DANVERS— With all the success the Danvers High girls soccer team has been having this season, it’s only fitting that it captured the Northeastern Conference Small title at home last night.
It wasn’t the easiest of wins as the Falcons held off visiting Swampscott, 2-1, but it’s exactly the kind of victory that prepares a team for postseason action.
“Swampscott defended us tough. That was a physical game,” said Hinchion. “It was like watching a tournament game out there. We stayed composed, though. The girls have a lot of confidence and have played in a lot of close games this season. We’re at a point where we feel confident closing out games.”
The Falcons (12-1-1 NEC) have now recorded eight shutouts. Since losing their opening game of the season to Andover (2-0), they’ve gone 12-1-2 and have allowed just 11 goals through 16 total games.
Danvers certainly dominated possession in the opening minutes, throwing everything they had Swampscott’s way. The intensity paid off as senior captain Jackie Morse found junior Kylie Plaze up top for a breakaway goal. Plaza used her speed to get by Big Blue defenders and shoot top shelf to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead with 12 minutes to play in the first half.
“This game almost mirrored the first time we played them at their place,” said Hinchion, referring to his team’s 3-0 victory in Swampscott earlier this fall. “They came in with a lot of defensive posture. We didn’t get a lot of good looks at first, although we were in their end for a good deal of that half. Anytime you get the first goal in really opens things up, and to get it before halftime was huge for us.”
Swampscott (7-5-3) had a few scoring chances as well thanks to striker Erin Cassidy, who shot just wide of the goal. The Big Blue came close to scoring with just under two minutes in the half off a corner kick, but the ball hit off the Falcons’ crossbar and the referee signaled to play on.