October 13, 2023
Danvers 2 - Masco 2
The Danvers Varsity Girls Soccer Team traveled to Boxford Friday afternoon for a match up of 2 of the top Girls Soccer Teams on the North Shore. The Chieftans took the first round earlier in the season, 4-2 in a very close game. Masco came into this game riding a 38 game, regular season unbeaten streak that the visitors were hoping to end.
"That's an incredible streak. Over 2 seasons of not losing during the 18 game schedule is pretty amazing. We stuck with them the first time around but felt we didn't play our best. Since then, we've grown as a Team and we felt coming into today's game that we might be able to end that streak."
Easier said than done. Only 3 minutes into the contest, a Masco winger broke in behind the Danvers defense and took Falcon goalie, Maddie Dembowski on, 1 v 1. Dembowski made the initial save colliding with the player, but the ball bounced free. Senior captain, Lauren Boughner was there to collect the rebound and place it into the net for the quick, go ahead goal. Danvers didn't panic though, and only 6 minutes later, tied the game up. Senior captain Krysta Zamejtis was taken down by a defender just outside of the 18 yard box resulting in a Danvers direct kick. Sophomore Liv St. Pierre hit a perfectly placed ball into the back of the net to make it 2-2.
"What a crazy way to start the game. We had a defensive breakdown on their goal and Maddie did everything she could on that play. I was pleased to see us continue to play well afterwards though and our efforts were rewarded with Liv's awesome goal."
The excitement was just beginning. Not too long after Danvers tied it up, a Falcon player fouled a Masco attacker from behind, just inside the penalty box. A penalty kick was given to Masco. Sophomore Lila Flynn had come into the game to play goalie about 10 minutes earlier after Dembowski's collision. It was Flynn's first experience ever playing goalie in an actual varsity game. Masco's shooter fired a blast just left of the goal frame and Flynn was credited her first varsity "save."
"I have so much respect for Lila. She is one of our starting defenders but she is also our backup keeper. She hadn't played a single minute in goal all season and then got thrust into this stressful situation. She handled herself very well."
Danvers dominated for a good chunk of time following that PK miss. Zamejtis hit a hard shot off the post. Liv St. Pierre hit a rocket of a shot that hit the crossbar. Danvers was getting it's opportunities, but just missing by inches. With 25 minutes to play Danvers took the lead. St. Pierre played a perfect pass through the Masco defense that junior Gianna Sutherland was able to flick on. Her touch found a sprinting teammate in Georgia Prouty who outraced the entire field for a break away. Prouty calmly beat the keeper and placed the ball into the net for the 2-1 lead.
Danvers defense hung tough after that. Dembowski returned to goal and the action picked up on both ends of the field. Sophmores Ashley Freitas at mid and DeAnna Figueiredo at wing played very well in their positions as the visitors continued to battle. With only a minute left before halftime Masco tied the score. A ball was crossed from the left side of the field that a Masco attacker volley'd into the Danvers goal making it 2-2 at intermission.
"That was tough timing for us of course. However, it was a beautiful goal by them that we just couldn't have stopped. We played a great first half and had the lead for a good length of time. However, we had a couple of injuries throughout and knew that we were going to have to be a bit creative in the second half."
Only minutes into the second half, Prouty broke in on the Masco keeper. However the keeper made a diving save to keep the score even. Both teams traded great defensive plays throughout the second 40 minutes. Sophomore center back Addi McCarty was fantastic at making key tackles on defense and outrunning the Masco forwards. Senior captain Skylar Laws also excelled defensively keeping Masco star, Lauren Boughner from getting any dangerous opportunities on the Falcon goal. Freshman Emma Sutherland had a spectacular second half as well, outworking her opponent all over the attacking end of the field. But the game stayed even. When all was said and done, the game ended and both Teams had to settle for the tie.
"Our girls played their hearts out. We really wanted that win but I guess their streak will continue. A couple of inches here and there and we could have been looking at a different result but we're certainly happy with our level of play against an excellent opponent."
"Addi McCarty was phenomenal today. When they got into dangerous areas of our end of the field she was always there to break up the play. She covered so much ground over the course of the game. She was locked in defensively. Skylar also stepped up in a big way slowing down their dangerous attacker. Liv was awesome too. Every time the ball is on her foot, you know something good is gonna come of it. She makes it look effortless sometimes the way she can break down defenders on the dribble."
With the tie Danvers record is 9-2-2 with 5 games remaining in the regular season.