Danvers Falcons Girls Soccer '07

Wed, Nov 14, 2007 07:00 PM @ Neutral Location
Team 1st 2nd OT Final
Playoff Game
Danvers 0 0 0 0
Oliver Ames 0 1 0 1

Danvers falls to Oliver Ames in state semifinals

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Danvers 0; Oliver Ames 1 » Linsey Tait, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Thursday, November, 15 By Matt Williams
Staff writer

Division 2 South champion Oliver Ames came to last night's girls state semifinal girls looking to force Division 2 North champ Danvers to play their style of soccer.

The strategy worked to a T as the Tigers forced the Falcons out of their comfort zone and emerged with a 1-0 victory to advance to Saturday's Division 2 state championship game. "They play a difficult style. They don't put it on the ground the way we like to play | and that disrupted us all (night)," said Falcons coach Jimmy Hinchion.

Rather than passing through the ground, Oliver Ames (21-1-1) kept the ball airborne and off the turf at North Quincy's Veterans Memorial Field. That kept it away from the feet of the Falcons' dangerous attackers and, for the most part, in the Tigers' attacking end.

Danvers ended its season 19-4 with the Division 2 North championship in hand as well as the Northeastern Conference South crown.

Senior goalie Caroline Moholland | one of the Falcons' five captains | made seven first-half saves as the Tigers dominated the opening frame with a 13-4 edge in total shots and a 7-3 advantage in shots on net. Moholland and the Danvers defense kept the game scoreless, but it didn't take the Tigers long to strike after the break.

Bethany Frazier's header on a perfect crossing pass from Michelle Sirios provided the only offense Oliver Ames would need just 2:30 into the second half.

"They converted on their chance and we didn't get a whole lot of chances. We can't be sour about it," Hinchion said. The Falcons were markedly better in the second half, limiting the Tigers to just three shots on net. Midfielders Jackie Gauthier and Katelyn Hartnett helped Danvers control the pace, but the squad struggled to advance inside the attacking zone and couldn't generate many quality scoring chances.

"That's the best defense we've seen this year," Hinchion said of Oliver Ames. "We have a very good attack and we didn't generate much tonight. Their back line gets the credit for that | we have some burners up front and they were able to stay with them."

The Falcons' best scoring chance was off the foot of senior forward Kelli Getchell, who broke in alone late in the first half but didn't have a great angle to the net and was denied by Tigers keeper Brianna Cole. The Tigers limited them to three second half shots on the net, including their lone corner kick with 10 minutes left that cleared aside short of the goal.

In the end, the contrast in styles was too much for Danvers to overcome. Oliver Ames airborne attack makes it difficult to gain control of the ball and slows down the game.

"It's tough. We didn't play against anybody with that style all year," said Hinchion. "The best part tonight was our midfield when we brought it on the ground but it was so difficult because they were doing the opposite. Anytime the ball is in the air, it bounces and that makes it hard to get it back to our feet and make plays."

It also created a lopsided 10-1 edge in corner kicks for the Tigers. Though the Danvers defense stood strong and stopped them all, constantly defending them took a toll on the Falcons.

"They're tough with the corner kicks. We defended them well, but we could tell that that's what they're looking for (on the attack)," Hinchion said.

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