October 20, 2022
Danvers 2 - Beverly 1
The Danvers Varsity Girls Soccer Team hosted the Beverly Panthers Thursday night. It was the annual Breast Cancer Awareness game for the Falcons and the players all wore their pink socks and pink hair ribbons. Beverly wore pink ribbons in their hair as well. The Danvers Boosters program held several raffles during the game with the proceeds being donated towards cancer research. Danvers came into the match having won 3 straight and having played some of their best soccer of the year. When the 2 teams met back in September, the Panthers prevailed 5-2.
"We talked pre-game about the fight against cancer and how it has effected everyone's life in some way. I asked the girls to play for a loved one tonight and to honor them with their fight on the field."
For 6 minutes the play went back and fourth until the hosts took the lead on an early goal. Senior Captain, Ellie Anderson played a deep throw into the Beverly box. Freshman Liv St. Pierre brought the pass down with her feet and broke to the end line. She then cut a pass back to a wide open teammate in Lila Doucette. The freshman calmly passed the ball into the far corner of the net for the Falcons goal. Less than a minute later, Beverly tied the score. A throw in was played deep into the Falcons box. Senior Bella Jimenez beat her defender and broke in alone on Danvers keeper Emily Goddard. The Panther attacker passed the ball into the open left side of the net for the tying goal. The offensive craziness didn't end there. Just 20 second later off of the ensuing kick off, a ball was played to sophomore, Georgia Prouty. Prouty beat 2 defenders up the field on the dribble and let loose a hard, low shot that the Beverly keeper saved, but couldn't contain. Anderson was right there for the rebound and put it in for the 2-1 lead.
"The game started with a furious pace. That was really good vision of Olivia finding Lila on that back pass. Lila made a smart run putting herself into a dangerous position to score a goal. Great work on the part of both freshmen. Beverly caught us on a throw in when they tied it up. We missed a tackle and Jimenez was in alone on goal. That was a tough pill to swallow, but we talked with the Team before the game that how we handled the time period after goals were scored would play a huge part in how this game would go. I was extremely pleased that it only took us 20 seconds to get the lead back. Georgia made a great run and hats off to Ellie for following the initial shot and putting in the rebound. We worked on and talked about that a lot at practice this past week."
With the high flying start, it seemed as though this would be a high scoring game for sure, but the defenses of both teams tightened up. Senior Captain Teagan Price did a terrific job marking Beverly's most dangerous player, Grace Fitzgerald. Price was right with her every time she touched the ball, making it difficult for the senior mid to attack. Prouty also saw significant time defending Fitzpatrick as the Falcons tried to keep players fresh throughout the first half.
"Teagan made some big plays defensively for us. She had all the dangerous Beverly players in her area and she did very well to always pick up the open player. She worked really hard tonight."
The Falcons did well getting up and down the field in transition. Mids, Ellie Anderson, Courtney Hinchion and Molly Godfried made tireless runs throughout the half. Mikayla Shaffaval was her usual strong self in the middle of the Falcon defense, communicating with her defenders about who to pick up and mark. Emily Goddard made 8 first half saves and the Falcons had 11 first half tries of their own, but both team's defenses and goaltenders were up to the challenge. The score would remain 2-1 going into halftime.
"We played a great 40 minutes of soccer. After their goal, our defense really locked it down and didn't give them anything too dangerous. Addi McCarty played extremely well in the back coming in for Reese Holland who was battling tight muscles. Addi played smart and with poise. It's not easy to be the last defender against a team like this and she handled it very well. Ryley Crosby was tremendous at outside back for us. Every tackle she made was hard and physical and she did well to keep the ball out of our end. Liv St. Pierre was amazing on the ball. She was creating so much and drawing so many defenders away making it much easier for our forwards."
The second half was much of the same with both teams playing very hard. Frehsman Lily Delafano played particularly well defending on the left side of the field. She made numerous tackles on Beverly's dangerous attacking players. Georgia Prouty was outstanding in the middle of the field defending and initiating attacks. She was a handful all night for the visiting Panthers. Crosby had another great half on defense using her head many times to clear it out of her end. With time winding down and Beverly applying more pressure, they were awarded a direct kick just outside the Danvers goal box. The Panther serve was headed on net and Goddard made a lightning quick reaction save to parry the ball over the goal. The Danvers defense came up big down the stretch and the Falcons were able to hold on for the massive 2-1 over the Panthers.
"What a huge win for our Team. We've come such a long way as a Team since that 5-2 loss back in September. The girls are really clicking and playing their best soccer of the season right now."
"Emily was awesome tonight making those 16 saves. She has been incredible for us all year long. Ryley had a great game too. She really made things difficult for them on her side of the field. We really had a huge Team effort tonight from everyone on the field and everyone on the sideline. The Team really wanted this one and it's clearly our biggest win of the season. We stressed keep Fighting and the girls never stopped."
Danvers improves to 10-4-3 with the win.