Sports 11-02-2011

Volleyball team clinches tourney berth

The Revere High volleyball team clinched a berth in the MIAA post season state tournament with a dramatic win Friday against Saugus on an evening made all the more memorable because it was Senior Night.

The Lady Patriots stood at 9-8 entering the match, after having split two matches earlier in the week, and needed another victory to be assured of a .500 record, the magic number needed qualify for the tourney.

After a battle that lasted for more than two hours, the Revere girls emerged victorious after five grueling games. “We played extremely well and fought hard for our 10th win Friday night against Saugus,” said RHS head coach Kim Hudd. “I was our Senior Night, so it was an exciting night for everyone.”

Hudd in particular cited the outstanding performances of senior Angelmarie Gonzalez, who led the team in digs in the back row and service points; senior Cristina DiFabio, who paced the Lady Patriot offensive  attack in the kills department; sophomore Natalie Colon-Martins, who led the team in blocks at the net; and senior Rebecca Colon-Martins, who was the leader in assists on the night.

The Lady Patriots dropped an encounter to North Reading Monday and were set to finish the regular season yesterday (Tuesday) against Winchester.

Hudd and her crew then will await the announcement of their seeding and pairing in the tourney.

Boys soccer team wins three straight to reach state tourney; Ghulam (six goals), Kenawy (seven goals) lift Pats

The Revere High soccer team had a mission when they undertook the last part of their season’s schedule last week: With a 4-6-4 record entering the week and four games left to play, they knew they needed to earn six points in order to qualify for the post season state tournament.

If you want to be spared the details, here is the short hand version of how things  went for Coach Nik Tower and his Patriots this past week:

Three games.

Three wins.

Mission accomplished.

Monday saw the Patriots easily handle Winthrop by a 7-0 margin. The duo of captain Quais Ghulam (four goals, three assist) and freshman Mohamed Kenawy (three goals, three assists) provided the offensive firepower to draw the Pats within four points of punching their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.

Two days later, the Revere boys trekked to Swampscott to take on a Big Blue team with whom the Pats had battled to a tie in their first meeting earlier in the season. Kenawy gave Revere an early 1-0 lead, assisted by junior Chris Santos, but a penalty kick (PK) provided Swampscott with the equalizer before the half ended.

However, freshman Abel Alcantar found the back of the Swampscott net with less than 10 minutes to play to give Revere a 2-1 advantage that held up to the final whistle, thanks to the Revere defense and the stellar goal keeping of Tarik Maddrey.

With two-thirds of their mission now accomplished, the Pats hosted Saugus Friday night. Kenawy jump-started the Revere tourney push with a goal, which soon was matched by Saugus. However, fate shone brightly on the Revere side of the field that evening when the ref handed a red card to a Saugus player for a hand ball in the box. Not only did the Patriots get a PK, which Ghulam buried into the back of the Saugus net, but Saugus was left to play a man down the rest of the way.

Once again the Q&M show took over, with Quais ending up with two goals and three assists and Mohamed tallying a hat trick and two assists. Senior Walid Halty also notched a marker to account for the 6-1 finale.

“We knew what we had to do and the team really responded,” said Tower. “We knew that the game with Swampscott would be a tough one, but everybody stepped up and did a great job. Quais and Mohamed scored the goals, but it truly was a total team effort.”

The Pats were set to conclude their regular season Monday against Everett and then will await word of the first round tourney matchup later this week with Saturday looming likely for the tourney opener.

Football team drops a 34-6 decision to a strong North Andover squad

The Revere High football team expected that No. Andover would be a strong opponent, and indeed there were no surprises for the Patriots, who came out on the short end of a 34-6 decision Friday evening under the lights at Harry Della Russo Stadium.

“No. Andover is a very powerful and methodical team,” said RHS head coach Lou Cicatelli of the visitors from the north, who are the odds on favorite to win the Cape Ann League/Northeastern Conference Division 1 title. “They had been very formidable with the passing game against their opponents this season, so we took that away from them. But they’re a solid, all around team, so they turned to their running game.”

However, the Patriots’ ability to stop the No. Andover running attack faced a huge setback right from the outset of the contest when Revere’s captain and middle linebacker, Rob Sasso, the team’s leading tackler this season, was forced to the sidelines on the second play of the  gamey with a shoulder injury.

The extent of Sasso’s injury, whether a strain or separation, was to be determined this week.

“That was a tough break for us,” said Cicatelli, who saw some of his other Patriots get banged up in the tilt. “Rob is the heart of our defense and we had to use less experienced players.”

No. Andover went on a six minute scoring drive on that first possession to set the tone for the game. Three more forays into the end zone in the half gave No. Andover a 28-0 advantage at the intermission.

The Patriots appeared to be on the way to shifting the momentum in the second period when, trailing 14-0,  they engineered a 60 yard drive that appeared to have reached paydirt when quarterback Joe Ritchie hit Kyle Gotham on a nice slant play for an apparent 29 yard TD pass that would have sliced the No. Andover lead in half .

But Lady Luck, who has been on the Pats’ side in most of their games this season, was squarely on the other side of the scrimmage line Friday night. A holding call by a ref nullified the TD pass and Revere’s chance to get into the game went by the boards.

