DANVERS — Danvers High boys soccer coach Mike Chase knew that spotting a team like St. John’s Prep two goals off of penalty kicks could be costly.
So while the previously undefeated Falcons made a strong push in the second half, it wasn’t enough as their crosstown rivals handed them a 3-1 loss, snapping the hosts’ 8-game winning streak to begin the season.
“You’re putting yourself on your heels to begin with when you allow those two goals,” said Chase, his team now 8-1. “That was unfortunate the way it happened. I think we really brought it to them in the second half with some scoring opportunities; one bounce here or there and we would’ve been right back in the game.
“I don’t think we were ever really out of it. I was very happy with the team’s ability to stay in it. When you (allow) two penalty kicks like that, you can see kids check out, but we didn’t and stuck with it. I’m not happy with the outcome, but I’m real happy with our performance.”
Just two minutes into the game, St. John’s Prep’s Brooks Clark was awarded a penalty kick and beat keeper Drew Larsen on the left side to give the Eagles (10-1) their first marker of the contest.
The Prep stressed the importance of ball possession in the opening half, and it showed with numerous scoring opportunities. Junior striker Matt Chilton notched the second score of the game as the Eagles took 2-0 lead into halftime.
“We like put teams under pressure and that’s what happens,” said Prep head coach Dave Crowell of his team’s two early scores. “That’s our game; to possess that ball as much as we can. If we have the ball, then they don’t. No matter who the other team is, if they don’t have the ball they can’t do anything.”