SALEM -- It's supposed to be difficult to beat a good team three times in the same season, and it's supposed to be difficult to survive outside distractions that leave your roster slightly depleted.
None of that seemed to matter to the Beverly boys lacrosse team, however.
Beverly continued its red-hot run through the postseason with an impressive 12-7 win over Northeastern Conference foe Marblehead in the North Division 2 final at Salem's Bertram Field Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers, playing without two players who were suspended for breaking MIAA rules, started fast, dominated on defense and pulled away for a five-goal win that seemingly was never in doubt.
Beverly (14-8) will now play Hingham, a 17-3 winner over Apponquet, in the state semifinal. The game is currently scheduled for Tuesday (time and place TBA), and is a rematch of last year's East semifinal, where the North and South were one bracket.
Nick Albano was a scoring machine for Beverly, just like he has been all season. He factored into all eight of Beverly's first-half goals and finished with four goals and five assists.
"Basically, we talked about how ground balls would win us the game, which they did, and we have great faceoff guys (Jordan Rawding and Zach Duguid). They scored first but then we put up three goals and cruised from there," said Albano, who has over 100 points on the season.
"We play as a team. We had a couple off the field things, but we overcame it and played well. On to the next one."
Brooks Tyrrell gave Marblehead (13-8) the early lead, but Albano set up Rawding, Hunter Spencer and Peter Mulumba to get Beverly rolling.
Albano later scored two unassisted goals to give Beverly an 8-4 lead at the half.
Four goals is not a huge deficit in lacrosse, but it was a big blow to a Marblehead defense that had been stifling during the six-game win streak that the Panthers snapped.