“That was a big turning point because we had put together a nice drive,” noted Ciccarelli. “If we had been able to score, it would have been a different ballgame at that point, but coming away empty handed, it had the opposite effect.”

The Pats finally got on the scoreboard in the final period on a quick toss from Ritchie to captain Drew Lauria, who went in from five yards out.

“No. Andover is the best team we’ve seen this season,” added Ciccarelli. “They are very well coached and do not make many mistakes.”

The Patriots, who now stand at 5-3 on the year (1-2 in the CAL/NEC D-1), will face another division opponent, Lynn Classical, Friday evening at the Manning Bowl in Lynn. Kick off time is 7:00.

Boys cross country wins NEC South title

The Revere High boys cross country team ran past Salem, 15-49, last week to clinch an undisputed championship of the South Division of the Northeastern Conference for a second straight year.

“This is a great accomplishment for this team,” said RHS head coach Mike Flynn. “They worked hard to repeat as champions and they are very deserving of it. They are a special group of boys who always will be able to point to their championship banner in the school gym.”

The Patriots were led by their ace, captain Mike Fitzpatrick, who breezed to victory in a time of 17:08. He was followed by five teammates who took the next five spots: Karim Sahila in 17:35, Rawlings Toglan in 17:44, Kristi Nushi in 17:50, captain Brian Collins in 18:11, and John Dellorusso in 18:13.

Other Patriots who completed the race were Mohamed Bensadok in eighth place with a strong time of 18:51; Derek Fortuna in ninth in 19:09, John Carnabucci with a personal record (PR) time of 20:25; William Truong in 20:37; and Jay Mistri in 21:49.

The win gave the Pats a perfect 5-0 mark in the NEC South and a final record of 5-2 overall.

Fitzpatrick finishes fourth in NEC Meet

Captain Mike Fitzpatrick, Revere High’s star cross country runner, achieved the best performance of his career at Saturday’s Northeastern Conference All League Meet, turning in a sterling fourth place finish in a time of 16:34 over the 5K course at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield.

The next finisher for the Patriots was fellow captain Brian Collins in 19:30, followed by teammates Rawlings Toglan in 19:41, Kristi Nushi in 20:13, John DelloRusso in 20:28, and Derek Fortuna in 20:43. A number of the Patriots were unable to make the meet because they were attending an AP exam seminar.

“This is an unbelievable accomplishment for Michael,” said RHS head coach Mike Flynn. “He’s worked so hard and improved so much. He’s the most competitive athlete I’ve ever coached. He gets up for, and runs his fastest, at the big meets. I could not be more proud of him.”

Fitzpatrick finished 25th in the NEC Meet last year, so his leap to number four in the conference is immensely impressive. His time was just 44 seconds off the first place finisher, Nick Christensen of Peabody, who was number three in the state last year. In addition, only 11 seconds separated Fitzpatrick from second place and just one second from third. “If the race had been 10 yards longer, Fitzy would have caught the third place runner,” added Flynn.

Fitzpatrick’s next goal will be to finish in the top 10 in the EMass Division 2 meet at Franklin Park in Dorchester in two weeks. A top 10 placement will qualify him for the All-State Meet the week after.

Cross country girls finish up dual meets

The Revere High girls cross country team took the top two places against Salem last Tuesday, but dropped a close 25-31 contest to the visiting Lady Witches.

Lady Patriot Caitlyn Caramello once again blazed the trail for teammates, taking first place in a time of 20:19. Teammate Nikki Nelson was next across the line for second spot in 20:28.

However, the next five runners to finish all wore Salem jerseys. Lady Patriot Haley Mangino took eighth place in  25:02, followed by teammates Jennifer Dandrow in ninth in 25:51,

Alanna Pasco in 11th in 27:00, and Evelyn Bonilla in 12th in 33:07.

“Salem was much stronger than last year and I credit them for having some depth,” said RHS head coach Katie Sinnott of the Lady Witches, who captured the championship of the Northeastern Conference’s South Division with a 5-0 division record.  “Although we did not win, there were still some highlights,” added the coach, noting that Nelson and Bonilla both posted their best race paces of the year and set their own personal records for the home course.

“Nikki raced sub-seven minute miles for the first time in her high school cross country career and looked strong throughout,” said Sinnott. “Evelyn continues to show improvements and took almost a minute off her previous personal best time for the course.”

Although their 2011 dual meet season has concluded, the Lady Patriots will send competitors to the MSTCA Invitational on November 5th and the State Coach’s Invitational on November 12th.

Nelson is top girl in NEC South

Nikki Nelson, who has been improving greatly in recent weeks, finished as the top girl runner in the NEC South Division thanks to her clocking of 22:42 over the 5K course in Saturday’s Northeastern Conference All-League Meet held at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield.

Niki finished 24th overall at the meet, which featured the top seven runners from each of the 12 schools in the Northeastern Conference from both the South and North divisions.

Also competing for the Lady Patriots at the meet were teammates Caitlyn Caramello (24:22), Haley Mangino (27:49), and Jennifer Dandrow (30:45). All four of the Revere girls received all-league accolades for being among the fastest 16 girls in the NEC South.

Peabody’s Catarina Rocha won the girls’ race in 17:54, two minutes ahead of the next competitor.

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