, Salem, MA


November 2, 2013

Danvers rallies, takes down Marblehead in PKs to advance

MARBLEHEAD — It’s a good thing the Danvers girls soccer team started working on penalty kicks on day one of the regular season because it a paid off in enormous fashion during yesterday’s Division 2 North first round 2-1 victory over Northeastern Conference foe Marblehead.

After tying things up with under five minutes to play, the Falcons (12-6-1) managed to force two overtime periods and notched all four of their penalty kicks to earn the win.

“You hate that both teams can’t go on because it’s such a battle out there,” said Danvers head coach Jimmy Hinchion, whose team will take top seeded Wilmington on Monday for a quarterfinals matchup.

“We’ve looked really mentally sharp in practice and everything we’ve down outside of practice, but I think we got rattled pretty early on in the game.”

The ninth seeded Falcons played a little deflated in the first half as the host Magicians earned an early 1-0 advantage after leading scorer Mia Bongiorno notched the first tally of the game on a beautiful kick from 40 yards out.

Marblehead (12-5-2) controlled the play for the majority of the contest and limited Danvers to only three shots on net in the first half. Defenders Lucy Poulin and Kelly Mealey were all over the Falcons’ strikers and maintained a strong presence in front of keeper Lauren Unterborn.

“We didn’t play our style what so ever in the game,” Hinchion added. “I don’t think we strung three passes together at any point in the game. We kept saying that we had to settle and keep the ball on the ground —but we just did not.”

As time ticked away on the clock in the final half, Danvers’ need to score became more and more urgent. It was clear that Lady Falcons weren’t ready to go home this early in the tournament and they threw everything they had in Unterborn’s direction. Hinchion called a timeout with seven minutes left in the game and the girls were well aware of what needed to be done.

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