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Rockets Review: Needham Postseasons Underway

Girls soccer wins in OT shoot-out, girls swimming and diving places third at BSC championships.

By Micah Hauben, NHS Director of Athletics

Girls Soccer

After getting the No. 20 seed in the MIAA Division I South Tournament, the Rockets earned a to take on Hingham High School, Nov. 6. After an even first 50 minutes of play that saw the visitors down 1-0, Needham was able to tie the game up 1-1.

The Rockets found the back of the goal again later in the second half to go up 2-1 and seemed to have the game in hand with only seconds to play when a high loose ball in front of Needham's goal was tipped in just past the goalie. As difficult a situation as a young team can face, the girls stepped up and fought through two more scoreless 10 minute overtime periods to move the game into the shoot-out round.  

Senior captain Tory Waldstein stepped up first for the Rockets and calmly netted her shot to go up 1-0. After three and a half rounds, the score stood at 4-3 NHS, when senior captain goalie Megan Lund made a nice stop to set up a potential game-winning kick for Needham.

In an unusual twist, goalie Lund, who has also played forward for the Rockets, discarded her goalie gloves and stepped up to the line to try to win it. Her shot sailed high over the bar, giving Hingham new life, but after composing herself and stepping back into the goal, Lund made a tremendous diving stop to her left to seal the victory for the Rockets.

For their efforts, the girls will now travel to Brockton High School on Monday, Nov. 7 to take on the No. 7 seed at 6:00 p.m.

Boys Soccer

The Division I South No. 4 seed boys soccer team will host King Philip High School at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7 at . If the Rockets win, they will host a DI South Quarterfinal on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at Memorial Field vs. the winner of Silver Lake and Marshfield.

In postseason award news, Junior Mac Steeves was named First Team All-Conference and Co-MVP of the Carey Division, while fellow junior Harry Swartz was also named to the First Team, with Dan Alpert and William Corkery receiving an honorable mention. Steeves was also featured by ESPNBoston.com this past week.

Girls Swimming and Diving

Girls swimming and diving wrapped up the regular season with their third straight BSC Carey Division Title. On Sunday, Nov. 6, the girls traveled to Wellesley College to take part in the 11-team BSC Championship Meet. Here are details of the meet from Head Coach Paul Hession:

"The girls had a successful championship meet finishing in third place overall with a team score of 345 points. There were many outstanding performances. The medley relay team of Sarah DiNatale, Julia Nascimben, Victoria McCormick and Claudia Garber finished a strong fifth place. The Rockets placed three swimmers in the 200 freestyle—Sydney Dixon (10th), Emilie Despres (14th) and Yanni Chen (15th). Katie Santaniello swam a great race in the 200 individual medley, finishing second with a season best time of 2:18.63 McCormick finished a strong eighth place in the IM, Sarah Hooper finished fourth in the 50 freestyle with a personal best time of 25.65 and Garber finished 15th.

"Jessica Murphy and Santaniello finished first and second in the 100 butterfly with season best times of 59.28 and 1:01.14. Hooper and Dixon finished second and sixth in the 100 freestyle, with Dixon swimming a season best time. Despres finished 11th in the 100 freestyle. In the 500 freestyle, McCormick led the way for the Rockets with a fourth-place finish, with DiNatale placing 10th.  

"Needham's 200 freestyle relay of Santaniello, Dixon, Hooper and Murphy swam an amazing race to finish second with a Needham High School record setting time of 1:41.81. DiNatale finished eighth in the 100 backstroke with Chen finishing 16th. Murphy led the way for three Rockets scoring in the 100 breaststroke by winning her second individual race with a time of 1:09.05 followed by Julia Nascimben with a personal best time of 1:14.75 finishing seventh and Sarah Mutter finishing 13th.  

"In the final race of the night, the relay of Santaniello, Dixon, Hooper and Murphy posted another season best time and finished in second again with a time of 3:47.16. In the morning's diving event, Maria Smirnov placed 12th. The Baystate League All Stars to be announced will include Murphy, Santaniello, Hooper, McCormick and Dixon."

Qualifying girls will travel to Harvard on Sunday, Nov. 13 to take part in the MIAA South Sectionals, while the next round of races will be the following Saturday at MIT for the State Championships.  

Cross Country

Both the boys and girls teams advanced to the Sectionals and will compete at Franklin Park in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 12. The All-States Meet will be held on Nov. 19 back at Franklin Park.

Football 

Football dropped a heartbreaker on Friday, Nov. 4 at Framingham 22-21. After controlling much of the game and entering the fourth quarter up 21-7, the Rockets saw the Flyers score a touchdown and add an unconventional 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to 21-15. After Needham drove the length of the field, the visitors went for a field goal with less then 2 minutes to play, only to have the kick blocked. Framingham then drove back down the field, converted a gutsy long fourth down play, to give the home team a chance to pull off the upset.

After getting down to the one-yard line, the Flyers stepped up on third down and found a receiver in the left side of the endzone with 1 second left to play. Tied at 21 after the TD, Framingham sealed the 1-point victory with the extra-point kick.

Only the second league loss for the 19th-ranked Rockets (6-3 Overall, 6-2 BSC), they will need to win their final two games: Friday, Nov. 11 home vs. Newton North (Senior Night) at 7:00 p.m., and Thanksgiving Day at Wellesley (10:00 a.m.) to put themselves in position to advance to postseason.

Cheerleading

After a strong performance in the BSC Championships in Braintree on Tuesday, Nov. 1, the girls qualified for the MSSAA Fall Regional Tournament and will travel to Dartmouth High School on Sunday, Nov. 13 for the event with hopes of advancing on to the State Championships the next week in Shrewsbury.

Field Hockey

Although the season is over, a number of NHS field hockey players took home postseason awards at the all-star meeting. The following information was provided by head coach Katy Brady.

Elizabeth Thornton—First Team All-Star and Carey Division MVP. She was the leading scorer in the BSC with 18 goals and 9 assists for the season.

Caroline Cranna—First Team All-Star. A strong midfield player who ended the season with 5 assists and her first varsity goal in the senior game against Braintree.

Meghan O'Connell—Honorable Mention. Meaghan was recognized for her hard work and leadership on and off the field this season. She is a skilled player who helped develop a young defense.  

Check http://nhs.needham.k12.ma.us/athletics for Rocket Athletic news, updates, forms, links and complete team schedules.

Rockets Review is a weekly update distributed by e-mail by Needham High School Director of Athletics Micah Hauben and republished with permission on Needham Patch. Additional athletics information can be found on the NHS Athletic Department Web site.

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