By Gianna Addario
---- — DANVERS — The Danvers girls soccer team didn’t let Tuesday’s loss to Beverly get them down for too long. Instead, they translated their energy into last night’s other Northeastern Conference matchup against Salem.
It’s only fitting the Falcons came out soaring in the opening minutes of last night’s Breast Cancer Awareness Game. Behind a three goal effort from junior forward Shannon Pohle, Danvers topped the visiting Witches 4-0.
“We’re always looking to come out strong, it doesn’t always happen though,” said Danvers head coach Jimmy Hinchion. “When you can get a quick goal like that it certainly dictates the pace of the game.
“I didn’t know what to expect (from the girls) after being pretty exhausted after the Beverly game.They still had some gas in the tank, which was great. The girls are hungry. They felt that Tuesday was a tough loss and they wanted to get back in the win column.”
Pohle scored six minutes into the contest off an assist from captain Erin Loehner and netted her second less than two minutes later, this time from senior Kylie Plaza to put the Falcons (6-3) up 2-0.
“I think early in the game, we really connected our passes,” explained Pohle. “We made one-two touches and didn’t let the defense get to the ball first.”
The Falcons put immense offensive pressure on Salem (5-5) in the opening half, dominated possession and threw everything they had on net, out-shooting the Witches 12-2.
Junior Jaclyn Panneton started in goal for Salem, but after Pohle’s second goal, head coach Fred Day put in freshman Sydney Rocheville.
Danvers continued its scoring surge into the second half, when Delaney Zecha scored on a cross from Courtney Arnoldy. Pohle netted her third soon after and keeper Leah Ciampa earned her fourth shutout of the season.
After Pohle’s final goal, Day put Panneton back in net for the last 20 minutes of the game and Rocheville moved back to the midfield. Salem has been without starting keeper Ariana Gaffney for the past four games, who’s been out with a back injury.
“We’ve been using Jackie and Sydney in goal the past couple games,” noted Day. “Sydney’s played so many positions for us as a freshman and she’s been a pleasant surprise.
“Almost the entire team is sick, which I think factored into the slow start. I’m not making any excuses, Danvers is a very good team, but it was a factor for us for sure.
The Witches need four more wins to qualify for the tournament, which is something they haven’t been able to do the past two years and it’s definitely the goal at the midway point in the season.
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Falcons have been selling T-shirts at school to raise money for research and also held a bake sale during last night’s game. Danvers sported pink socks and decorated the fences in pink ribbon.
“It was really a nice thing to see Salem and Danvers get together for a great cause,” said Hinchion. “The best moment of the game was before anyone started warming up, both teams were laughing and talking with each other, and took a picture wearing the T-shirts. That’s what it’s all about.”