Published October 29, 2020

JOSH STANIEICH’s team-high fourth goal of the season was the game-winner during a 1-0 win over Hamilton-Wenham on Oct. 21 (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

NORTH READING — The NRHS boys’ soccer team continued their terrific season with three wins in their last four games to move to 6-1-1 on the season. After starting 3-0-1, the Hornets beat Amesbury at home, 3-0 on Oct. 17; had their first loss of the season to visiting Pentucket 3-0 on Oct. 19 and bounced back for two more shutouts, both on the road, first a 1-0 win over Hamilton-Wenham on Oct. 21 followed by a 4-0 victory over Ipswich on Saturday. North Reading is second in the CAL Kinney Division, just one point back of Newburyport. 

Cruise past Amesbury

The Hornets took a little while get into the flow of the game during an afternoon start at NRHS on Oct. 17. Despite the Hornets enjoying almost 65% of the possession in the first half, the game was scoreless at the half. 

The second half started with NR retaining control of the ball and starting to connect more dangerous passes. In the 45th minute, senior captain Sam McGeachie found sophomore forward Josh Stanieich on the right wing with a clever chip pass. Stanieich beat his defender and took the ball along the end line. He then was able to thread a pass to the far post to an awaiting Alex Carpenter who just needed to tap it home to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead. 

The lead expanded to two when McGeachie tucked a free kick into the right side netting in the 53rd minute. 

The defense did the rest to close this one out. Joey Caviasca, John Tramontozzi, Cody Cannalonga and Nick Pasquale held Amesbury to two total shots on goal which were easily handled by Kieran Gorgenyi for his third clean sheet of the season. 

Fall to Pentucket

Pentucket came out fast at NRHS on Oct. 19, almost scoring in the first minute off a bicycle kick on a loose ball after a corner. Then, senior captain Mark Tramontozzi had a wonderful chance against the run of play when he got onto the end of a loose ball in the Pentucket penalty area. His chipped half-volley required the Pentucket keeper to make a strong diving save to keep the game scoreless. 

Pentucket opened the scoring in the 8th minute and that same forward scored against in the 13th minute for a 2-0 lead. Pentucket picked up a third goal in the second quarter to make it 3-0 at the half. 

Neither team scored in the second half but the Hornets had the better possession and chances. 

“We just didn’t match their intensity at the start of the game,” said head coach Mark Bisognano. “They were fortunate to get a good bounce on the first goal but you have to give them credit. We had chances throughout the match but didn’t finish. They finished well in the first half and it was the difference in this game.”

Shut down Generals 1-0

In just their second road game of the season, the Hornets traveled to Hamilton-Wenham Regional to play the Generals. It was North Reading’s first game on grass. Under wet and slow conditions, NR had trouble with their footing and being able to string together short, quick passes which is their preferred style of play.

Despite being on unfamiliar turf, the Hornets showed up ready to play early. In the 8th minute of the game, Carpenter made a great run down the left wing, beat his defender on the dribble and slid a pass across the face of the goal to Stanieich who tucked in his team leading 4th goal of the year.

The rest of the first quarter was back-and-forth with neither team gaining control of the game. The second quarter was much of the same with Hamilton-Wenham having the two best chances. The first chance was a shot from the left side 15 yards out and it was parried away by Gorgenyi and the second chance was a partial breakaway down the left wing. Gorgenyi came off of his line to pressure and the shooter slid it by Gorgenyi, but without much power and the ball was cleared by Cannalonga four yards short of the goal line.

The third quarter was mainly played in the middle third of the field, but the Hornets were starting to take control of the game. That control carried into the 4th quarter which saw the Hornets have the most of the ball and led to them clinching their fourth clean sheet and their fifth win of the season.

North Reading beat Ipswich 4-0 on Saturday to improve to 6-1-1. A full recap will appear next week. 

The Hornets hosted Manchester-Essex (3-2-1) for Senior Night on Wednesday after press time. Their final game of the regular season is set for Nov. 4 in Georgetown.