IPSWICH — Two hours before game time Ipswich sophomore Eliza Statile got a call from coach Nicole Linehan to inform her about starting in goal against Danvers. Despite the short notice Statile rose to the occasion, making six saves in her varsity debut to help the Tigers beat Danvers, 18-8.
“She did a great job stepping up, especially on such short notice,” said Linehan after her team improved to 3-0. “Our regular goalie Maddie Gregory is on medical leave, and backup Marley Henderson was sick so we called on Eliza.”
Ipswich built up an 8-2 lead by halftime. The game was close in the early going until the Tigers broke a 1-1 tie with four unanswered goals by Natalie Soliozy (four goals, three assists), Ellie Swenson (two goals, assist), Molly Markos and JoAnna Perry (two goals, assist) to take a 5-1 lead.
After Katherine Leonard scored for the Falcons after taking a terrific pass from Rachel Trocchi (three goals, three assists), the Tigers reeled off three more. Olivia Moutevelis (two goals), Brigid O’Flynn (three goals, two assists), and Swenson stretched the lead to six.
Soliozy powered her team by consistently winning draws. The Johns Hopkins bound senior tri-captain runs the Tiger offense and effectively sets teammates up. The first seven goals by Ipswich were scored by seven different players.
“The flexibility on this team is great,” said Soliozy. “We can put anybody in any position. Eliza is a perfect example of that. She’s only played goalie once or twice in practice and did a great job today. My goals this year are to have a presence on the field and to transition well. We have a lot of new players so it’s very important to come together as a team.”
In the final minute of the first half Statile robbed Katie Szela on a free position shot. Statile had a lot of support from her defense, especially tri-captain Lauren Barney, who was outstanding.