DANVERS — Something had to give in an early season battle between two Northeastern Conference girls lacrosse rivals yesterday.
Ball control wound up determining the outcome of the game — and host Danvers did a terrific job at it in the second half, securing a 17-10 come-from-behind win over Peabody.
Trailing by two (9-7) at intermission, the Falcons came out and totally dominated play in the second half. Rachel Trocchi sparked the rally on offense by scoring five of her game-high six goals in the second half as the hosts outscored the visiting Tanners, 10-1, in the second half.
"Everybody was finishing their shots; that was the difference," said Falcons coach Julie Bevad. "(Katie) McKenna and Trocchi did a great job on the draws.
"This was a total team win. Everybody believed in one another and worked together."
Peabody head coach Dennis Desroches estimated his team won only two draws the entire second half.
"We lost the draw time after time," said Desroches. "You can't play defense the entire half and expect to win the game. Instead of going 30 yards to the net, we had to go 100."
It was a back-and-forth game early until Peabody broke a 3-3 tie with four unanswered scores. Three goals by Sarah Napolitano (who had 5 for the game) and another captain Nicole Napolitano led the charge.
But the Falcons (2-0) stormed back on goals by Trocchi, Sarah Perry (who finished with 5 goals and an assist), and Katie Szela (2 goals) to close the deficit to 7-6. Sarah Napolitano scored again with just seven seconds left in the half to put Peabody up, 9-7.
Peabody goalie Cheyenne Jackson picked up two assists on Napolitano's goals, with long clearing passes that Napolitano scooped up and beat Falcon goalie Marina Belakonis.
"Cheyenne had a heck of a game," said Desroches. "She made some great saves, but in that second half we weren't able to pick up loose balls — and possession is the key. When an offensive player has the ball, fouls are called like crazy with the new rules."
McKenna (2 goals, 1 assist) and Trocchi dominated draw control in the second half. Trocchi scored two quick goals to tie it up with less than three minutes gone in the second half, then Perry put the Falcons ahead for good after a foul was called on the Tanners.
"We turned it on in the second half by hustling to the ball and getting back to basic Danvers lacrosse," Bevad said. "Our offense was very patient and worked hard to set up shots, and we capitalized on their mistakes. I think they won the majority of draws in the first half, but we made a few adjustments at halftime that gave us the advantage."
Peabody pulled within a goal after Bianca Moscato scored her second of the game to make it 11-10, but the Falcons answered with six in a row to put the game away.
For the Falcons, Julia Calasciebetta had a goal and Ali Spencer and Karen Hovey each had one assist. Mikayla York and Christy Feudo also scored for Peabody while Catie Houlden had an assist.