, Salem, MA


November 5, 2012

Matt Williams column: With loss to A-B, an era ends for Peabody

PEABODY — Midway through the second overtime, Acton-Boxboro freshman Gabby Diorio scored the goal that ended an era.

Some ten minutes earlier, the Peabody girls soccer team thought it had the goal that should’ve extended that era — but didn’t.

The Colonials’ goal with 5:06 left in the second overtime of a Division 1 North first round game at Donahue Field sent the defending state champion Tanners off with a 1-0 loss.

Late in the first overtime, Peabody’s Victoria Digiacomo struck a rebound off a Kara Digiacomo free kick that appeared to tuck inside the near post. A-B keeper Kelsey Bourne caught it and the official on the far side ruled it hadn’t completely crossed the line and was not the winning goal.

Such is soccer, the game that can be at once beautiful and cruel.

“From our angle that ball was in, that should’ve been it,” said Peabody coach Dennis Desroches. “But what are you going to do?”

The Colonials, a No. 17 seed that won twice in a 30-hour span to advance to the North quarters, played like a team with a pedigree that includes the ‘08 and ‘09 D1 North titles. A few weeks ago, Acton-Boxboro snapped Peabody’s 38-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 decision; for the Tanners to see them this early in the state tournament was a sure case of tough luck.

A-B pounced on its second life last night, using a Catherine Edmonds free kick that was saved to create the winning goal. The rebound shot went off the Peabody crossbar and popped out to Diorio, who put it in to end top-seed Peabody’s run at 17-2.

“To beat a team like Peabody twice, I’m bursting with pride for my girls,” said A-B coach Lee Billiard. “Absolutely delighted.”

For Peabody, in time, the details of last night’s loss may fade. The point blank shots by Victoria Digiacomo and Madison Doherty that Bourne saved and the rebound chance by Caroline Colbert that squirted inches wide late in regulation may muddle together along with a few great saves by Peabody keeper Caitlin Lodi and break-ups by defender Cayla Bucci that kept it scoreless.

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