THE NRHS boys’ soccer team battles with a strong Pentucket squad in a season-opening tie on Sept. 8 at the Arthur J. Kenney Field. (NRHS Athletics Photo)
By DAN NUNN
NORTH READING — Junior forward Josh Stanieich scored in the 78th minute to salvage a 2-2 draw for the Hornets against Pentucket on September 8. Junior Brady Miller scored the other goal for North Reading.
Pentucket scored six minutes into the game when senior goalkeeper Sebastian Gonzales was beaten to a through ball and the Sachems tapped home the early goal.
The Hornets fought right back four minutes later. Stanieich took a free kick from 40 yards out and found fellow junior Brady Miller behind the Pentucket defense where Miller headed the ball past the keeper. The score would remain 1-1 into halftime despite some NRHS shots that hit or just missed the post.
The Sachems regained the lead in the 65th minute when they were first to the ball on a scramble in front of the NR goal.
But once again, the Hornets showed great resilience and took control of the last 15 minutes. The ball never left the Pentucket end of the field and finally with a little under two minutes remaining, North Reading struck.
Senior Alex Carpenter won a ball deep in the right-wing corner and played a short pass to Kiernan Schulz who found Stanieich wide open at the far post. Stanieich took down the aerial pass with a single touch and buried a powerful half volley from 10 yards out.
Edged by Pioneers
The Hornets hosted arch rival Lynnfield on Friday night and were bested 2-1 by the Pioneers. Josh Stanieich scored his second goal of the season.
North Reading got off to a sluggish start and Lynnfield took the game to the Hornets. Luckily, a couple of important defensive plays from senior captain Cody Cannalonga and two great saves from Gonzales kept the game scoreless.
Later, 22 minutes into the half, Stanieich took a free kick 25 yards from goal in the middle of the field and found the top right corner to give North Reading the 1-0 lead. That lead would only hold until the 38th minute when a long-range Lynnfield free kick took a crazy deflection and found its way into the net.
The second half saw the Hornets wake up a bit. Freshmen Matt Fleury and Max Gulino were dangerous, but the only goal of the half went to Lynnfield in the 65th minute.
The Hornets (0-1-1) hosted Amesbury on Wednesday after press time. They travel to Ipswich on Monday at 4:30 p.m.