By Gianna Addario
---- — DANVERS — It was hardly the type of first half Danvers girls soccer coach Jimmy Hinchion was hoping for, but then again it was one that his team learned from.
The Falcons managed just one shot on goal in the opening stanza and went into halftime with a scoreless tie against Swampscott in last night’s Northeastern Conference Small matchup.
Hinchion’s message to his team during the break — “attack.”
The Falcons clearly understood what needed to be done and netted three goals in a six-minute span to open the second half.
Led by junior Shannon Pohle’s hat trick, Danvers put in four more before the end of the game to top the Big Blue, 7-0, at Dr. Deering Stadium.
“There was just no emotion and we weren’t playing with any intensity,” Hinchion noted of his team’s first half performance. “I felt like we were just walking through the motions.
“We needed to attack really hard and I expected a goal within the first three minutes of the second half. The girls just poured it on.”
Danvers’ Meaghan McCarriston broke things open two and half minutes into the latter half. Emily Murphy, who assisted on the first goal, scored just to minutes after that.
“Something clicked and we all started to work together,” said senior captain Kylie Plaza. “We just went at Swampscott and we were all really aggressive. That’s what we were lacking in the first half, so we did a good job correcting that.”
Plaza netted the third goal and also chipped in with two assists. Pohle’s first goal came with 28 minutes left in the game off of Plaza’s corner kick, to put the Falcons up 4-0 by that point.
Pohle netted her second from about 30 yards out on a quick turn around shot. Courtney Arnoldy put one past Swampscott goaltender Sam Rizzo, with under two minutes to play and Pohle scored her third with a matter of seconds left.
“Our communication got better, the defense to the midfielders and then through to the forwards,” added Plaza. “We try not to let other teams beat us physically or mentally and we remained strong on the field.”
Despite the scoring onslaught by Danvers, the Big Blue played a relatively sound game in the opening half. Defenders Mackenzie Robertson, Lauren Sullivan and Aisling Dennehy didn’t let much get through to Rizzo, who stopped 10 shots including two diving saves towards the end of the game.
“Danvers played very well and we didn’t respond,” said first year Swampscott head coach Ken Leeder. “They beat us on every 50/50 ball in the second half. We needed to do better on our set pieces, but it’s only one half — the girls tried hard.”
Danvers has put up 12 goals in the past two contests, both of which were conference games and both shutout performances.
“I felt since last season ended that we’re capable of this, but it’s just come a little bit slower than I expected this season,” said Hinchion. “It’s OK though, if we continue to play well and play like this, good things will happen.”