Cook — “Our wall back there,” said Kemmer — played off her line and kept the Panthers in it as Central pressed early. The Raiders finally cashed in when Alex Nagri scored assisted by Spencer in the 31st minute. Central had 11 of its 19 shots in the first 40 minutes.
Beverly’s defenders — O’Connor, Crowley, Kemmer and Nicole Krisch and midfielders Meggie Manzo, Sarah Visnick and Allison Collins — stepped it up in the last 60 minutes to even possession.
“We started yelling at them a little bit and then we started winning those 50/50 balls,” said Simpson.
A well-placed through-ball from Rose Terner gave Harty a line to the net early in the second half. She knifed behind two defenders and shot it over the goalie to level the score in the 43rd minute.
“I could feel the defender on my right and I just wanted to get to the ball and get it on net,” said Harty, who has a goal in every tournament game and seven of Beverly’s eight postseason tallies. “It was a great ball from Rose.”
Beverly limited Central for four shots in the second half plus another four in the overtimes. The Panthers also successfully defended seven Central corners.
The Panther seniors have come a long way in a short time, leading a renaissance that ended a three-year state tournament drought last season. This year, Beverly won its first tournament game since 2007, has its most total wins since 1997 and capped it with the program’s first-ever North title last night.
“Anything is possible, but when the season started I didn’t think I’d be standing here (as North champs). Words can’t explain how hard these girls worked for this,” said Simpson, one of Beverly’s all-time greats as a player as well. “Beverly’s a great community, a great school and these girls deserve this. It seems like its finally our turn.”
“This is the best feeling, probably of my life,” Harty beamed.