November 17, 2020
Danvers 3 - Peabody 1
The Danvers Varsity Girls Soccer Team hosted Peabody Tuesday night for their final game of the season. Danvers came into the game with a 10--0 record and were looking to secure win number 11, making it a perfect season. The Falcons knew that the visiting Tanners would not be an easy last opponent.
"The girls set goals at the very beginning of the season and their top goal was to win every game. I think we all had the talent to do it, but we still needed to beat Peabody to pull it off. You could feel there was a little bit of pressure, but I knew the girls would respond in a positive way."
It would only take 5 minutes for Danvers to get their first goal. Arianna Bezanson broke through a slew of defenders to score unassisted.
"That goal was all Ari. She beat a bunch of players to score that goal. I think we all felt a little better having scored the first goal so early into the game. Peabody clearly came into this game with a defensive mindset and scoring an early goal meant they'd have to try and attack some. The key was getting the second goal."
Danvers dominated possession in the second quarter but had trouble finding any room to generate dangerous shots on the Peabody net. Peabody was man marking Arianna Bezanson but she was still finding ways to be dangerous. With 4 minutes left in the half, Bezanson combined with fellow junior Reese Pszenny to sent a perfect pass to senior, Julia Vaillancourt. Vaillancourt, usually the passer, took the shot and calmly placed it in the back of the Peabody net for a 2-0 lead.
"That was one of our prettiest goals of the year. Everything was 1 touch until they found Julia. That was a huge goal and ended up being the game winner."
The defense of Livvi Anderson, Avery Scharffenberg, Emma Dunn, Gabby Chisholm and Mikayla Shaffaval worked hard to limit the Tanners time in the Falcon end of the field. The result was only 2 shots by the visitors with Danvers senior keeper Holly DeAngelis calmly saving both.
The second half was more of the same with Danvers showing amazing skill on the ball and being quick to any 50/50 ball. Mia Jordan and Julia Vaillancourt made pinpoint passes and helped the Falcons keep possession. Haley Murphy and Eliana Anderson attacked with intensity and both created or had chances at net. Only 4 minutes into the half, senor captain Riley DiGilio got the third goal of the game on a fantastic pass from Murphy. At that point, things looked really good for the Falcons. However, Peabody continued to play hard and scored only a minute later, making the score 3-1.
Danvers continued to pick up their play and scored a 4th goal only minutes later. Riley DiGilio put home a rebound from a rocket off the foot of Bezanson. However, a questionable call by the ref disallowed the goal keep the score the same. Danvers had several more good chances on net and the Falcon defense only allowed 2 shots on net the rest of the game. When the final whistle blew, Danvers has competed the Perfect Season.
"I'm so proud of these girls. They played amazing soccer all season long and for them to win every game in this league, against these strong teams, says a lot about the kind of Team we had this year. Arianna was amazing today. They had a player follow Ari everywhere she went on the field. Yet she was still able to dominate both offensively and defensively for us. Riley also had a strong game up the right flank of the field. I felt her second goal should have counted."
"Reese was terrific as well. The things she can do with the ball on her foot are so impressive. And of course I loved how our defense played. Livvi was steady as always. First to every ball. I thought Gabby was super aggressive at left back and Mikayla made some great runs up the right side of the field. Julia and Avery were great in the middle of the field too. However I'd have to say the player that stood at the most to me today was Mia Jordan. She always seemed to be out-maned in the middle of the field yet she always seemed to work her way out of it. What an incredible season she's had and she was awesome again tonight.
DeAngelis only was required to make 3 saves on the night, but she routinely paced deep punts near midfield and gobbled up anything dangerous in the box.
With the win, the Falcons became the first girls soccer Team in history to end with a perfect record. at 11-0.
"These girls had to start their season 2 weeks after everyone else. They had to learn the new rules and guidelines in a shorter time frame than any other team out there. I think that shows just how strong this team was. They were dominant at times. They were such a fun group to Coach and it's been a blessing getting to practice and play 11 games during this very difficult time. We wanted to make the most of every single day, whether practice or game, and the girls certainly did that."
Danvers will graduate 8 seniors: Isabel Donahoe, Holly DeAngelis, Avery Scharffenberg, Mia Jordan, Julia Vaillancourt, Haley Murphy, Riley DiGilio and Livvi Anderson will move on leaving an amazing legacy created during their years on the soccer field.
"We will miss those 8 for sure. They are the most respectful, kind and hard working athletes I could ask for. I'm so happy for them that we got this season in, and they got absolutely everything they possibly could out of it. They were Perfect."