September 23, 2022
Danvers 2 - Lynnfield 0
The Danvers Varsity Girls Soccer Team hosted their first non-league game Saturday afternoon vs. Lynnfield from the Cape Ann League. Lynnfield and Danvers both came into the match with even records at 3-2-1. The weather was beautiful and sunny but with a very strong wind blowing from one end of the field to the other.
"We have a very good relationship with the Lynnfield Program. We've been scrimmaging them pre-season and prior to the tournament for about the past 15-20 years. Last year we added them as a non-league and I'm glad we were able to do so again this year. Their Coach, Mark Vermont does a terrific job with them and they always compete and play us tough."
The Danvers captains won the coin toss and elected to play with the sun in their eyes and the wind at their backs the first half. The hosts came out extremely flat and the visiting Pioneers kept the ball in the Danvers end for the start of the match. The wind clearly was making things difficult with the Falcons losing possession at least 5 times in the first few minutes and the ball going out of bounds 10 times.
"It was a rough start for us right off the bat. I'm not sure if it was the sun, the wind or just coming out slow, but we struggled to get the ball on our feet. When we did, we were turning the ball over pretty regularly. We wanted to play with the wind at our backs in the first half because we felt the sun was going to be an even worse problem in the second half. The key was that we at least get a lead in the first half with that wind advantage."
About 10 minutes in the Falcons started to adjust and pick up their play. In the 15th minute, freshman Olivia St. Pierre fed a through ball up the middle to a streaking senior captain, Ellie Anderson. Ellie got behind the defense and went 1 v 1 with the Lynnfield goalie. She was able to hit her shot by the keeper and into the net for the 1 goal lead. Danvers started to maintain play for most of the remainder of the half at that point. The wind was strong and it was difficult for Lynnfield to get out of their own end. Freshmen defenders Lily Delafano and Addi McCarty played some big minutes in the back and did a nice job slowing down Lynnfield's speed. Senior captain Mikayla Shaffaval and Anderson also defended very well and the Falcons limited the visitors to only 2 shots in the half. Sophomore Molly Godfried gave the Falcons steady play at both wing forward and in the midfield with her skilled touch and passing.
With 4 minutes remaining in the half, sophomore mid, Georgia Prouty played a square pass to St. Pierre. The freshman hit a bomb from 30 yards out and that tucked in just under the crossbar for the 2-0 lead.
"That was a gorgeous goal from Olivia. She hit that ball perfectly and no goalie would have saved it. That came just at right time too. We needed a cushion going into the wind the second half."
Danvers game out with a slightly more defensive shape entering the second half. It was much more difficult playing against the strong gusts but the Falcons managed to keep the ball on the ground more and connect more passes. Prouty and St. Pierre continued their strong play in the middle and made it very difficult for Lynnfield to generate any dangerous attacks. Senior captain and goalkeeper Emily Goddard made 4 saves in the second half and the Falcons defended 2 corner kicks very well. When the 80th minute had hit, Danvers had their 4th win and shutout of the season, improving to 4-2-1 overall.
"This was an important win for us. We hadn't strung 2 consecutive wins together until today so hopefully that will give us some momentum heading into next week. We subbed a lot today and I think that really help. We have a very deep Team this year an it was great to see some of the younger players make such a positive contribution. Addi McCarty was extremely fast in the back for us today and she played very poised. Lily Delafano matched up well with Lynnfield's quickest attacker and defended her very well. Add in terrific overall play from Liv St. Pierre and our freshmen really put their stamp on this victory."
Danvers will travel to Peabody for both their games next week, at Fenwick Wednesday afternoon, and at Peabody Friday night.