THE HORNETS run out to the field for their overtime matchup in Hanover in the state quarterfinals. No. 12 North Reading made an incredible run in the D3 tournament, beating No. 21 St. Mary’s and No. 5 Nipmuc before falling just short to No. 4 Hanover 1-0. (@HornetPics Twitter Photo)
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
HANOVER — An outstanding season came to a heartbreaking end for the North Reading High girls’ soccer team on Saturday afternoon as they lost, 1-0, in double overtime at Hanover in the MIAA Division 3 quarterfinal game on a unseasonable warm day.
With the victory, the 12th-seeded Hornets ended the year at 16-4-1. Hanover, meanwhile, improved to 17-3-1 as the 4th seeded Hawks took on Dover-Sherborn in the state semifinal on Wednesday night at Weymouth High (results not available at press time).
Alya McDermod was the hero for the Hawks as she scored with a shot from down the middle that beat goal keeper Maggie Schulz to her left with 8:24 remaining in the double-overtime session setting off a huge celebration.
Hanover goalie, Mia Pongratz, made four saves while Schulz had a great game making 12 stops.
“Maggie played her best game of the season, limiting the through balls and cutting off crosses into the box,” said Hornets head coach Sean Killeen.
Killen felt that two playoff games in three days hurt his squad.
“I would have liked one more day of rest for the girls after such a physically and mentally demanding game on Thursday,” admitted Killeen, as the Hawks had an extra day of rest. “I think an additional day might have helped us a little, but Hanover was a strong team.”
On Nov. 10, the Hornets were on the positive side of a double-overtime win as they beat host Nipmuc, 2-1, in the Round of 16 game out in Upton.
Jenna DiNapoli was the hero for the locals scoring the game-winner 2:57 into the second overtime session assisted by Tiara Lamont.
“Watching the players empty the bench and celebrate the win was a highlight of the season,” pointed out Killeen.
Schulz, who was celebrating her birthday, made 16 stops.
”It made her birthday pretty special,” added Killeen.
The Hornets struck first as Allie Lanciani scored assisted by Maggie Fortin 12:47 in.
Leah Kirby tied the game for the Warriors early in the second half at the 47:26 mark.
Both schools had good chances the rest of the second half and in the first 10-minute overtime session.
Nipmuc, the 5th seed, ended the year at 16-3-1.