By Jean DePlacido
---- — DANVERS — Mike Chase knew playing high powered St. John’s Prep would be a big test for his Danvers High boys soccer team.
The Eagles didn’t disappoint.
Five different goal scorers helped St. John’s Prep to a 5-1 victory over the Falcons in this crosstown rivalry. It was an ‘exclusion’ game for Danvers, meaning it won’t count on their record as far as tournament seeding goes.
“That’s a helluva program. They’re faster and better than us in every position,” said Chase. “It’s clear they’re all soccer players, not just athletes. Their speed and ability to play one-touch is impressive.”
“This game gets us ready for the bigger ones ahead in the tournament. Getting experience against better programs like St. John’s will prepare us.”
St. John’s Prep (10-1-2 overall) was coming off of a 1-1 tie with Xaverian and faces another Catholic Conference rival, B.C. High, tomorrow. Head coach Dave Crowell wanted his team focused and ready yesterday against the Falcons, and his team delivered.
“We have four players from Danvers this year. It’s a nice rivalry and I’d like to see it continue,” said Crowell.
“We came ready to play and used everybody. We don’t have any one superstar, but we’re solid and deep. When we bring in our next 11 there is no dropoff. We have a lot of offensive weapons.”
Mike Chilton scored his ninth goal of the season after taking a pass from Sam Swain to get the Prep on the scoreboard; four minutes later Chilton set up Mike Lanza to make it 2-0. Pat Foley used his speed to make a run down the right sideline before crossing to a wide open Paul Magazzu in the 24th minute and a 3-0 Prep advantage.
“Chilton’s great strike got us going,” said Crowell. “We moved the ball around and kept possession. The score could have been worse if not for that Danvers goalkeeper (Cam Bornstein), who made some great saves.”
A sophomore keeper, Bornstein was under pressure all first half and denied the Eagles on several strong scoring chances. He made the save of the game on the laser shot by Peter McManus.
The Falcons (7-1-5) cut the deficit to 3-1 on a direct kick by Caio Silva, who blasted a shot off the left post and past Prep goalie Jared Costa. But the Eagles answered right back on Foley’s strike for a 4-1 lead at intermission.
“They could have had eight goals if not for Cam,” said Chase. “We did a much better job in the second half, though. We talked to the guys at halftime and they were upset — but that’s why we play St. John’s. We will learn from this game.”
The Falcons suffered a couple of injuries to key players during the contest as defenseman John Bernard suffered a broken nose and Silva went down with a leg injury (Chase believed it was a bruise that shouldn’t keep him out long).
“Aidan Robinson had a strong game at midfield and he’s only a sophomore,” said Crowell. “Andrew Cahill did a great job at right back, and McManus had a beautiful finish on our last goal (assisted by Greg French).
“Defensively we’re getting better, but still have work to do. Now we’ve got to get ready for a huge game at B.C. High.”