The St. Mary’s girls soccer team waited until the final day of its regular season, but was able to clinch a spot in the state tournament with an 8-3 road win over Lowell Catholic Sunday.
The weekend didn’t have a great start for the Spartans. With a chance to clinch on its home field on Senior Day, St. Mary’s dropped a tough 2-1 decision to Pentucket.
Trailing 1-0 after a half, the Spartans tied it on Susannah Cornell’s goal five minutes into the second. But Pentucket took the lead back about 10 minutes later, and the Spartans couldn’t find the equalizer.
Needing one point — a win or tie — to wrap up a tournament spot, St. Mary’s left little to chance Sunday.
“We’d like to do this earlier, but I just think our league schedule is so tough that we could have put this away a long time ago, we just get behind and have trouble scoring,” said Spartans coach Jim Foley. “We solved that problem a little lately, the girls worked hard, listened to coaching, and now it’s nice to see some of the younger girls scoring.”
Just five minutes in, Kayla Demers put the Spartans on top, but Lowell Catholic responded to the tie the game 15 minutes later. Demers gave the Spartans another lead soon after and goals from Cornell and Gaby Diaz Martinez gave St. Mary’s a 4-2 lead at the half. Demers logged a hat trick, Cornell scored once more and Rylee Flannery scored two late goals to push St. Mary’s over the top and secure a playoff spot.
“We got down 3-2, called a timeout, and kind of figured it out from there,” Foley said. “Kayla (who suffered an ACL injury last season) and some players are coming back from injuries, and I think with Kayla, it’s been a little bit of a mental thing, but she’s turned it on at the end of the season and it’s good to see her score some more. She’s getting her groove back.”
St. Mary’s awaits the girls soccer seedings, which come out Wednesday.
Peabody 3 North Andover 2
The Tanners, coming off a tough loss to Danvers, had a challenge ahead of them Saturday against North Andover, a team that had previously shut out the Northeastern Conference champion Falcons. But Peabody (10-3-3) capitalized on opportunities to tag the stingy North Andover defense for three goals.
Emily Nelson scored twice, Sarah Buckley added a goal and Erin Melin had an assist. Catherine Manning played a great game on defense along with Colleen Crotty, Aja Alimonte and Jordyn Collins. Jillian Arigo was excellent in the 50/50 game.
Lynnfield 2, Essex Tech 0
The Pioneers ended their regular season on a high note, with goals from Tori Morelli and Gracie Sperling. Kate Mitchell added an assist.
St. Mary’s 3, Pentucket 0
The Spartans’ historic season continued Saturday as they improved to 17-0. Chris Garcia, Olu George and Joseph Thongsythavong scored. Thongsythavong had an assist and Thiago De Oliveira added two. Richie Mateo made eight saves to log his 11th shutout in net, setting a St. Mary’s record and surpassing Ryan Davis, who had 10.
St. Mary’s will try to end the regular season unbeaten Monday at home against Concord-Carlisle.
Saugus 35, Pentucket 21
The Sachems notched their second victory of the season Saturday afternoon. The Sachems received an outstanding performance from running back Marvens Jean, who scored three touchdowns on 10 carries for a total of 189 rushing yards. Sachems quarterback Mike Mabee threw a pair of touchdown passes, both to receiver James Moise. Saugus kicker Ricardo Martinez-Moretta was 5 for 5 on the PATs.
For Pentucket, Brandon Wilbur caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Gus Flaherty. Nathan McGrail added a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Saugus (2-6) is back in action on Saturday when the Sachems host Amesbury.
Division 6 North Quarterfinal
Hamilton-Wenham 31, Salem 10
The No. 8 Witches held a second-quarter, 10-7 lead, but the Generals scored 24 straight points to seal the win and advance. Aneudy Espinal scored on a 23-yard run for Salem and Rubin Baez kicked a 27-yard field goal. The game was tight, 14-10, heading into the fourth quarter, but Hamilton-Wenham scored two touchdowns and kicked a field goal to pull away.
The Generals will take on Arlington Catholic next weekend.