SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 6, 2012

2012 Salem News Girls Soccer All-Stars


The Salem News

---- — 2012 SALEM NEWS GIRLS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

HAYLEY DOWD

Peabody Senior

Striker

Not much can hold down Hayley Dowd. Not opposing defenses and certainly not a late summer hamstring injury.

Dowd recorded her fourth straight season with at least 40 points, scoring 27 times and adding 14 assists despite missing three games and seldom playing into the second half as her Tanners blew away the majority of their competition.

Peabody’s all-time leader in goals (148) and points (204) was the area’s most complete player, with at least one goal and one assist in 11 different games.

A four-time Salem News all-star, three-time Salem News Player of the Year and two-time NEC MVP, Dowd rode a 14-game point streak through the middle of the season, notched at least two points in all but one of those games, had three points in a game eight times and became the area’s first career 200-point scorer.

A Boston College commit, Dowd’s stature as a nationally known recruit (ranked No. 2 in the Northeast and the No. 5 forward by Top Drawer Soccer) helped Peabody spend four weeks as the national No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s poll. She’s also spent time training with the U.S. women’s under-18 team.

Dowd, a two-year captain, helped Peabody go unbeaten for 38 straight games from 2011-12 and win the program’s first state title in ’11. The Tanners went 75-5-5 in her and her classmates’ four varsity seasons.

ALIX BRYANT

Salem Junior

Midfield

Salem’s Team MVP had a strong season on both offense and defense for the young Witches ... Adopted a defensive role and used size and strength to control opposing strikers in the box ... Also used crisp, accurate passes to get the attack moving ... Two-time NEC all-star.

CAYLA BUCCI

Peabody Senior

Defense

Immense foot skills and sense helped this three-time Salem News all-star lead a defense that allowed less than a goal per game ... Captained Tanners to a fourth straight Northeastern Conference title and several weeks as national No. 1 ... NEC all-star is adept at breaking up counter runs ... Committed to play at Merrimack College, where she hopes to study business.

ERIN CASSIDY

Swampscott Senior

Striker

The Big Blue’s leading scorer also had a knack for scoring in the most critical situations ... Scored on a free kick to help Swampscott tie Marblehead ... Scored 10 times and had 10 assists, factoring in nearly two-thirds of Swampscott’s total goals ... Captained the Big Blue to the state tournament ... NEC all-star and team MVP hopes to study nursing and play soccer in college.

KARA DIGIACOMO

Peabody Senior

Defense

Northeastern Conference Large MVP impacted the game in all three thirds of the field ... Excellent defender helped Peabody allow less than a goal per game ... Set piece specialist added five goals and eight assists ... Most memorable goal came on a free kick against Danvers ... NEC and EMass all-star ... Shared captain’s band with twin sister and fellow all-star Victoria.

VICTORIA DIGIACOMO

Peabody Senior

Striker

Four-year starter became the sixth member of Peabody’s 100-point club, joining older sister Erika ... NEC and EMass all-star scored 26 goals, surpassing 25 for the second straight season ... Graduates with 126 career points ... Speedy, disciplined striker shared captain’s band with twin sister and fellow all-star Kara ... Ranks No. 20 in Peabody’s senior class ... Two-time Salem News all-star will play for Division 2 national champion College of St. Rose.

CHAR ESTY

Pingree Freshman

Striker

Enjoyed a smashing high school debut season, leading the Eastern Independent League in scoring with 19 goals ... Added 11 assists for a team-high 30 points ... Helped the Highlanders reach the second round of the New England tournament ... Newbury native had a three-goal, two-assist effort in a win over Concord Academy ... An EIL all-star selection.

EVA GOURDEAU

Beverly Sophomore

Striker

Supremely skilled, patient, technical player jump-started Beverly’s offense to its first North title ... Creative passer led the area with 19 assists ... Added 15 goals for 34 points ... NEC all-star had four points in five postseason games ... Two-time Salem News all-star already has 75 career points and aspires to play at a Division 1 college.

CAITLIN HARTY

Beverly Junior

Striker

Potent scorer was among the Eastern Mass. leaders and set new area and Beverly records with 50 goals ... Scored seven of the Panthers’ eight state tournament goals while leading the squad to its first North final ... Became Beverly’s all-time leader with 90 goals and 119 total points ... Used speed to get by defenses and an uncanny finishing touch ... Added 11 assists and tied area record with 61 points ... Eastern Mass. and NEC all-star ranks No. 1 in BHS’ junior class.

MADDIE HOWE

Ipswich Senior

Defense

Staunch defender earned an All-Cape Ann League nod with a standout season ... Helped anchor the Tigers as they earned 13 clean sheets and reached the Division 3 North final ... Crucial part of three playoff shutouts ... Dangerous, accurate foot led to a perfect 3-for-3 on penalty kicks ... Excellent student ranks in the top 10 percent of Ipswich’s Class of 2013.

COURTNEY LONG

Ipswich Senior

Defense

Strong, physical presence at sweeper helped the Tigers reach the Division 3 North final for the second time in three seasons ... All-Cape Ann League selection ... Instrumental part of an Ipswich defense that had 13 shutouts ... Cites a 2-2 tie with Division 2 power Amesbury as top performance ... Added two goals ... Plans to play soccer at Gettysburg College next season.

