LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield girls soccer team jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back as it topped visiting Rockport, 5-1, at Lynnfield High Thursday.
“Practice was a little rough yesterday, so it was good to shake the cobwebs off and get going,” Lynnfield coach Mark Vermont said. “We’ll take the win and move on.”
Tori Morelli got the Pioneers on the board less than 30 seconds into the game, lofting a shot that fell in behind Rockport goalie Alex Arndt off a pass from Emma Montanile. The goal, Morelli’s first of two on the afternoon, was the sophomore’s first varsity score.
“I don’t think anyone thought it was going to go in, it just kind of dropped in,” Vermont said. “That’s a tough one for the goalie because you think it’s going out. But good things happen when you shoot.”
Lynnfield was able to control possession for the majority of the first half. Vermont said that his goal was to have his team get out wide and create scoring chances from sideline to sideline.
“I wanted the ball out wide, because that’s where our speed is, and they packed the middle really well,” the coach said. “So we tried to get the ball out wide and feed the ball in from there, and that’s what we did, more so in the second half, I thought. That’s where the space was, so use it.”
Kate Mitchell made it a 2-0 advantage for Lynnfield 10 minutes in, as she found the corner of the net with a low shot. It wasn’t until five minutes later that Rockport got its first real scoring opportunity on a corner kick. Lynnfield goalie Mackenzie O’Neill made a nice deflection, tipping the ball out, and Christina Benvenuto cleared it out before any Vikings could make a play on it.
Lynnfield wasn’t done scoring, and Liv Smyrnios found Mia Ford in front of the net on a nice cross to the center, and Ford knocked it in to make it 3-0 Pioneers going into the half.
With the score somewhat lopsided in Lynnfield’s favor, Vermont had the freedom to use his substitutes liberally, though the Pioneers’ second team is strong and capable of doing damage.
“The players that sub in also have good skills, and it definitely helps,” Vermont said.
“It’s good to get everyone working, get them in there and ready for next week, because it’s going to be a tough week,” he added, as Lynnfield will take on Hamilton-Wenham and Newburyport next week.
Vermont also lifted O’Neill for sophomore Amberly McCarter in net.
Rockport got on the board nine minutes into the second half as Rosie McNiff scored. But Lynnfield stayed in control throughout the second half, and added to its lead as Mitchell fed Anna-Maria Ferrante with a nice pass, and the sophomore found the back of the net to make it 4-1.
Morelli added her second of the afternoon on a nice play on a corner kick, tipping the ball through a scrum in front of the net for the 5-1 win.
“It’s her first year on varsity, and we’re trying to just work out the kinks,” Vermont said of Morelli. “She’s a nice player, good skill, that second one on the corner, that’s what we need, to score off the corner.”