October 10, 2022
Danvers 1 - Masco 2
So close. Nothing can be more heartbreaking that giving up a last minute goal in a game. Unfortunately the fate of the Danvers Varsity Girls Soccer Team was strangely a little worse that that. Danvers hosted 10-0 Masconomet Monday night in their second N.E.C. match of the season. Masco beat the Falcons 4-0 in their first meeting in rather dominating fashion. Since that defeat, Danvers has slowly improved each game while playing a very difficult schedule.
"They blew us out the first game. We're a much different team now. Our goal tonight was to put a dent in their perfect record. We either wanted to be the first team to tie them, the first team to shut them out, or the first team to beat them. After our strong game vs. Brookline on Saturday, we were feeling pretty good about the way we'd been playing and I felt we were going to give Masco a hell of a game tonight."
The Falcons did just that. Danvers came out flying and dictated play early. However, Masco's front 3 of Bovardi, Schneider and Boughner proved to be a handful quickly. Defenders Ryley Crosby, Lily Delafano, Reese Holland, Addi McCarty and Mikayla Shaffaval did well to limit their opportunities. 10 minutes in, Masco was awarded a corner kick. After the Falcons semi cleared the ball, Masco captain Taylor Bovardi hit a shot that deflected off another player and into the Falcon goal for the early 1-0 lead.
"That was a bit of a fluke goal, but they all count the same. We should have never given up that corner kick and it came back to bite us. That's been something we've struggled with this season. We don't turn our hips when trying to clear the ball and end up giving up corner kicks. We talked with the players pre-game about how to react if and when Masco scored. This was our chance to prove ourselves."
The Falcons play continued to be steady throughout the half. They made smart runs on and off the ball and created many attacks while defending hard against Masco's counter attacks. Freshman Lily Delafano did very well keeping up with the extremely speedy Boughner. Shaffaval had an amazing game making strong tackles on defense and great clears as well. Danvers goalkeeper Emily Goddard was also sharp making 5 first half saves and doing well to determine when to come out of her net.
"This was 2 games in a row that we matched up Lily with the other team's top forward. Lily's extremely fast and she did a wonderful job staying stride for stride with one of the best attackers in our league."
About midway through the half, sophomore sensation Georgia Prouty beat her defender up the left side of the field and crossed a perfect ball right across the 6 yard line. Senior captain, Ellie Anderson timed her run perfectly but couldn't connect for the goal. The score would remain 1-0 at halftime.
"We felt like the game was very even, if not slightly in our favor. We were defending well against their potent attack and we were playing smart and aggressive all of the field. Our team felt it was just a matter of time before we put one in their goal."
It didn't take that long at all. Only 3 minutes into the second half, junior Krysta Zamejtis thread a perfect pass through the Chieftan defenders that freshman, Lila Doucette ran onto. Doucette took a dribble and then launched a missile that hit just under that cross bar for a fantastic goal. Danvers seemed to feed off of that momentum and had several more good bids including a corner kick serve from senior Cali Abbatessa, but the game remained 1-1.
"We were playing so well. Masco was getting their chances too, but our defenders really made things difficult for them. I loved the physical play of Ellie Anderson, Courtney Hinchion, Liv St. Pierre and Teagan Price. We weren't backing down from anyone and were playing quite fearless. Georgia was all over the field. She made some amazing run offensively but she also got back many times to disrupt the Masco attack. She actually snuffed out a break away by them when they got behind our defense."
About midway through the half, Prouty collected a ball at midfield and dribbled with pace passed the defense. As she entered the visitor's goal box she let a left footed shot rip from a slightly tough angle. The Masco keeper was able to save it but gave up a big rebound. Unfortunately no Danvers player was there to collect it.
"Those are the type of plays that we need to get better at if we want to reach the next level. Georgia, a mid, out raced everyone and got off a great shot. We should have at least had 1 of our 3 forwards there to knock in the rebound, but they all slowed up when Georgia passed them. It was an amazing effort by Georgia."
Late in the game Danvers started to play much more defensive and gave up 5 corner kicks. The Falcons defended them all well, although there were a few moments when the Home crowd surely was holding their breath. With under a minute to play it looked as though the Home Team would get that dent in Masco's record that they had set out for. Then with 30 second left, a penalty was called on Danvers in it's own goal box. A penalty kick was awarded. Amazingly, Goddard dove and saved the penalty kick. However, the rebound came out to a Masco player who slammed home the rebound. About a half minute later, the final whistle blew and Danvers was left in disbelief.
"That's about as tough a way to lose as you can draw up. All our coaches and bench were yelling to the girls to make sure they get the rebound. It almost never happens, but it did to us tonight. Simply amazing save by Emily. She was as good as a keeper gets tonight. My Team played so well tonight against a very, very good opponent. We showed in these past 2 games that we can compete at the highest level. Now we just need to find that certain something that gets us a victory in a game like this."
Danvers had been running quite the gauntlet the past 11 days. They played Peabody, Andover, Swampscott, Brookline and Masco in that time frame and all but 1 of the 5 games was decided by a goal or less. The gauntlet isn't quite over as the Falcons will travel to Marbleahead on Wednesday night. The 2 teams tied a few weeks ago."
"We got such great play tonight from so many players. I have to give a lot of credit to Teagan and Ellie who found themselves on the back line some tonight with us a little shorthanded on defenders. They both did awesome. Emily had another fantastic game and both Georgia and Lila really gave us tons of energy and intensity. This has been a killer of a stretch for us. Hopefully we have a little left in the tank for our game Wednesday. We're discouraged for the moment, but we now know that we can play with the best. Just need to try and continue to get better each time we take the field."
Danvers dropped to 6-4-3 on the season and still needs 3 points in 5 games to qualify for the State Tournament.