DANVERS — Consolation prizes are not part of the Division 2 North boys soccer tournament, but Danvers shouldn’t have gone home carrying the empty feeling of a losing team last night.
A nightmare start cost the Falcons dearly, falling behind by two goals to a dangerous Concord-Carlisle team. But they battled hard through the final 20 minutes of the first half and all of the second half before dropping a 5-3 decision in a quarterfinal game at Dr. Deering Stadium.
“Awful,” Danvers (15-4-1) coach Mike Chase said about the Falcons’ start. “We spotted them the first goal, which was just a mental error. You can’t spot teams (goals) like this. We didn’t show up in the first 15 minutes; it was apparent. Anybody here, even if they didn’t know soccer, knew that we were getting our butts kicked early and often.”
Less than a minute into the game, a Concord-Carlisle (13-2-2) cross was mishandled in a crowd and Stowe Simonton tucked the ball away for the Patriots and a 1-0 lead.
Play settled down for the next 19 minutes, but then a scoring flurry left the Falcons staring at a three-goal deficit with 16 minutes to go in the first half.
Simonton struck again for the Patriots with 20 minutes left in the half for a 2-0 advantage. But Danvers’ Eric Martin made a fantastic individual play by beating a pair of defenders to the middle of the field, then drilling a low shot into the lower left corner of the net to cut the deficit in half.
Concord-Carlisle fired right back when Gregoire Fauchet converted on a penalty kick. Two minutes after that, Leo Fondriest found the net and the Patriots led 4-1 with 16 minutes to go in the first half.
“Obviously, (scoring early) takes a little pressure off,” Concord-Carlisle coach Ray Pavlik said. “It was like a dream start and that put some pressure on them to respond, and maybe it stretched them out a little bit going forward.”