THE NRHS girls’ lacrosse team earned an historic state tournament victory, their second in program history, on Saturday with their 14-9 first round win over Cardinal Spellman at NRHS. (Eric Evans Photo)


Published June 8, 2023


NEWBURYPORT — North Reading High girls’ lacrosse head coach Matt Costello knew his squad faced a very tough task on Tuesday afternoon as they visited Newburyport in MIAA Division 3 Round of 16 game.

The Hornets fell to the Clippers both times in the regular season as Newburyport entered the tournament as the top seed in Div. 3.

The Clippers ended up winning on Tuesday, 16-2, to improve to 18-2 as they advanced to the quartefinals.

“They are the best team we have played this year,” admitted Costello. “I think that they are destined to reach the state title game.”

Nine different Clipper players scored in the game as the depth of their talent showed.

Callie MacLellan and Faith Newton had the two Hornet goals as Newburyport led, 15-1, at the half.

Hornet goalie, Kaitlyn Supple, made seven saves to end the year at 9-11, which is what the Hornets overall final record was this spring.

The Clippers made the Div. 3 state quarterfinals last season as most of its team returned this season.

The news was much better for the Hornets on Saturday as they defeated guest Cardinal Spellman, 14-9, in the first round on a damp, unseasonably cold day with temperatures only in the 50’s.

The 17th-seeded Cardinals, a Catholic Central League team out of Brockton, ended the year at 11-9 as North Reading recorded its second-ever playoff win in its 22-year history.

“It was an incredible team performance,” stated Costello. “We showed a lot of unselfishness and everybody did their role.”

Up 7-5 at the half, the Hornets went on a key, 7-1, run early in the second half to take command. The Cardinals scored a couple of goals in the final minute to make the score more respectable against the Hornet reserves.

Shea Tully led the way as she had a career-high four goals while Brianne Slattery had a career-high four assists to go with one goal.

Newton recorded a hat trick while MacLellan and Lindsey Rosenthal both scored twice. Jenna DiNapoli had one goal and one assist while Mia Pittore scored once.

Supple made seven saves in net.

Erin O’Donnell led the guests with four goals while Marina Duffa had three. The two other Spellman goals were scored by Elle Murphy.

Cardinals goalie, Ava Smith, had 13 saves.