Beverly controlled play in the third, outshooting Hingham 11-1 in pushing for the go-ahead goal. Sophomore Anna O’Neill hit a post early in the third and had another tight chance denied by Harborwomen goalie Taylor Walsh later. On a late Beverly power play, Nearis had a blast from the blue line that was saved, and a Hingham defender kicked the rebound aside before Kristen McCarthy could sweep it into the cage.
“We wanted to keep the pressure up in the third,” said Nearis. “We knew we could win the game and we wanted to come out ready to go.”
Despite all that pressure, Seabury was most proud of his defense in the third. The forwards, and defenders Caitlin McBride, Anna Hayden and Rachel Spencer, made sure Hingham couldn’t take an odd-man rush the other way for a counter-attack.
“Defensively we were fabulous in the third. We kept coming and we held them at bay,” the coach said. “Even though we were tired, we stuck to it and did all the little things right. We kept our noses in it, tried to create turnovers and finally we got out.”
Woods opened the scoring 13:00 into the first when she skated into the offensive zone and spun around a defender to the front of the net. She stopped and flipped a backhand into the cage for her 30th of the season.
The Panthers, who are two wins away from a potential state final appearance at TD Garden, have won a state tournament game in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history.
Hingham played stout defensively in limiting the Panthers to 22 shots on goal. Beverly goalie Madison Jalbert had seven saves in her first postseason start, but they were difficult stops that often came on odd-man chances.