THE GIRLS’ SOCCER team tied North Reading 1-1 on senior day Oct. 27. From left, Kristen Buzzotta, Maya McPherson, Hannah Scollard, Emily Lucich, Olivia Skelley, Amanda Sieger, Renee DelNegro, senior captain Lexi Yannone, senior captain Abbie Weaver, senior captain Kelly Look, Haley Iapicca, Kelsie Hauser and Meryl Braconnier. (Robyn Yannone Photo)

Published in the November 4, 2015 edition


LYNNFIELD — With the regular season now in the rearview mirror, the girls’ soccer team is gearing up for the Division 3 North state tournament and defending its D-3 North sectional title.

“It’s a whole new season,” said Pioneers head coach Mark Vermont. “The tournament is a different animal. There are a lot of Cape Ann League teams in the tournament and we are in the middle of the pack. It’s going to be another battle for us.”

The Pioneers (9-6-3) tied North Reading 1-1 in the locals’ final regular season game on Oct. 27.

The first half was an evenly played match between the Pioneers and Hornets. The Hornets took a 1-0 lead after scoring off a corner kick five minutes before halftime.

The Pioneers tied the game at one five minutes into the second half after senior Maya McPherson scored her first varsity goal. Senior Olivia Skelley and senior captain Abbie Weaver were both credited with assists.

“It was great for Maya to get that goal,” said Vermont. “She has worked hard this year, which is her second year on the varsity team.”

The Pioneers’ tried their best to score late in the contest but the Hornets dug in defensively and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

“I thought we played much better in the second half,” said Vermont.

Vermont praised senior Kelsie Hauser’s defensive performance against the Hornets.

“Kelsie did a nice job on defense,” said Vermont. “This is her first year on the varsity team and she did a nice job on the outside.”

The Pioneers also honored senior captains Weaver, Lexi Yannone, Kelly Look and fellow seniors Hauser, McPherson, Kristen Buzzotta, Hannah Scollard, Emily Lucich, Skelley, Amanda Sieger, Renee DelNegro, Haley Iapicca and Meryl Braconnier before the game.

Three members of the Pioneers were named CAL All-Stars this fall. Weaver and junior forward Liz Reed were both named CAL First Team All-Stars. Braconnier, a defender, was named a CAL Second Team All-Star.

“They have done a great job for us this year,” said Vermont. “They work hard in practice and are great examples for their teammates.”

The eighth seeded Pioneers host ninth seed Newburyport in the first round of the Division 3 North state tournament on Thursday, Nov. 5, beginning at 4 p.m. The locals lost and tied Newburyport earlier this fall.

The Pioneers began preparing the state tournament by scrimmaging Lexington, Winchester and Danvers.

“We are staying injury free and are getting tuned up for the tournament,” said Vermont.