By Matt Jenkins
---- — DANVERS — Perhaps it was just a case of outstanding defense demonstrated by the Beverly boys lacrosse team. Or perhaps it was a case of Danvers pressing in a big moment.
Maybe it was a combination of both.
No matter how it’s viewed, there’s no denying that Beverly won in an unconventional way in its 12-2 victory over Danvers at Thorpe School’s Veterans Memorial Fields.
Despite piling up over nine minutes of penalties — including a personal foul and an unnecessary roughness penalty that resulted in an ejection late in the game — the Panthers (7-3 overall, 5-0 in the Northeastern Conference North) held the Danvers offense in check the entire contest and cashed in on their scoring opportunities.
“Ty Martz has been playing out of his mind. Even in the St. John’s Prep and Acton-Boxboro games (both recent losses), he was playing great. He carried that through (yesterday),” Beverly head coach John Pynchon said. “Our film study has been excellent, so we’re learning from the mistakes we’re making on film, and (Kevin) Lally again in goal made a bunch of saves.”
Danvers (6-3, 2-3 NEC) got what it wanted — a lot of possessions, plenty of man-up opportunities and scoring chances. The Falcons just couldn’t put the ball in the net.
“I think we were just tight. I think we got caught up in the moment and that prevented us from playing with confidence. The looks were there, the opportunities were there, the dodges, the slides we were looking for them to execute were there,” Danvers coach Tim Murphy said. “We just couldn’t complete the pass across the crease and when we did, we couldn’t put it past the goalie.”
Nick Albano led Beverly with two goals and three assists, Sam Abate added two goals and one assist and Hunter Spencer chipped in with a pair of goals. Peter Mulumba, Clinton Cabral, Jordan Rawding, Martz, Rick McFarland and Chris Vallette all had single tallies for Beverly, which led 4-1 at the half and 8-2 after three quarters.
Danvers’ goals came from Troy Fleming and Stephen Ganley, with Zach Persson adding an assist.
“Danvers is a really good team. They have a lot of guys that can play, so holding them to two goals is really good for us,” Pynchon said. “We did a great job defensively and that kid No. 11 (Jay Calcagno) is as good as any kid in the conference.”
Danvers is now three games behind Beverly in the NEC standings.
“Obviously, going into the season our goal was (to win) the NEC and that’s probably not a reality for us at this point, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have aspirations to host a playoff game here at Danvers,” Murphy said. “With half the schedule left, we’ll continue to work hard to achieve that goal.”