Danvers v. Swampscott, 9/19/19
Danvers 7 Swampscott 2
The Danvers Girls Varsity Soccer Team had a huge game Thursday night at home vs. league rival, Swampscott, under the lights at Morse Field. Danvers came into the game at 3-1 in the conference, same as Swampscott. Both teams trailed league learder, Beverly by 2 points in the standings. It would take a great effort by the Falcons to beat the young and upcoming Big Blue.
"In our pre-game talk we discussed how a win was crucial for us if we wanted to stay within striking distance of Beverly who is still undefeated. Our plan was to get a goal as early as possible and then hopefully pad that lead quickly."
Danvers did just that. About 4 minutes into the game. After a near miss seconds into the game, junior Riley DiGilio hit a second shot on net that was saved and rebounded to sophomore Arianna Bezanson. She calmly hit a shot into the back of the net giving the Falcons the early lead. Only 2 minutes later, DiGilio beat her defender up the right side of the field and hit a beautiful pass across the box. Sophomore Reese Pszenny made a timely back post run and slammed it home to make the lead 2-0.
"That was a beautiful goal. We talk about making the back post run all the time and Reese did it, and was rewarded for it. Riley came out on fire tonight and was creating all kinds of great chances for her teammates. Those 2 quick goals were exactly what we were looking for. I also felt that outside backs Gabby Chisholm and Abbi Clickstein really set the tone for us by playing super aggressively up on Swampscott's outside flank players. We talked a lot about that and the girls really stepped up and shut that area down"
Swampscott hung in there for a long stretch of time after the second goal, but Danvers continued to put the pressure on. The Danvers defense did not let any players cross midfield and Livvi Anderson and Sam Pelletier were strong at center back.
Danvers got a third goal in the 31st minute of the first half. DiGilio once again was the player with the assist as senior captain Abby Cash scored from a tough angle. The third goal seemed to give the Falcons all kinds of momentum and less than 2 minutes later, Riley DiGilio got a goal of her own from about 25 yards out, assisted by classmate Julia Vaillancourt. 2 minutes before halftime, sophomore defender Gabby Chisholm hit a lazar into the upper corner of the Swampscott net making it 5-0 at half time. Senior keeper Kylie MacCormack didn't have to make any saves in the first half.
"That was by far our best half of the season. We played a complete 40 minutes and finished off our chances well. I thought our defense did a terrific job of limiting Swampscott's space and I was really pleased by how well our midfielders controlled the flow of the game. This was the kind of play we had been hoping to see."
Only 4 minutes into the second half, DiGilio got her 5th point of the game with a nice goal on a combination play by Bezanson and Cash. The 3 players combined with extremely fast 1 touch passing resulting in DiGilio's goal. Swampscott never gave up however and in the 8th minute, junior KK Kearney ran through a Danvers mistake on defense and scored on a break away making it 6-1. 7 minutes later, the Big Blue were awarded a penalty kick for a foul inside the box. Kearney calmly burried her shot to the keeper's right and made the score 6-2. From that point on Danvers continued to dominate possession. Midfielders Vaillancourt, Becca Rocker, Mia Jordan, Julia Ryan and Avery Scharffenberg did well to own the middle of the field and move the ball quickly. Danvers got their 7th and final goal in the 30th minute when Gabby Chisholm crossed a ball in the air from the right side of the field that classmate Reese Pszenny headed home past the Swampscott keeper. It was a textbook cross and header finish. Swampscott's Emerson Laundry added one more goal very late in the game which resulted in a Danvers 7-3 victory. The win put the Falcons record at 4-1.
"This was a great game for the girls. They came to play tonight and looked very sharp out there. Riley and Arianna were amazing tonight. Swampscott seemed to have no answer for their speed and skill. Hopefully we can continue to play at this level going forward. We travel to B. Fenwick on Saturday and I know they'll be extremely tough. I feel like we've turned a corner and now we need to continue to grow and build off of this success."