SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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January 16, 2014

Kick Saves: Witwicki, Pingree looking forward to second half

(Continued)

Pingree is 5-6 and hoping to get back on the winning track. They’ve had some tough non-league games and will be getting into the bulk of their Eastern Independent League schedule over the next few weeks. The Highlanders won the EIL playoff championship last year and have been to the final three years in a row.

“The season has been a lot of fun so far,” said Witwicki. “Leah and Katie worked so hard in the offseason and they’ve been great, and Abby has been a huge part of the offense. We’ve put a lot on two rookies on defense and they’ve handled in exceptionally, and we have so much confidence in our young goaltender. She’s keeping us in games. As a captain, that’s what you love to see.”

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It’s never easy to lose a coach in the middle of a season, and Masconomet’s co-op was very fortunate to have Andrew Boepple in the pipeline when Nicole Twomey had to step down for personal reasons last week. Boepple coached the Chieftain girls for two seasons and was an assistant alongside Andrew Jackson with Masco’s boys team, which had been off to a very strong start to 2013-14.

“It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” said Boepple, who guided Masco to the state tournament and a 9-8-4 record two years ago. “It’s going pretty well. I’m still getting to know a lot of the girls that weren’t here when I coached, and they seem to be adjusting well.”

Boepple’s first game back was a 9-1 loss to Beverly that looked worse than it was. The Chieftains had it 1-0 after one, and lost the third period 2-1; the wheels came off a bit in a 6-0 edge for the Panthers in the second.

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