October 6, 2022
Danvers 2 - Swampscott 2
The Danvers Varsity Girls Soccer Team traveled to Blocksidge Park in Swampscott Thursday afternoon for an N.E.C. soccer battle. Danvers was hoping to continue it's unbeaten streak but nothing ever comes easy against the Big Blue. Danvers controlled play from the very start. Passes were connected and the Falcons maintained possession in the Swampscott end of the field for long stretches of time. In the 7th minute of play, junior Skylar Laws hit a shot from distance that was initially saved, but bounced out to freshman, Lila Doucette. Lila struck the ball well and her shot went just over the keepers outstretch arms giving Danvers the early lead. It would be Doucette's first career varsity goal and the first career assist for Laws. Danvers continued to dominate and pressure Swampscott. Outside backs, Laws and senior Ryley Crosby were extremely quick to the ball and kept play out of their own end. Center backs, senior Mikayla Shaffaval and Reese Holland did well to win balls in the middle and keep the pressure in the Swampscott end. Senior Katie Walfield made some great moves on the left side of the field and created some good chances. However, Swampscott was playing a low block defense and was keeping 7-8 players deep in their defensive end, making it very crowded for the Falcons. The score remained 1-1 at halftime.
"We dominated play that entire half. I feel our back 4 really set the tone early winning balls and initiating our attack. We moved the ball very well, but as soon as we got within 30 yards of their goal, it was like hitting a defensive wall. I've watched their goal now several times on video and Schena did very well to get that goal. We were right there with her, but all she needed was a couple of inches of space."
It was more of the same the second half of play. Danvers moved the ball easily up the field but struggled to find space in the attacking third. Senior captain Teagan Price had a strong game in the middle of the field for Danvers, challenging for every lose ball. Danvers did get several great chances but shots were either right at the keeper, miss-hit or went just wide. Danvers' best chance of the game came off a quick restart that produced a great shot on goal, that was saved by the Swampscott goalie. The Falcons put tons of pressure on Swampscott with the final minutes ticking away, but couldn't get the game winner they were looking for, settling for the 1-1 draw.
"This was a tough result for us. We felt this was a game we could win and we certainly played well. I give Swampscott tons of credit as they executed that defensive style very well and it certainly frustrated us."
"Skylar had a terrific game for us in the back and really gave us momentum winning tackles and sending dangerous balls into their box throughout the game. Ryley also played very well on the opposite side of the field and I liked how Teagan played in the middle today."
Danvers now enters the toughest stretch of their season as they'll play Div. 1 powerhouse Brookline on Saturday, host 10-0 Masco on Monday and then travel to Marblehead on Wednesday. The Falcons are currently 6-2-3 on the season.