EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 10, 2012

Farrell much more than just a talented soccer player

High School Soccer Christopher Smith
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Matt Farrell, who has 11 goals and three assists while leading Pentucket boys soccer to a 8-1-2 record so far, is much more than just a superb athlete.

The senior also is in the percussion ensemble at Pentucket Regional and plays the drums, bongos and toms.

And he is taking four AP classes (calculus, statistics, physics and German). To improve his German, which he has been taking since seventh grade, he spent two and a half weeks in Germany and a week in Austria last summer on an exchange program.

“It was my first time leaving the United States and it (was awesome) getting a feel for what other nations are like culture-wise and seeing how other people live,” Farrell said.

On the soccer field, Farrell has been the Sachems’ top goal scorer, working hard to replace the production of Colin Macdonald, who last year pumped in 17 goals and added 10 assists.

Farrell, who struggled with an infected blister on his heel last year, already has surpassed goal total and matched his assist total from his junior year.

“It was a big step up for me having our big goal scorer graduate and (knowing) somebody definitely needs to fill that spot,” Farrell said. “It wasn’t really a big trouble for me. Last year, I was doing good and then I got an injury and that really set me back a little bit. But I knew I had it in me.”

Farrell scored the game’s lone goal in an impressive 1-0 win over North Andover. He netted a hat trick against Triton and scored two goals against Ipswich in a 6-0 rout.

Pentucket dominance

Pentucket has recorded seven shutouts in 11 games, outscoring their opponents 26-5.

“I think (midfield) Zack Chapman has stepped it up really well,” Farrell said. “He’s leading our team in assists and he should have a lot more if I hadn’t missed opportunities. Our defensive line is doing amazing. Ben Craig is the big leader back there. And our sophomore goalie Cody (Sedler) has just been phenomenal. Such a young player and he’s acting like a big guy out there.”

Unstoppable Brooks

Brooks girls soccer heads into its big match today against Phillips with an 8-0 record. Brooks has outscored its opponents 33-4.

Does this team have any weakness?

“There really isn’t a weakness at all,” said senior forward Sarah Bresette of Andover. “We have a senior goalie (Amelia Hulshult of Salem) so it starts with her. We have a really, really solid back line, an amazing midfield. ... Anyone who we put on the field on this team is pretty much going to take care of what we need to get down.

“There’s 20 girls on the team. And every single one of them deserves to be there. So it’s really good to have the confidence to put anyone on the field.”

Second-year head coach Jaime Gilbert, a graduate of Brooks who starred at North Carolina, has played a big role in the team’s success.

“She’s an amazing coach and she’s like one of my best friends, too,” Bresette said. “And it’s really cool because I am a forward and she was a forward so she can relate and teach me and coach me more than pretty much any coach who I’ve ever had. She recruited so many good girls this year to be a better part of our team.”

Bresette’s decision

Bresette is having another very strong season with 12 goals and eight assists in eight games.

She has committed to play at Bucknell.

“It kind of came down to four of five schools and I think it was late June I went to the Bucknell camp and I was just keeping my options open for soccer but I ended up loving the campus and loving the coach,” Bresette said. “I meet some of the girls on the team and it all kind of fell perfectly into place. I’m getting a good scholarship package. Everything worked out and I’m just super excited to go.”

10-0 Central

The Central Catholic girls posted another big win Friday, beating North Andover 1-0 on the road. Alli Wiggins scored the lone goal and Raiders goaltender Lauren Flynn made four saves.

Central is 10-0 and has outscored its opponents 39-5.

Quimby’s streak

Whittier boys soccer has won five straight games after starting out the season 0-4-1.

During the Wildcats’ five-game winning streak, Steven Quimby has scored 12 goals, including a stretch of three straight games with hat tricks.

Quimby scored the lone goal in Whittier’s 1-0 victory over Lawrence on Monday.

Boys Fab 5

1. Londonderry 11-1

2. Phillips 5-0-2

3. Pentucket 8-1-2

4. North Andover 8-1-1

5. Timberlane 7-3-3

Honorable mention: Windham 11-2, Andover 5-2-3, Pinkerton 8-4

Girls Fab 5

1. Central 10-0

2. Brooks 8-0

3. Londonderry 11-2

4. Andover 7-1-3

5. North Andover 7-3-1

Honorable mention: Pinkerton 9-2-1, Haverhill 6-4-2