PEABODY — It was, without question, one of the biggest tests of the season.
And in truth, it was one that the top-ranked Peabody High girls soccer team needed.
The Tanners held on for a 3-1 win over Danvers at Donahue Field yesterday afternoon, snapping the Falcons’ 10-game unbeaten streak while extending their own to 34 games dating back to last season.
Perhaps more importantly, Peabody (10-0) showed itself that it can still take a punch. Goals by Hayley Dowd and Kara Digiacomo had the hosts ahead 2-0 in the first half, but Danvers (8-2-2) dominated the ball for the first 20 minutes of the second half.
Falcon captain Meghan Kenny’s goal in the 50th minute of play, slicing the deficit to 2-1, had the Tanners’ defense on its heels for perhaps the first time all year.
Still trailing by a goal, the Falcons continued to press. Kylie Plaza was awarded a free kick in the 60th minute that hit the hand of a Peabody defender, giving her another shot.
Peabody keeper Caitlin Lodi appeared to make an excellent save, punching the ball away near the top crossbar. But the official ruled that Lodi did not touch the ball, with Danvers head coach Jimmy Hinchion begging for the corner kick his team would’ve been awarded by rule if she had.
The hosts took that moment to buckle down and controlled possession for the last 20 minutes on their way to their fourth win over Danvers in the last five meetings.
“I thought it would fire our team up — and it fired both teams up,” said Hinchion, who received a yellow card while pleading his case. “The thing with Peabody is if you give them time to regroup, it can backfire because they’re so solid all over the field.”
Plaza took another free kick that nearly tied the score with eight minutes left, but Lodi got a hand on it and Peabody captain Cayla Bucci headed the ball out of the box.