Fall Sports 2012

Posted: November 14, 2012 in School, Sports

It was an exciting fall season full of soccer! Neither kid can double-roster anymore so the High School teams are their only fall focus. Both Josh and Jake eagerly anticipated the soccer season and jumped right into double sessions the week before school started. Twice-a-day practices and a few scrimmages got them ready for what would be a heck of a Cape Ann League season!

Jake had a great preseason and was one of a handful of sophomores, most of whom have played together for years on the “Black Hornets” youth league team, to be placed on the Varsity roster. That meant that, for the first time in years, he and Josh would be playing together on the same team for Josh’s senior year. John and Shawn were thrilled to have only one set of games to go to – but mostly to see Intorcios at both ends of the field. Better still, because of a Triple-E scare in northeastern Massachusetts, several of the team’s “away” games were played at home reducing travel.

Things got off to a snappy start when Jake found an early gap and scored the Hornets’ first goal of the season in their 3-1 opening win against Bishop Fenwick (Slideshow). We were ALL pretty thrilled for him – not a bad debut!

The hornets would be competitive but drop their next two home games to Newburyport 1-2 (Slideshow) and Pentucket 0-1 (Slideshow) before taking on the league powerhouse, Masconomet (Slideshow), under North Reading’s Kenney Field lights. The two highly physical teams battled for a full eighty minutes of scoreless soccer under the setting sun. It was the first time in six years that North Reading had not lost to the Chieftains. Josh had fourteen saves to help keep the Hornets in it.

After the Masco game, Josh was named “Hornet of the Week” by the local newspaper!

The green team would travel to Hamilton-Wenham for a 2-2 tie (John was in Alabama so no pictures from this one), and then lost a home heart breaker to Triton 2-3 (Slideshow).

The Hornets stung Manchester-Essex 3-1 (Slideshow) on the away turf before, despite dominating the second half and putting 14 shots on the home-field goal, loosing 2-1 to a well-matched Rockport (Slideshow).

North Reading shut out Amesbury 3-0 (Slideshow) in the North Reading fog, and then hosted Georgetown (Slideshow) for a scoreless tie.

For the first time in recent years, the swarm defeated neighboring rival Lynnfield 1-0 (Slideshow) away and then came back from a three goal halftime deficit to play Ipswich (Slideshow) to a 3-3 tie at home.

Second rounds against Newburyport (Slideshow), a hard-fought back and forth battle on the home field, and at Pentucket (Slideshow), a scoreless tie until three minutes remained and the defense flinched, both resulted in frustrating 0-1 losses.

Senior Day was celebrated with a 1-0 win in the rematch with Hamilton-Wenham (Slideshow). Ceremonies were held on the North Reading turf during which each of the eleven seniors was honored and their parents thanked for their support.

Following the Hamilton-Wenham game, Josh got a very flattering write-up in the local newspaper.

The Hornets traveled to Triton (Slideshow) for a late night game and a 3-1 win that clenched their entry into the MIAA Division 3 North tournament.

In their final regular season match, the NRHS team beat their buddies at Austin Prep 3-1 (Slideshow) on Cancer Awareness Day with the Cougars in pink. The Austin Prep team included a number of players from North Reading and several former youth league teammates.

Perhaps in celebration of the Hornet’s victory, at the end of this game, there was a pretty awesome show in the Reading sky with a very distinct parhelic circle and arcs

The regular season ended with a Masconomet re-match that took place in the wind and rain preceding hurricane Sandy. Appropriately, it was the Hornet’s only blow out as they lost 0-4 in the tsunami conditions. (The camera stayed dry in the car for this one.)

As the MIAA tournament approached, most of the team donned Mohawk haircuts as a sign of solidarity. We flashed back to some of Joshua’s early days in goal.

In the preliminary tournament round, the Hornets had home field advantage. On a damp Friday afternoon to the thrill of the home town crowd, they crushed the Mystic Valley Charter School Eagles 6-1 (Slideshow).

The next tournament round was the following Sunday night: a rematch at Rockport (Slideshow) with a huge crowd looking on. The offense threatened early, the defensive back line held strong, and Josh made several early saves that kept the Hornets even through halftime and then again through the first half of the second period. The Gloucester Times said “Were it not for the impressive play of Intorcio, the Vikings may have run away with last night’s game, out-shooting North Reading, 18-12.” Despite some great play and intense effort by the whole team, the game ended 0-1 in favor of the other guys and the season was suddenly done.

Overall, the 2012 North Reading Hornets finished at 9-7-4. Of the seven losses, six were by a one goal margin. Josh and the defense averaged a petty 1.2 goals against. Jake logged two goals and three assists in his varsity debut season, setting the stage for what we hope will be an exciting couple of years to come.

At the fall sports awards night (Slideshow), Jake picked up his varsity letter and Josh was called to the podium three times: he was honored with his varsity letter; presented with a plaque commemorating his selection to the Cape Ann “All-League” team (the top 16 players in the league); and, accompanied by a very flattering speech from his coach, awarded the “Unsung Hero” title for the year.

The final official event of the season was the annual Soccer Banquet held the following night at The Hillview Country Club (Slideshow). As usual, the Coach gave a review of the season and had great things to say about each of the teams and, in particular, the Seniors. Coach credited Josh with “saving the team’s bacon” several times.

It was a great year all around!  All of us had a blast in our own ways!

Comments
  1. john giuli says:

    fantastic playing and the cameraperson deserves an award also!

  2. coco says:

    Great pictures, John, I can see why you and Shawn are WICKED proud.

  3. Charlie Kron says:

    You should be WHICKED AWESOME proud! Great pics of two great young men! Way to go parents!

  4. Lori McGrath says:

    John — A season to remember, indeed. Great photos. Congrats to Josh and Jake….and now let’s repeat the success in wrestling! Lori McG

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