November 10, 2021
Division 2 State Tournament, Round 2
Danvers 3 - Holliston 1
The Danvers Varsity Girls Soccer Team hosted Holliston Wednesday afternoon in round 2 of the Division 2 State Tournament. The Falcons came in seeded #5 with a 14-2-3 record while the visitors were seeded 21st with a 7-6-5 record. Hollison had won the Division 2 State Title in 2019, Danvers in 2017. Danvers struggled in their first round game against North Attleboro and needed the game decided in a shootout.
We did not play well at all in our first game. I'm not sure if it was first round jitters, too long of a lay off or what, but we knew we needed to play much better against a stronger Holliston side. Our plan was to come out extremely offensively and hope to get a quick goal. We're a much better team when we play with a lead."
The Falcons came out passing the ball very well and putting some early pressure on the visiting Panthers. Danvers forwards, Georgia Prouty, Ellie Anderson and Arianna Bezanson came out flying hoping to cause and capitalize on Holliston's defensive mistakes. Danvers had some early success playing up the left side of the field with Ryley Crosby, Courtney Hinchion and Prouty connecting well with possession. On the right side, Anderson was fed passes from Mikayla Shaffaval and nearly broke free early on. But it wasn't until 25 minutes in that the Falcons cashed in. Bezanson broke through on the left side and put a hard shot at the visiting back post. Anderson made a darting run at that post and was there to slam it home for the first half advantage.
"We talk a lot about making back post runs because that is where many goals occur. Ellie made an awesome run and was rewarded for it. Getting that first goal took a little of the pressure off. We hadn't scored a tournament goal since 2018."
Danvers went into halftime with the 1-0 lead and felt confident with the way they had played the first 40 minutes. Junior Goalkeeper Emily Goddard made 8 saves in the first half and was a bit busy in the second half as well. However, Center backs Emma Dunn and Gabby Chisholm were getting a defensive header on every ball in their end.
"Both Gabby and Emma really set the tone for us. When they're winning balls in the air like that, we're a pretty tough team to attack. They both played with a ton of intensity and it really got the rest of the team going."
It only took just under 4 minute into the second half for Danvers to double it's lead. Freshmen Brooke Wynott's shot hit a defender and came out to Bezanson who hit a left footed blast into the top right hand corner of the goal for the 2-0 lead. Soon after, Danvers hung tough defending some strong attacking bids from the visitors. Goddard made 7 more second half saves when the team needed them the most.
Midfielders Courtney Hinchion and Teagan Price took turns marking Holliston's dangerous midfielder, Mia Luisi.
"That #10 (Luisi) was very good and we knew we needed to at least make things difficult for her. Courtney and Teagan really defended her well and forced her to give up the ball more than she probably would have liked. I also loved the way both Mikayla and Ryley played on the flanks. Not only did they defend extremely well, but they also made great attacking runs forward."
Eighteen minutes in to the second half, Holliston was able to get on the scoreboard with a goal at the back post of the Danvers net. Soon after, Danvers had a great opportunity to score about midway through the half on a corner kick, but couldn't find the back of the net. Danvers withstood some offensive pressure from Holliston as the game wore on. Eventually, Danvers got the third goal they needed. Senior Captain, Arianna Bezanson fed freshman winger Georgia Prouty up the left side. Prouty was able to cross a hard ball at the back post where sophomore Molly Godfried was making a timed run. Molly's initial shot hit the post but it came right back to her. Godfried made the most of her second shot for her first goal of the season and the insurance goal that the Falcons were looking for.
"That was an outstanding goal by Molly. What a perfect time to get your first varsity goal. She handled that very well."
Danvers closed out the game with solid defending and got the 3-1 victory. The Danvers record improved to 15-2-3 on the season and advanced to round 3 (8 Teams left) of the Division 2 Tournament to face #4 seed, Silver Lake. The game will be played at Silver Lake Regional High School on Saturday at 5PM.