Once the Tanners put the ball on the turf, Beverly was quick to scoop it up and break into transition.
“We were rushing (on offense). We were not moving the ball the way we should,” noted Desroches. “Beverly runs a zone and when you force it into the zone without good ball movement, you’re going to turn the ball over.”
Outside of a two-minute stretch at the beginning of the second half, the Panthers were sound defensively. Cecchini, Becca Salah, Camden Vitale and Felicity Otterbein were the key cogs in the unit until Otterbein was issued her second yellow card in the second half and had to sit out the remainder of the contest.
Still, the unit held strong in the absence of one of its three senior captains.
“Helping on defense. We’ve worked on it from Day 1,” said Healey. “We have really strong leaders back on defense. When Felicity went out, they showed character and didn’t let that affect them. They rose to the occasion.”
The game wouldn’t have been as close as it was early in the second half if it hadn’t been for the phenomenal work done by Peabody goalie Aly Hennigan, who made 13 saves.
Sarah Napolitano (goal, assist), Sydney Cooke (goal, assist) and Smith (goal) were the other Tanner goal scorers while Beverly saw Vitale (goal, assist), Megan Gavin (goal) and Erica Beaudry (goal) all find the back of the net.
Cat Cross (2 saves) and Kyra Wolonsavich (2 saves) split time in goal for the Panthers.
The Panthers will need to keep moving in the right direction as they prepare for Monday’s road game against Wakefield. “We’re happy where we are, but we have a lot of work to do,” said Healey. “It was a great win and we’ll enjoy it for today ... then get back to work preparing for Wakefield.”