“The score doesn’t indicate the game that it was. I felt we were in it even when they scored the second goal, I didnt think we were out of it,” Beverly head coach Kevin Leahy explained. “We started pushing though, we changed our formations to see if we could generate more offense and you know you take that chance and it backfired on us.”
Martin would score twice before the end of the game. First, he scored on a spectacular individual effort where he stayed with the ball on a breakaway, deflecting it back into the net when Carnivale slid out to meet him. Then, Martin headed a bouncing ball inside the Beverly box that appeared to catch Carnivale off guard.
But the real story for Danvers was its defense and the lack of quality opportunities Beverly had despite an outstanding game from Leahy.
Sweeper Matt Kidney cleared nearly every Panther corner attempt and had a big defensive play in the first half when he was able to disrupt what appeared to be a dangerous breakaway for Josh Cronin. Nick Lebel and Zach Noring were strong as well in front of Larsen.
“I think our defense really stepped up, especially in the second half,” Chase noted. “We played well enough all game defensively to get the win. The biggest thing for us was that they did pressure us through air on corners but we did what we needed to do to win, which is focusing on defense.”