SALEM — Coming into last night’s game against Lexington, the Beverly/Danvers girls had scored 71 goals. They only put one in the back of the net against the Minutemen, but it proved to be all they would need to pick up their 10th win of the season last night at Salem State’s Rockett Arena.
The Panthers (10-1) were coming off their only loss of the season to Andover in a tribute game to Colleen Ritzer, the Danvers High teacher, who was killed a few months ago. Before that they had beaten a tough St. Mary’s team so it wasn’t surprising they came out a bit flat.
“We didn’t have our legs tonight; we were drained after two very emotional games,” said Beverly coach Brian Seabury. “We had to grind it out, but that’s something we need to learn how to do. It is going to help us down the road.”
Beverly has plenty of scoring chances, couldn’t extend an early 1-0 lead they ultimately held on to.
“We had breakaways, but couldn’t capitalize. We certainly didn’t know that early goal was going to stand up, and kept hoping to get another one for insurance,” Seabury said.
The only goal of the game came midway through the opening period when Julia Nearis scored her team leading 31st of the season with Nicole Kamens assisting. Nearis, an eighth grade left wing, got by the defense and fired a high shot over Minuteman goalie Amanda Charlton’s shoulder.
The Panthers outshot Lexington, 34-14, but Charlton was outstanding. She made several unbelievable saves to keep her team in the game. At the other end eighth grader Madison Jalbert wasn’t as busy, but came up equally big when she needed to in the shutout.
“Our eighth graders were good tonight,” said Seabury. “Jalbert was there when we needed her, and made some big saves early. We didn’t get the bounces and couldn’t find the back of the net. Give that Lexington goalie a lot of credit. It wasn’t one of our best efforts, but we’ll take the ‘W’ and move on. It’s been a tough week as far as conditioning goes, but we’ll be ready for Duxbury — the number one team in the state — on Monday.”