By Matt Jenkins
---- — DANVERS — Through the first eight games of the season the Danvers boys lacrosse team has learned a valuable lesson — it takes more than one half to win a game.
The Falcons’ focus on playing a complete four quarters, and getting a complete team effort, carried them to a 14-6 win over Salem yesterday afternoon at Thorpe School.
“Two or three games that we played this year we were ahead at the half and let the other team come back, and we were behind in two other games and came back to win those games. I think we’re learning that halftime doesn’t mean anything,” said Danvers (4-5) head coach Tim Murphy, whose team snapped a four-game skid with the victory. “You gotta come out just as fired up in the third quarter as you do in the first quarter.”
Danvers carried a 7-4 lead into the break after a pretty competitive first half, then really asserted itself in the third quarter. The Falcons outscored Salem 6-0 in that frame to take command.
Matt Flynn scored both of his goals in the quarter and single tallies from Trevor Chasse, Trevor Daly, Stephen Ganley and Shea Doyle gave Danvers a 13-4 advantage.
“They got on a run and we need to do a better job of playing with composure. We played well at times ... and then things sort of start going bad and the thing kind of snowballed on us,” Salem first-year head coach Anthony Nardella said.
“One thing went wrong and somebody else makes a mistake, and we start trying to overcompensate for everyone else. As a head coach I have to get better, the assistants have to get better, and each individual player has to just work on themselves and improve individually before we can improve as a team.”
The Falcons had a tight grip on the ball in the third quarter, winning most of the faceoffs and maintaining possession. Even when the ball was loose, it seemed that Danvers was quicker to scoop it.
Danvers may have been displaying a little extra effort after taking a couple of tough 12-5 losses last week against both Beverly and Newburyport.
“We hit a low point on Thursday (against Beverly) and Friday (against Newburyport). We got our doors blown off, so on Monday and Tuesday we really emphasized solid lacrosse in practice: just passing, throwing, catching and moving our feet,” Murphy said. “I think that really paid off today.”
Once the momentum had fully swung in Danvers’ favor, Salem couldn’t regroup. The difference in time of possession in the third quarter was frustrating for the Witches.
“It (possession) has been an issue at times. Matt Willson has done a great job facing off for us all year,” Nardella said. “I think he was winning some, and then we were getting unlucky. I think we have to get better on the wings and help him out.”
Chasse had a huge game for Danvers with five goals and one assist. Shea Doyle (2 goals, 2 assists), Jay Calcagno (1-1), Stephen Ganley (2-0), and Flynn (2-1) had multiple points for the Falcons while Stephen Goutzos and Daly had one goal each.
Peter Slattery scored three goals for the Witches, Chad Coelho had two goals and one assist, and Willson scored once.
Murphy praised the play of goalie James Curley, as well as Theo Hatzelamprou and Zach Persson.
“Our emphasis since probably a week ago was to get some depth on our team. We played a pretty close game against Marblehead and we just ran out of gas,” Murphy said. “Today, our second line midfielders stepped up and were able to contribute. That gives us an advantage when we can roll two fresh lines, wave after wave after wave, to keep the pressure up.”