BEVERLY — The Beverly girls soccer team has a dangerous triangle at the top of their formation, and to be honest, it’s easier to solve the Pythagorean theorem than it is to find a way to slow them down.
Caitlin Harty, Casey Cook and Eva Gourdeau are all so strong on the ball that they beg for extra attention for defenders. As soon as those defenders over-commit to one of them, the others are there to make them pay the price.
Visiting Woburn tried marking Gourdeau on the turf at Beverly High yesterday, and Harty and Cook connected for three goals in a 4-1 Panther victory in the Division 2 North quarterfinals.
Beverly (16-2-3) is through to the North semis for the second straight year, facing Concord-Carlisle Saturday morning at Manning Field in a rematch of last year’s D1 North quarter won by the Panthers (both teams moved to D2 this year in the MIAA realignment).
“They’re dangerous up top. To have Gourdeau coming from behind, you have to respect her and cheat towards her, and she’s such a distributor of the ball that you can’t,” said Woburn coach Mike Higgins.
“If you make one mistake in the final third, boom, it’s in the back of the net. They’re dynamic as heck up top.”
Tenth-seeded Woburn (11-6-3) hung with Beverly for the first 20 minutes, playing physical defense and taking away space. As the officials clamped down on rough defending, the Panthers started to possess the ball on their feet and it paid off.
Harty opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after the Panthers won a loose ball when Woburn couldn’t clear a saved corner. Three minutes after that, Rose Terner finished a skillful pass from Harty that sailed clear across the field to make it 2-0.