November 8, 2022
Danvers 2 - Wilmington 0
The Danvers Varsity Girls Soccer Team got their post season started Monday night with a round of 32 match up with Wilmington in the Division 2 State Tournament. Danvers came into the match with an 11-3-4 record and the #12 seed, while Wilmington came in at 6-6-6 and the #21 seed. Wilmington comes from the traditionally strong and very defensive Middlesex League.
"Wilmington has a strong team year after year. Veteran Coach Sue Hendee has really built up a strong program that competes in a very tough and physical league. We knew we'd have to play very well to advance. Last year we were taken to penalty kicks in round 1 as a 5 seed so it's clear that anything can happen in the tournament. We hadn't played for a couple of week, so the Girls were pumped to be back on the field."
Danvers had their biggest crowd of the season and the players came out flying. After Wilmington maintained some possession for the first couple of minutes, the strength of the Home Team started to show through. In the 4th minute of play, senior Courtney Hinchion collected the ball on the left side of the field and played a pass up to Georgia Prouty. Prouty exploded past her defender and towards the end line where she cut a diagonal pass back to senior, Ellie Anderson. Anderson one timed the pass right into the left side of the net for the early lead.
"That was an extraordinary play by Georgia. That pass was spot on and Ellie had made a perfectly timed run right into the space where Georgia put the ball. Lila Doucette also made a great run on that play. It was exactly what we were hoping for early in the game. Ellie came out flying today and her speed was at a gear that nobody on Wilmington could stay with."
The Falcons continue to ramp up the pressure on the visiting Wildcats. Midfielders, Teagan Price, Olivia St. Pierre and Hinchion did well to bottle up the middle and make things difficult for Wilmington. Center backs, senior Mikayla Shaffaval and freshman Addi McCarty were quick to shut down anything the Wilmington offense tried to get started.
In the 13th minute, the Falcons struck again. Freshman, Olivia St. Pierre took control of the ball just inside her own half and threaded a perfect pass through the defense onto the foot of teammate Prouty. Prouty and Anderson went for the ball together and the senior emerged 1 v 1 on the Wilmington keeper. Anderson finished her second opportunity in less than 10 minutes for the 2 goal lead.
"Liv was winning balls all over the middle of the field and that through ball she passed to Georgia and Ellie was beautiful. Great for Ellie finishing her second chance of the game, both for goals."
Danvers continued with strong offensive play throughout the first half. Anderson, Doucette and Prouty along with juniors Molly Godfried and Krysta Zamejtis, senior Katie Walfield and sophomore Brooke Wynott all put pressure on the visitors in their end of the field. Outside backs Skylar Laws, Ryley Crosby and Lily Delafano continuously fought for 50 / 50 balls on the defensive end. with only minutes remaining in the half, a ball sent into the Danvers box was 1 timed by a Wilmington attacker and her shot banged off the Falcon crossbar and out. Danvers dodged the threat and went into halftime with the 2-0 lead.
"We played extremely well for the first 40. Ellie's 2 goals were crucial and we played strong positionally all over the field. Emily was steady in net for us and Mikayla and Addi did very well to clear out anything dangerous in our end. Teagan and Courtney worked tirelessly in the middle and Olivia really dominated in the middle for us. The speed of Ellie, Georgia and Lila really set the pace of the game for us."
Early in the second half, Doucette played a through ball that sprung Prouty in alone on the Wilmington goalkeeper but the net minder was able to making the sliding save to keep the game at 2-0. About 10 minutes later, Anderson played a diagonal pass that once again found the foot of Prouty, but her shot was saved by a sliding Wildcat keeper. Minutes later Ellie Anderson was shoved in the Wilmington box and Danvers was awarded a penalty kick. Danvers sent stud PK taker, Krysta Zamejtis to the spot to take the kick. Her shot to the upper corner was saved by the Wilmington keeper and once again, the game stayed at 2-0. Shortly after Teagan Price collected an Addi McCarty free kick and shot just over the crossbar.
Danvers got good play off the bench in the second half from seniors Cali Abbatessa and Katie Walfield and juniors Molly Godfried and Zamejtis. With only minutes to play, Ellie Anderson sent Georgia Prouty in toward goal but the sophomore's shot went just wide. Not long after, the final whistle blew and the Falcons had advanced to the round of 16 with the 2-0 win.
"We had a super second half as well. We put tons of pressure on them and had lots of great attacking opportunities. Although we didn't find the back of the net in the second half, we played a full 80 minutes of strong, attacking soccer. Ellie was amazing tonight. She was on fire and really lead us offensively. We'll play at Grafton on Thursday. They're unbeaten and it's quite a drive to get there. It will certainly be a tough test for us, but at this point, all the games are.
With their 6th straight win, the Falcons Club improves to 12-4-3 on the season.