The Tanners played different zone looks defensively and, especially in the early stages of the game, Peabody was intense and stout defensively. However with so many possessions, eventually Marblehead was able to find the seams in the zone and work the crease efficiently.
Longpoles Andrew Najjar and Ross DeRoo competed hard defensively along with defensive midfielder Reed Foster.
“My defense played great,” explained O’Donnell. “They just played too much of it. Eventually Marblehead was able to find the seams (in the zone).”
What really killed the Peabody defense were goals from the outside. Tanner keeper Evan Connolly (14 saves) made tough saves throughout the game but also battled screens and couldn’t see the ball at times.
The Magicians’ shots were fast, accurate and came from multiple guys. Maag, Dean Fader (three goals), Brooks Tyrrell (one goal, two assists) and Trevor Jones (four goals, one assist) all found the back of the net on shots from the outside.
“They did a good job of screening my goalie,” said O’Donnell. “Nobody can save those when you don’t see the ball until it’s already on you.”
The few times Peabody did leave the crease open Harrison Young (four assists) burned the Tanners with pin-point accuracy in his passes from behind the net.
“They (Peabody) run some zone packages so you have to find the seams, look for the guys in the crease and wait for them to make mistakes,” said Wilkins. “You have to be patient and figure it out. And my guys did that.”
The Peabody attack turned in another strong performance. There may not be a guy on the North Shore capable of shutting down Keifer Heckman (three goals, four assists), who scored twice on tremendous individual moves and assisted on another early in the game to give Peabody a 3-1 lead in the first quarter.