By Jean DePlacido
---- — BEVERLY — Rain, cold, wind — all weather conditions that girls’ lacrosse is not usually played in.
On a day when the temperature was in the 30s and the Red Sox postponed their baseball game, the Peabody and Beverly High girls braved the conditions to play on the turf field at Beverly High.
Senior Nicole Napolitano scored four goals and added an assist as the visiting Tanners improved to 3-1 on the young season with a 10-5 victory.
“This is not good for either team,” said Peabody head coach Dennis Desroches. “It was a messy game, with the ball skipping all over the place. We were fortunate to capitalize on our chances despite committing several turnovers. The weather was a big factor in those turnovers.”
Peabody goalie Cheyenne Jackson had a monster game with great saves. She denied the Panthers time after time and was immense on free position shots.
“Cheyenne was outstanding,” said Desroches. “She made some crucial saves, especially early on when the game was close.
“I thought our defense did an outstanding job. Victoria Digiacomo, Christine Feudo and Christa Trembley all had strong games. Any time you can hold a team like Beverly to just five goals, you’re playing good defense.”
Nicole Napolitano put the Tanners on the board first, but Beverly’s Liz Musumeci tied it up minutes later when she made a nice cut to get free in front of the net and beat Jackson.
The Tanners used their speed to regain the lead when Bianco Muscato made a perfect pass to Nicole Napolitano, who beat Panther goalie Ami Thompson. Once again Beverly (2-1) answered on Camden Vitale’s goal to knot it at 2-2.
The Tanners scored two more goals before halftime to go ahead, 4-2. Sarah Napolitano put her team ahead for good, and with just over two minutes until intermission her sister Nicole notched her third goal of the day.
Both Thompson, who stopped six free position shots, and Jackson made some big saves in the first half. Jackson made a spectacular save, denying Vitale with 30 seconds left before Peabody took control in the second half with two quick goals to go up, 6-2.
Nicole Napolitano picked up her fourth when she won the draw, raced down the field, and beat Hindi Aljahari with just seconds gone in the half (Thompson and Aljahari split duties in goal with each playing a half). She won the ensuing draw and made a long pass to Mikayla York, who also found the back of the net.
“We weren’t winning the draws, and that really hurt us,” said Panther coach Alyson Healy. “Early on it was a back-and-forth game, but in the second half draws were a big problem for us. That Peabody goalie made some very good saves. We had our opportunities but didn’t finish.”
The teams then traded goals, with Katie Pietrini scoring for the Panthers and Courtney Smith getting a great pass from Trembley for the first of her two goals. Every time Beverly scored Peabody was able to answer at the other end.
Sarah Napolitano had two goals for Peabody while Muscato had a goal and an assist. For the Panthers, Abbey Carnevale and Meghan Henrichon each scored.