By Dom Nicastro
Saugus girls’ soccer team nets major win over Beverly
When you’re competing at a high level, you’re more than likely going to make some history. And the Saugus girls’ soccer team is doing just that. The team has scored huge wins this season, nine, to be exact.
But two stand out – victories over Beverly and Marblehead. Those are teams Saugus girls’ soccer captains Violet Hawley, Madi Femino and Madison Botta had never beaten until this season.
The Sachems beat Beverly last week, 3-1. About 11 minutes into the first half, Shawn Sewell took the ball up the field, blowing past several opponents and finished for her first goal of the night – fourth goal of the season. Beverly answered under two minutes into the second half off a corner. Just under 14 minutes into the second half, Veronica Ortega found Botta’s feet for the Sachems’ second goal. This was Botta’s 15th goal this season. To finish out the scoring with only 2:30 left on the clock, Botta found Shay Sewell for her fourth of the season.
“The grit these girls displayed was unbelievable to ring in their eighth win of the season,” said Saugus assistant coach Brianna Alimonti, who works with Head Coach Chris Coviello. “Their ball movement with each other and the rest of the team is something to watch.”
Layla Manderson, Hawley, Danica Schena and Natalie Justice helped maintain the chemistry and fought the ball out of the back third of the field every time it came knocking. Tori Carter notched a few saves and kept composure when the pressure was on.
“The Lady Sachems are truly marking milestones on this season, and I couldn’t be prouder,” Alimonti said.
Femino said Saugus went into these challenging matches like Beverly and Marblehead knowing it had to come out with “fiery intensity.” “In the Marblehead game we went out, and we scored in the first minute,” Femino said. “… Luckily, in both of those games, like we were able to score first and last. If you go out and you score that first goal, you have the momentum. When you score that third goal, and it’s not 2-1 anymore, you just look at everybody, and you’re like, we just did this, we just beat this team. We just gotta get through the last couple minutes and just grind it out. And we did and in both of those games, it’s just like the relief that leaves your body.”
Hawley said the team has bonded from Day 1. “I love the girls. I love playing with them,” Hawley said. “I’ve been playing with a lot of them pretty much all my life. We have a good group. And I think it’s really fun.”
Botta said the team is gaining more and more confidence going into all its matches. “I think it’s great going into a game knowing that we’re just as good as these teams that we may not have been as good as in the past,” Botta said. “And it’s like, we can compete with them. And I think we caught people by surprise this year about how good we’re doing. And it’s just great to be out there and beating these teams we’ve never beaten before.”
Saugus also picked up an 8-1 win over Gloucester. Botta had a hat trick, and Veronica Ortega, Shawn Sewell, Shay Sewell, Julianna Powers and Taylor Deleidi had goals for the Sachems. Femino had two assists, and Danica Schena, Hawley, Liliana Hernandez and Powers added helpers. Manderson, Hawley, Schena and Justice held strong on the back line, and keeper Carter made quite a few saves.
Saugus boys’ soccer team splits
Saugus split with an 8-1 loss to Beverly and 2-0 win over Lynn Tech. Captain Brian Pineda scored one in the second half and Isaac Cesco scored the second from a perfect pass from Carlos Miranda.