PEABODY — Starting off the season on the right foot is never easy, but it’s important — especially after graduating 11 seniors.
The Bishop Fenwick girls soccer team knows a thing or two about that after yesterday’s 3-1 win over Salem in its home opener.
Goal scoring seems to be a valuable strength for Fenwick, which netted its three goals in the first 30 minutes of play. The non-conference bout against Salem was a good measuring stick for the Crusaders, who open league play against Matignon Monday.
“We’re a young team with not a lot of game experience, so I thought we played great in the first half,” said Fenwick head coach Karen Guillemette. “Second half, we showed that it’s the first game of the season and we looked a little tired. Overall, though, we put in a great effort.”
The Crusaders got on the board early and set the tone for the opening stanza. Senior captain Annette Ruggiero scored a minute-and-a-half into the contest after making a run with fellow captain Cate Parrott. Ruggiero made the shot from across the box and over the fingertips of Witches (0-1) goalie Ariana Gaffney.
Freshman forward Abi Rocker set up senior captain Vicky Caruso for the next goal, dropping it behind for Caruso and watching as she knocked it home. Fenwick went into the break up three after junior Jackie Edgett rolled one by Gaffney with 11 minutes to play in the first half.
“We had a few breakdowns to start the game,” explained Salem head coach Fred Day. “It’s hard, especially against a good team, to come back when you go down by three. At halftime we talked about trying to take over the game.”
After the Witches regrouped at intermission, they came back looking like a completely different team. With the help of better communication, they created far more space for themselves and went on several runs.