PEABODY — It was a bad omen for the Peabody High field hockey team when head coach Pam Grant was hit on her foot by a ball before the game even started.
Then, in the first minute of play Jenna Ferullo appeared to give the Tanners a quick lead, but after the referees conferred it was ruled that the ball never went in the net.
Visiting Swampscott went on to score twice in the first half and win the game, 2-1, in a battle of Northeastern Conference rivals.
“My girl thinks it went in the corner,” said Grant said of Ferullo’s early scoring attempt. “One ref said the ball went in, and the other said no. After they talked it over they figured it hit the post instead of going in. That was tough because it was a perfect cross from Joanne Frangias; just a perfect connection. There’s no question that was a momentum changer — and may have taken a little wind out of our sails.”
The Big Blue dominated the rest of the first half and junior Tori Thistle scored twice to give her team a 2-0 edge at intermission. The first goal came at 20:26 after Alexa Steriti passed to Thistle in front of the Tanner net. She put a hard shot into the corner, out of the reach of Peabody goalie Holly Smith.
Thistle’s second goal, the game-winner, came with less than a minute remaining in the half. Danielle Mayblom set up Thistle, who uncorked a long, high shot.
“We scored a couple of good goals,” said Swampscott coach Toby Channen, her team now 6-1 with its lone loss to unbeaten Beverly. “In practice we’ve been working on being a threat within the circle. We call it our ‘frenzy drill’ and it’s been very successful against Salem and now Peabody.”