SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

September 26, 2012

Rise again

BEVERLY — It wasn’t that long ago that the Beve rly boys soccer team was a sure bet for the state tournament. The Panthers even reached the Division 1 North final in 2002 and made six straight postseason appearances between 2001-06.

Their ultimate goal for the 2012 campaign is restoring their place among playoff contenders.

“Our motto at the beginning of the season has been ‘rise again,’” said senior captain

Conor Leahy. “We’re trying to bring the program back to the way it used to be when we were winning (Northeastern Conference) championships. Hopefully we can bring it back. I think we’re off to a pretty good start so far.”

The Panthers recorded their fourth victory of the season on Monday against Revere. Having already doubled its win total from last year, Beverly stands at a confident 4-1-2 overall. A big change in the team comes with the ability to forget about what’s happened during the last half decade and focus on making this season one to remember. ”There’s a whole new attitude, nobody remembers what happened last year,” said head coach

Kevin Leahy, now in his 10th year at Beverly. “We play physical, tough and smart. Coach Vigliotta and I are very happy with the way the boys have been playing.”

One factor that will continue to bring the Panthers success is their ability to utilize the entire field. If they can continue to spread the offense around, there’s no denying they’ll be a formidable opponent come playoff time.

”There’s no team tougher than us,” said senior captain

Dylan Perry. “Last year we were just jamming the ball down the middle and that didn’t work out real well for us. We’re playing together as a team now and spreading the field out and it’s really attributing to our success. We’re looking to do some damage in the playoffs.”

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