Danvers v. Concord-Carlisle, 11/719
Danvers 0 Concord-Carlisle 1
The Danvers Girls Varsity Soccer Team played their first tournament game Thursday night in round 2 of the Div. 2 North State Tournament. The Falcons received a bye and were playing for the first time in 2 weeks. Their opponent, Concord Carlisle from the the Dual County League, came into the game with an 11-4-4 record and fresh off a 4-0 first round win over Somerville. The game time weather was in the mid 40's and a steady rain fell throughout the entire game.
"I was a bit worried coming into this one. The 2 week layoff is really tough. We scrimmaged Lynnfield a little over a week ago, but a scrimmage just doesn't replicate the intensity of a tournament game. On top of that, we had Concord Carlisle coming in and we have never beaten them in our history. They come from a super tough league and recently got one of their best players back from injury who had missed most of the regular season."
The game started off extremely physical. Concord Carlisle was whistled for 7 hard fouls in the first 5 minutes of the game. The referees warned the Concord Carlisle players after the 7th one but the physical intensity continued. Danvers still managed to move the ball fairly well even in the tough conditions, but any time a Falcon player touched the ball, a CC Patriot was there instantly with pressure on them. Danvers best chance of the half came late when sophomore mid Arianna Bezanson dribbled around the CC keeper but her shot missed just wide. Concord Carlisle had a great bid of their own on a direct kick from close range, but Danvers keeper Kylie MacCormack made the save to keep the game knotted at 0. The game remained that way till half time.
"I felt we were getting out - toughed on the field. We were letting them push us off the ball and their intensity all over the field was hard to match. Becca Rocker played amazing in the middle for us and worked so hard. Livvi Anderson was terrific as always in the heart of our defense. She did a nice job slowing down CC's striker who was extremely quick. This was the type of game where you really need to get the early goal. We didn't, and as time ticked away, you could see the girls tightening up a bit with the pressure to take the lead."
Concord Carlisle put a lot of pressure on the Danvers defense early in the second half. At one point, they broke in on a breakaway, but MacCormack came rushing out of her box to make the saving tackle to keep the game 0-0. Danvers had a great chance of their own when Abby Cash blocked a Concord defensive clear and she broke in behind the visitors defense. Unfortunately her shot sailed just over the goal. Senior Julia Ryan and freshman Mikayla Shaffaval gave the Falcons some needed energy midway through the half, but the Home Team continued to struggle in the offensive third of the field. With about 12 minutes remaining Concord Carlisle got the only goal they would need when a missed clear found a Patriot attacker who found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. Danvers tried furiously to get the equalizer down the stretch but it wasn't meant to be. Concord Carlisle won 1-0 and advanced to the North Semi finals.
"That was easily the most physical team we've seen all season long. They were fast and super aggressive. None of the teams in our league play that type of physical game and we struggled to adjust to it. Peabody is probably the most physical team in our league, but they are kittens compared to this team. We had our chances, but things just didn't go our way. It's a hard way to end such an amazing season but that's how the game of soccer goes. Having the #1 seed target on our backs is a lot of pressure and you could see the girls starting to play a little panicky late in the game when it was scoreless. This was the first game all year that we were held scoreless."
Coach Hinchion mentioned Rocker, MacCormack and Anderson as having amazing games, leaving everything they had on the field.
"I'm sad for our seniors because I know they had very high hopes for the tournament after the season we've had. They're an amazing group of student athletes and they've certainly left a positive mark on the DHS soccer program. Our graduating seniors won 3 straight N.E.C. titles and also played in 3 straight north title games to go with a state championship. They've meant to much to this program and I'll miss them all so much."
Danvers will graduate 7 seniors in all. Captains Becca Rocker, Abby Cash and Abbi Clickstein, keeper Kylie MacCormack, defender Sam Pelletier and midfielders Julia Ryan and Colby Thomson.
Danvers finishes the season 15-2-2.