A Golden Season: Revere Girls Lead Northeast to Conference Championship

All Al Generazzo has done in 28 seasons as the head softball coach at Northeast Regional is turn out fundamentally sound softball teams that contend for the conference title and qualify for the State Tournament – virtually every year.

The 2014 season brought more splendor for Generazzo’s program as the Lady Golden Knights ascended to the top of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Small standings and claimed the championship for the second year in a row. The Knights were 7-1 in the CAC, 11-9 overall, rallying from an 0-4 start.

Revere players Melissa Fabiano, Jackie Brown, Alexa Crane, Sam Wells, and Amanda Carlisle helped propel the Knights to the title with their consistent play, solid teamwork and exceptional leadership.

Fabiano, a junior, completed her third year as starting right fielder for the Knights. Fabiano was one of the team’s best clutch hitters and hit close to .300.

“Melissa was very steady and had a number of big base hits at pivotal points in games,” said Generazzo.

Brown, a senior captain, provided strong defense in left field. She had one of her best games in the State Tournament, collecting three hits in a loss to Whittier

“Jackie was a very good leader and a nice player to have in our program,” said Generazzo. “We’ll miss her fine leadership and consistent contributions.”

Crane, a sophomore, emerged as the best catcher in the conference, receiving CAC All-Star recognition. Generazzo said opposing coaches would often comment on Crane’s dynamic set of defensive skills.

“Alexa has a cannon for an arm and really helped us a lot with her superb defense,” said Generazzo.

Crane was also a force on offense in the cleanup spot, batting .400 and hitting three home runs. “In all my years of coaching, Alexa Crane is the best catcher that we’ve had in the program,” said Generazzo.

Wells, a sophomore, displayed her versatility by playing third base and shortstop in the course of the season. “Sam really solidified our infield defense,” said Generazzo. “We expect big things from her next season.”

Carlisle excelled as a pitcher and first baseman. The Knights’ sophomore leadoff hitter batted. .400 and stole a team-high 22 stolen bases.

Carlisle alternated on the mound with senior Haley Hughes, a four-time CAC All-Star. With the graduation of Hughes, the Knights will look to Carlisle to become the ace of the staff.

“I’m very pleased with the performance of our team – it was an excellent season,” said Generazzo. “The girls really worked hard in practice. I’m happy that they can look back at this season as a championship team.”

Generazzo also praised the leadership of Northeast Regional director of athletics Don Heres of Revere.

“Don does a great job with our athletic program,” said Generazzo. “Anything that our teams needs, he’s right there for us. He also attends our games. The team really appreciated his support.”

Generazzo, a teacher in the Chelsea school system and son of former Chelsea High football great, the late Al Generazzo Sr., said he will return to Northeast for his 29th season in 2015.

World Cup Soccer holds many surprises for fans

This past week the World Cup was packed with last minute winners, Cinderella stories, and nerve wrecking penalty kicks which would define the round of 16. But now it is all about getting into the quarterfinals . There were only a few teams that had already secured a spot in the next round, but for the rest of the teams it was all about winning and a little bit of luck.

In these last games of the group stage there were five of them that the result would have a huge impact on the team’s future in the World Cup. These results would decide whether these teams would end up in first place or second place or even not being in the round of 16.  Last Thursday, the thriller between the U.S. and Germany was the second most watched World Cup game after the Portugal and U.S. game which pulled a record 18.22 million viewers, the highest ever for a World Cup match on ESPN. This match would sadly end up with a loss for the mighty Americans. Even though this was the only loss in the World Cup for them, there was still a chance that they would make the round of 16. Thanks to the injured world soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, scored a goal against Ghana and gave the U.S. the qualification into the round of 16. The U.S. might have lost that day, but they did beat the odds stacked up against them to pass to the next round. The U.S. did not only accomplish the impossible , but they also played in an attractive style in which they showed they can compete with the biggest soccer countries. Some people might call it a bandwagon, but U.S. men’s national soccer team has become the new obsession and their fans will definitely be there to support the U.S. until the end.

Also for the first time since the tournament began, the World Cup took a day off with no soccer, last Friday with the Round of 16 that started Saturday.

Costa Rica may be the biggest surprise of the tournament. Los Ticos were an afterthought in a group containing Italy, Uruguay and England, yet they won Group D, securing seven points in the process, and they did it with defense more than anything, as they allowed only one goal while scoring only four.The Greeks managed to advance from group play even though they scored only two goals in three matches. In fact, Greece was the only team with a negative goal differential in group play to move on. The clash between Costa Rica and Greece ended with penalties and Los Ticos keep on living the dream. The same went for the Brazilians as they went to nerve wrecking penalties as they were close to getting eliminated by Chile, but thanks to the Chilean soccer player Jara missed the last penalty, and the Brazilians were through to the quarterfinals.

Germany might be easily seen as one of the more impressive squads through the first two weeks of a World Cup. The Germans won Group G thanks to a 1-0 victory against the United States, one of Germany’s two shutouts.

The match that is the most important to Americans than any other is the Belgium and U.S. game. Many had high expectations for Belgium, and although it won Group H handily, the Belgians didn’t look very dangerous with the ball while taking advantage a pretty weak group. And the U.S. is hoping to mark a statement in U.S. soccer history by beating this talented Belgian side. It thrilled us with its win over Ghana, broke our hearts with the draw against Portugal, and underwhelmed us in a loss to Germany. But now it is time to put that all behind and make U.S. history.

As of press time the U.S. vs. Belgium score was 0-0.

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