Danvers v. Swampscott, 10/25/19
Danvers 5 Swampscott 0
Salem News Coverage
The Danvers Girls Varsity Soccer Team traveled to Swampscott Friday afternoon for their biggest game of the season against the Big Blue. Danvers came into the game needing a win to clinch a share of the N.E.C. Championship with Beverly. Danvers beat Swampscott pretty easily the first time around, but Swampscott had beaten Beverly a week ago and would certainly put up a fight in the last game of the regular season.
Danvers dominated early, possessing the ball well and staying on the attack in the Big Blue end of the field. The Falcons got on the board in the 10th minute of play when Abby Cash finished off a crossing pass on the turf from Riley DiGilio to put the visitors up 1-0. Danvers has several other great opportunities to score early from DiGilio and Cash along with Becca Rocker, Reese Pszenny and Arianna Bezanson, but none found the back of the net. The Danvers defense did their part by not even letting Swampscott in their end of the field. Sam Pelletier was terrific at center back and Abbi Clickstein dominated the left side of the field. When Clickstein went down with an ankle injury midway through the half, freshman Mikayla Shaffaval came in and played very well at outside back. Danvers mixed up their attack a bit late in the half moving Pszenny to midfield and Bezanson to the attack. The move created numerous scoring opportunities for the blue and white but it wasn't until the final 4 minutes that the Falcons got a second goal. Once again, it was an outside back making it happen. Sophomore Gabby Chisholm flew up the right flank of the field, beat her man and headed directly at goal, where her shot beat the Swampscott keeper. Minutes later the whistle blew for halftime with Danvers up 2-0.
"That goal was huge for us. That goal was all heart and hustle by Gabby. That's how she always plays. She gives every ounce of her ability every time she steps on the field. That was an important goal going into halftime, giving us a 2 goal advantage. I felt we were really dominating the middle of the field with Rocker and Julia Vaillancourt. Reese gave us a lot of creativity in the middle late in the half. I thought her touch was spot on today. Our Team defense was really good as well. We only gave up 1 shot the entire first half and it wasn't on net."
Danvers came out firing on all cylinders in the second half knowing that the league title was on the line. Livvi Anderson was outstanding at winning balls in the air and anchored the middle of the Danvers defense. In the 6th minute of the half, Sophomore Arianna Bezanson scored unassisted from distance to pad the Danvers lead. She then scored again 7 minutes later off a pass from Rocker. Midway through the half junior forward Haley Murphy made a great diagonal run into the box where she one timed a perfect pass from Reese Pszenny. The Big Blue keeper made a great save on the shot to keep the score at 4-0. Danvers got some outstanding play off the bench from midfielders Mia Jordan and Emma Dunn, attacker Julia Ryan and defender Avery Scharffenberg. In the last minute of play, Abby Cash crossed a perfectly served ball into the Swampscott box that Pszenny headed home to make the final score 5-0. Goalkeeper Kylie MacCormack didn't have to make a single save the entire game to help preserve the Falcon's 13th shutout of the season. Danvers finished the regular season at 15-1-2 overall and 13-1-1 in the league, good for their third consecutive N.E.C. Championship. Danvers also still owns a 16 game unbeaten streak heading into the State Tournament in November.
"We played so well today. We out shot Swampscott 33-1 and we hit a handful of posts and crossbars today as well. Arianna played great and I loved Vaillancourt and Rocker in the middle as well. These girls have played so well all season long. It's really been a terrific season so far. Now we'll need to refocus and get ready for the new season, the State Tournament.