KRISTEN O’CONNOR

Beverly Junior

Defense

Center back anchored a Panther defense that allowed just four goals in five postseason games and won the program’s first North title ... Instrumental part of 10 shutouts ... Calming influence in the box ... Beverly’s free-kick specialist had two goals and assisted on a key tourney goal against Concord-Carlisle ... Northeastern Conference and EMass all-star.

BECKY MERCURO

Bishop Fenwick Senior

Midfield

One of the area’s top precision passers doled out 16 assists ... Added six goals, including a hat trick in a win over Austin Prep ... Fenwick’s leading scorer with 22 points ... Earned All-Catholic Central League and EMass all-star distinction ... Crusaders’ MVP captained the squad to a state tournament win ... Saugus native considering several collegiate options.

JACKIE MORSE

Danvers Senior

Defense

Tough, smart defender anchored a Danvers line that allowed just 10 goals all season and had 10 clean sheets ... Eastern Mass. all-star was also a two-time Northeastern Conference all-star ... Captained Falcons to another NEC Small title ... Helped hold powerful Beverly to one goal on a penalty kick ... Added a goal and three assists ... Committed to play at UMass Lowell next season.

TAYLOR MORONG

Hamilton-Wenham Senior

Goalkeeper

All-Cape Ann League keeper allowed just two goals during the entire regular season ... Recorded 13 shutouts and posted a goals against average of 0.13, one of the best in the state ... Particularly proud of the clean sheet against Masco ... Captained the Generals to the CAL title ... Spearheaded a penalty kick win over Gloucester in the D2 North tourney.

KYLIE PLAZA

Danvers Junior

Midfielder

Northeastern Conference Small MVP adapted to a defensive mid role with poise and guile ... Versatile, skilled player helped the Falcons dictate the pace on their way to the NEC Small title ... Two-time Danvers team MVP is also a two-time EMass all-star ... Accurate boot led to six goals ... Added eight assists for 14 points ... Verbally committed to Division 1 Rhode Island for the fall of 2014.

PAIGE PRATT

Masconomet Junior

Defense

Sweeper earned All-Cape Ann League honors ... Eastern Mass. all-star helped the Chieftains record five shutouts and hold opponents under two goals in 12 of their 17 games ... Athletic defender made one of the highlight plays of the season when she stopped a shot at the goal line ... Chipped in a goal and an assist at the offensive end ... Hopes to continue playing in college in 2014.

ALANA VECCHIARELLO

Hamilton-Wenham Senior

Striker

Cape Ann League Most Valuable Player scored a league-high 19 regular season goals ... Scored once as H-W reached the D2 North semis for 20 total goals and 25 points ... All-Cape Ann League and EMass all-star is also a repeat Salem News all-star ... Captained the Generals to the CAL Div. 1 championship ... Speedster scored four times against Masco including a bicycle kick ... Plans to play college soccer.

DELANEY ZECHA

Danvers Junior

Midfielder

The Falcons’ leading scorer with nine goals and nine assists for 18 points ... Dangerous wing player drew plenty of attention from opposing defenses ... Northeastern Conference all-star helped the Falcons win the Small division title ... Assisted the winning goal in title clinching win over Marblehead ... Three-year starter is also a varsity basketball contributor.

HONORABLE MENTION

Beverly: Casey Cook, Jr., GK/Mid; Diandra Crowley, Jr., D; Becca Kemmer, Sr., D.

Bishop Fenwick: Rose Fantozzi, Sr., F; Gina Vellucci, Sr., D.

Danvers: Leah Ciampa, Jr. GK; Chrissy Gikas, Sr., F; Meghan Kenny, Sr., Mid; Erin Loehner, Jr., D; Emily Murphy, So., D; Renee Pohle, Sr., D.

Hamilton-Wenham: Sam Charette, Jr., D; Caroyln Cook, Jr., D; Suzanne Rose, Jr., Mid.

Ipswich: Emily Brengle, Jr., D; Maddie Howe, Sr., D; Katie Monahan, Jr. Mid.

Marblehead: Mia Bongiorno, So., F; Cassie Rodgers, Sr., GK; Rebecca Unterborn, Sr., D.

Masconomet: Leah Connerty, Sr., Mid; Lexi Sheehan, Sr., F.

North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie: Julie DeGenoca, Sr., D; Keely Gallagher, So., GK; Kourtney Kellard, Sr., Mid.

Peabody: Bianca Muscato, Sr., D; Madison Doherty, Jr., Mid; Caitlin Lodi, Jr., GK.

Pingree: Jackie Maren, Sr., D; Katlyn Oliver, Sr., D; Kerri Zerfoss, Fr., Mid.

Salem: Brenna Burke, Sr., D; Deema Hijleh, So., F; Kayla Howland, Sr., Mid; Katherine Towey, So., D

Swampscott: Leah Dawley, Jr., Mid; Tess Gorman, Sr., D; Meghan Hartmann, Fr., F; Sam Rizzo, So., GK; Melinda Wilson, Sr., Mid.