana Vecchiarello. “We’re all pursuing that goal collectively and are all on the same page. The goal for winning the league is a must as we have the ability to achieve that and making it far in the state tournament is equally important.”

With a new coach this year in Alvi Ibanez, the Generals have been nearly unbeatable through the first half of the season. Team chemistry and camaraderie off the field have translated well to game time, which has girls in sync on the pitch. But it’s not just the bonds they’re relying on to get the job done, the Generals put in the work.

“The majority of the girls are participating in an off-season strength and conditioning program at Impact Athletics,” explained Vecchiarello is hoping to take soccer to the next level in college. “Everyone has connected with each other and the coach, which makes the atmosphere enjoyable. Being able to connect with each other on and off the field is a big asset to a team and in this case it has helped our team a lot this year contributing to our wins.”

Vecchiarello, a Peabody native, leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and four assists, including both goals against Ipswich yesterday. As offensively gifted as the Generals are, they are equally as strong on the defensive end. H-W has posted seven shutout victories and eight total shutouts. Through the work of the Generals’ backfield and keeper Taylor Morong, there is little that trickles into H-W’s territory.

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