Saugus girls’ soccer explodes on offense
Saugus won its last couple of matches by a combined 12-1 score. The team beat Malden Catholic, 5-1, thanks to four goals by Madison Botta.
About 40 seconds in, Natalie Justice took a free kick, and Madi Femino finished for the goal. Tori Carter had a handful of saves. Femino and Shay Sewell set up Botta for another goal about 10 minutes later. And only 15 seconds later, Veronica Ortega got the ball to Botta for her second goal. Ortega found Botta again for the hat trick. Femino passed to Botta for her fourth and final goal of the night.
Shay Sewell helped dominate the midfield by finding her teammates’ feet and keeping the flow going. She and Ortega were quite the pair in the middle. Each of them found the connections with Shawn Sewell to the attack going forward. Layla Manderson, Violet Hawley, Danica Scena and Natalie Justice worked well in the back. Hawley and Manderson came in clutch several times, defending the through balls and halting Malden Catholic’s speedy strikers.
Saugus also shut out Salem, 7-0: Femino (three), Botta (two), Shay Sewell and Shawn Sewell had goals.
Saugus volleyball team wins four of first five matches
Saugus won the final two matches for a 3-1 win over Northeastern Conference rival Beverly. “It was a phenomenal game,” Saugus coach Mikayla Niles said. “We had every girl [contributing] tremendously on the court and off the court … They weren’t games where we blew them out either. They were all very close matches. I’m very proud of the way the girls played against Beverly, and if they continue to play like that as the season progresses, I can totally see us heading to the tournament this year.”
Saugus also traveled to Everett and picked up another 3-1 victory, winning the first two matches and the fourth. Niles liked the way the team played in that match as well. “It was a little bit of up and down, and the energy was just kind of going down but overall, they stayed in there and they battled and they pushed through that,” Niles said. “And I’m very proud of … the way they played.”
Captain Ana Silva has been phenomenal – hitting all her spots, digging every ball that comes her way and not letting anything drop or get by her. Captain Ava Rogers has been serving great, hitting all the spots the coach wants her to serve to and giving the team huge runs/leads when she’s serving. Nina Penachio has been very vocal with picking the girls up and having a great attitude on the court on top of making some good kills and saves on Saugus’ end of the playing court. Captain Ashleigh Moore has been all around playing well. “Her IQ with volleyball and the way she plays just amazes me,” Niles said.
Jess Valley has been a great asset for the Sachems in the back row, between serving and her passes to setter Aly Mabee and Saugus middle hitters Gia Saunders and Peyton DiBiasio – they have both been playing excellently in the front row between blocking and getting kills.
Saugus continued to play in the clutch with a 3-2 win over Northeast Metro Tech. “It was a very well hard-fought game,” Niles said. “The beginning of the game definitely had me a little bit worried between the serving and hitting our spot. We did look a little bit out of sorts and all over the place coming off. … But they ended up pulling through really well, battling and taking it to five sets and winning in the fifth set. I was very proud with the way they all played and how they took initiative and really stepped up in the roles I needed them to step up. … We’re hoping to keep the ball. … I’m pretty sure we broke our record for the amount of wins we had last year. I’m very proud of the girls and how far they’ve come from last year to this year and like I always say, I’m very excited to see how the rest of the season goes.”
Saugus runners working hard at Northeast Metro Tech
Northeast Metro Tech, which includes Saugus runners, had its first cross-country races recently at Breakheart Reservation in Saugus. The boys’ team ran a 3.1-mile race and lost to Lowell Catholic, 20-35. The girls’ team ran against just one runner from Lowell Catholic and won.
Annabella Tum of Saugus ran the girls’ race, and she finished seventh overall in 21:24. Kason Imbrogna of Saugus High finished 19th overall in a time of 27:41.
Amanda Oliveira is a freshman from Saugus. She was the first Northeast runner to cross the finish line in the 2-mile girls’ race. She finished second overall. She missed first place by just under two seconds. Her time was 17:33 seconds. “She will definitely be a runner to watch this season,” Northeast coach Justin Fitzgerald said. “This is her first time running in a cross-country race.”
Saugus sisters Bodour Belayachi and Farah Belayachi are also competing. The Belayachis are a senior and sophomore who are competing in cross-country for the first time this year. “Both sisters did an excellent job and they are excellent additions to our team,” Fitzgerald said.
Saugus senior Gino Chiaravalloti finished in 11th place overall in a time of 23:46 seconds. The first Northeast runner in the boys’ race to cross the finish line was Chris Sullivan, a sophomore from Woburn in a time of 20:45. He was in third place overall.
Fitzgerald is in his fifth-year coaching for Northeast Metro Tech. When he started coaching here five years ago, there were only 15 runners between the boys’ and girls’ teams. The next year, the season was canceled because of the pandemic. His third year working with the team, the team started fresh with under 20 runners total. Last year, the team grew to 27 athletes, but it never had enough girls running to score at a meet.
This year, Northeast has 45 athletes registered, and 20 of them are on the girls’ team. We finally have enough students on both teams to compete, and he is really excited for the future of this program.
“I love working with these student athletes, and I know that they will all continue to get faster and faster as the season progresses,” Fitzgerald said. “Winning is always a goal, but my ultimate objective for this season is to have every athlete show improvement week after week. I want them to be healthy and happy, and I hope that all of these runners continue to run for the rest of their lives. If they keep showing up, listening and working hard, the wins will come. I am proud of their efforts and I am confident that they will find success this season. I am looking forward to athletes achieving personal bests regardless of where they place in competition. As a team we will celebrate all accomplishments, from the first runner across the line, to the last.”
Saugus field hockey falls to Swampscott
Swampscott beat Saugus, 5-0, in field hockey. Saugus senior captain Jessica Bremberg had a great game. She kept the pressure on Swampscott – trying to keep Saugus in the game. Angelina Dow played both midfield and defense. She did a great job keeping the senior athletes in check. She is an eighth-grader.
Saugus boys’ soccer team topped by Masconomet
Saugus dropped a match to Masconomet, 4-2. They went up 2-0 when Nick Oliveira put one over the keeper, who came out too far.
“It was beautiful,” Saugus coach Guillermo Sepulveda said. Alejandro Ortega put one in on a free kick for Saugus. “We haven’t scored on them as long as I’ve been here,” the Saugus coach said.
Saugus golf drops a couple
Saugus lost to Marblehead, 64.5-7.5, and Winthrop, 49-23. Dom Chianca tied his match against Winthrop, 4.5-4.5. Drew Ferreira won, 7-2. Eighth-grader John O’Donnell won his match, 5-4.