Halloween is over, but there was a Thriller in Danvers Saturday night.
The lady Falcons (#7 seed) hosted Amesbury (# 10 seed) in a rematch of last year's opening round of play in which Danvers won 2-1. This game was not much different.
Danvers came out flying putting all kinds of pressure on the intense Amesbury team. Danvers held the majority of the possession and offensive chances but the Indian defense held strong. Amesbury played very aggressive all over the field and they used their speed well to keep Danvers off the scoreboard.
Danvers finally cashed in on a beautiful goal by sophomore Delaney Zecha off of a corner kick served by senior captain Corey Persson. "Delaney hit that ball perfectly. She stayed over the ball and drove it low into the corner. That was a huge lift for our team." Danvers had several other chances including a great opportunity with seconds left as Persson fed senior Kelsey O'Brien in all alone, only to be stopped by the Amesbury goalie. "Kelsey was flying tonight. She had several good opportunities that just missed. She gave us a lot of energy tonight."
With a 1-0 lead in their pocket the Falcons decided to step it up a notch. Off of the kick-off, Corey Persson and Kylie Plaza dribbled their way through the Amesbury defense resulting in a Persson goal just 15 seconds into the second half. Unfortunately for the Falcons, the 2 goal lead only lasted a minute as Amesbury answered on a beautiful goal of their own to make it 2-1. 23 minutes into the second half, Amesbury was awarded a penalty kick and connected to tie the game up.
Danvers picked up their intensity through the rest of regulation, but several very good chances went either just wide or were saved by the Amesbury keeper. After 80 minutes, the game was locked at 2-2 and headed into "sudden victory" overtime.
7 minutes into overtime, freshmen Shannon Pohle fed Corey Persson with a nice through ball to the right side which Persson hammered home for the thrilling victory. "Corey's goal was a complete lazar to the near post. It was fitting that Corey score the game winner. She was awesome tonight."
Coach Hinchion felt that sweeper Erin Loehner played a "perfect" game on defense keeping the Falcons out of trouble. Senior Kristin Yost was a force on defense breaking up play after play and dominating all 50 / 50 balls. "Erin and Kristin were outstanding tonight. They both really played at a high level."
"Our goalie Mia Koutoulas had a teriffic game tonight. She didn't give up any rebounds and was extremely aggressive."
Coach Hinchion also mentioned the play of defenders Brittney Zecha and Jackie Morse along with midfielder Kylie Plaza as having very strong games.
"This was such a great win for the girls. We didn't seem to get any breaks tonight and I think if some things had gone our way, we could have won this game by 3 or 4 goals. I give Amesbury a lot of credit though, they played very aggressive and never were out of this one. They only have 2 seniors on their roster and will certainly be strong again next year. I thought every girl that stepped on the field tonight played great and gave us what we needed. The girls on the sideline were super vocal and played a huge part in this win as well. I'm very proud of these girsl!"
Danvers plays next against # 2 seed Stoneham in Stoneham at a time and sight to be determined.
Courtesy of Coach Jimmy Hinchion.