PEABODY — Two-time Northeastern Conference Large Most Valuable Player Hayley Dowd called it earlier in the season. Peabody’s leading scorer knew that fellow senior captain Kara Digiacomo was the best player in the league.
Call it intuition or what have you, but Dowd was on the money. Digiacomo, a top defender on the 17-1 Tanner squad, was named NEC MVP last week.
“I’ve said it for a while now, Kara is one of the best players if not the best the best player in the league,” said Dowd, who advocated for Digiacomo after a win over Concord-Carlisle earlier this month. “So I mean for her to get it, I couldn’t be happier.
“Between scoring goals and defending the way she does, I don’t think she ever gets beat.”
Defenders don’t always get the same level recognition as scorers, but Digiacomo can do both. Never one to jump into the spotlight, Digiacomo goes about her work quietly and lets the results do the talking for her.
“Kara really deserves this,” said twin sister Victoria Digiacomo. “She works so hard and is so humble. Whenever she scores she gets shy and never celebrates about it. I think it’s great that one of our defenders got it.
“I’m so happy for her. A lot of times defenders don’t really get noticed. It’s usually about who scores the most, but I don’t think that’s as important as the defense.”
Fresh off a Division 1 state title just a year ago, the Tanners pride themselves on their all-star defensive line. Peabody has given up a total of six goals through the 18 regular season games and shut out rivals Concord-Carlisle and Beverly (twice).
Having experienced firsthand what it takes to win a championship, Digiacomo has gone above and beyond this season. Not only a key contributor defensively, Digiacomo takes most of the direct kicks for Peabody and has a laser for a shot.