Danvers Falcons Girls Soccer '07

Tue, Oct 16, 2007 04:00 PM @ Swampscott
Team 1st 2nd Final
Danvers 1 0 1
Swampscott 0 2 2
Danvers 1; Swampscott 2 » Linsey Tait, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Swampscott girls upset Danvers in NEC showdown

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Tuesday, October, 16 By Jean DePlacido

SWAMPSCOTT | There's no question about it: the Swampscott girls soccer team is not only a second half squad, but an upset-minded one, too.

The host Big Blue staged a second half rally yesterdy to defeat Northeastern Conference rival Danvers, 2-1. In the process, they qualified for state tournament play.

"It's been seven or eight years since we last beat Danvers," said Swampscott head coach Fred Day, whose team improved to 7-2-3 overall (7-2-2 NEC). "We've had some real battles with them over the years, but they always seem to find a way to tie it up or beat us in the final minutes."

Yesterday was a game of two completely different halves, with Danvers owning the first 40 minutes and Swampscott dominating play after intermission.

"I told the girls at halftime that we had played one of our best halves of the season," said Falcon coach Jimmy Hinchion, whose team lost for only the second time this year (the other being to Peabody).

"We controlled play for most of that half, but we didn't match their intensity in the second half. Swampscott is a second half team that really came on strong."

Danvers won the first meeting between the two teams, 4-1 on the season's opening night.

The visitors quickly took a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute of play when Lindsey Dattoli took a dead ball kick from 35 yards out after a Swampscott foul. Goalie Tara Nimkar came out of the net in an attempt to grab the ball, but Falcon forward Ashley Sullivan pounced on it and sent it into the empty net.

The Falcons (11-2, 10-2 NEC) were a step ahead of Swampscott players in that half, winning almost every <50/50> ball and kept constant pressure on. But things changed quickly after the Big Blue coaches talked to their players at intermission | and they came out fired up.

It took only three minutes for Swampscott to tie it up when captain Allie Colson sent Kellie McHugh in on a breakaway. She blasted a shot past keeper Caraline Moholland to knot things up at 1-1.

Coming off a big win over previously unbeaten Peabody (5-3) last week, Swampscott kept the pressure on with good ball movement. It paid off in the 52nd minute when sophomore Casey Connolly raced up the right sideline and crossed the ball to Marissa Gambale in front of the net. She took the pass and scored on a well placed kick, just out of Moholland's reach.

"Connolly does a great job at right wing midfielder," said Day. "A lot of our attack comes through her."

Gambale got the game-winning goal despite having defenders right on her, but she gave all the credit to Connolly.

"Casey had an amazing cross to set me up," said the junior center midfielder. "All I had to do was tap it in, but I did have two girls right on me so I shot quickly. I wanted that goal so bad | and was so pumped up when it went in because I knew we had it then."

Danvers didn't go quietly and had a few quality chances in the final 28 minutes. A few minutes after Swampscott pulled ahead, Sullivan broke through the defense and aimed for the right corner was her shot was just wide.

Then, with seven minutes remaining Katelyn Hartnett's long kick was handled by Nimkar, who leaped up to get her hands on the ball.

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