October 29, 2023
Danvers 1 - Brookline 1
The Danvers Girls Varsity Soccer Team traveled to Brookline Sunday afternoon for their final regular season game. Danvers has played the powerful Brookline program in a non-league the past 5 seasons going 1-1-2 over that time.
"We love to schedule Brookline because they are a top level program out of the top conference in the State. Every team in their league is good and Brookline had the toughest strength of schedule in the state this year. We knew they'd be very tough but this is the kind of game that prepares you for the state tournament."
Danvers got off to the worst start they could have hoped for on this rainy day as Brookline scored only 1 minute into the contest. Danvers settled in after that but the Brookline defense did a good job at slowing down the high flying Falcons attack. Danvers also seemed to have their hands full with the speed of the Brookline forward line. Goalkeeper Maddie Dembowski made a diving save at the post to keep the lead at 1 and she made 5 other key saves in the first half. With 12 minutes to play in the half, Brookline beat the Danvers defense up the left side of the field and dribble across the end line. The attacking player then passed a ball right into the middle of the goal box where a teammate was there to punch it in for the 2-0 lead.
"That's how we have scored a majority of our goals this season. They gave us a taste of our own medicine. They had a lot of speed on the outside wings and we struggled with that a bit. I was also impressed at how well their defenders got back in support to slow us down in our attack. Molly Godfried had a nice first half marking one of their stronger players and Lila Flynn hung tough with one of their best goal scorers. Addi McCarty did her best to keep them from getting good looks on net from in close. Maddie also played well keeping it at 2."
The second half got off to a bad start as well for Danvers. After Dembowski made a nice save off a header from a corner kick, Brookline scored only a minute later to make it 3-0. Only minutes later, a Brookline attacker dribbled right up the middle of the field and created goal number 4 on the afternoon.
"I called a timeout at that point. We were just going through the motions and there was no way we could afford to play an entire second half with that lack of energy. I told the girls that nobody has shut us out this year and at the moment we were scoreless. We needed to try and get that first goal and we needed to pick up our level of play."
Danvers played much better after that getting several great chances on the Brookline goal. Georgia Prouty and Liv St. Pierre each had a couple great chances to get on the scoreboard. Liv St. Pierre hit a bomb of a shot that was labeled for the upper 90 but the Brookline keeper made a great save tipping it over the bar. Midway through the half Brookline got a 5th goal but Danvers continued to work towards getting their own.
Finally, with a little over 10 minutes remaining, Krysta Zamejtis passed to Prouty who broke through the defense on the right side. She dribbled left by the last defender and easily shot into the open corner of the goal for the Falcon's lone score of the game.
"We needed that goal just to keep our own sanity. Brookline was easily the strongest defense we've faced this year. But we didn't play up to the level we're capable of. I think that early goal in the first half really changed our thinking on the field and I feel we played a little intimidated. We got strong play from DeAnna Figueiredo in both halves both as an attacker and defender. Maddie made a lot of saves for us as well. Hopefully we can take this loss and use it to learn from it. Brookline is a good team and that's not a level of play we see often."
The Falcon's unbeaten streak ends at 12 and the Team finishes the regular season at 13-3-2. They'll await the Div. 3 state seeding that will come out on Wed. November 1st.