By Greg Phipps
Fielding an extremely youthful squad, the Peabody girls’ soccer team opened the Div. I North playoffs at home and rewarded themselves with a 2-0 victory over 11th-seeded Central Catholic last Saturday.
The jubilation would be short-lived, however, as the No. 6 seed Tanners were shut out at third-seeded Westford Academy, 3-0, in Monday’s second-round contest. Peabody finished 10-7-1 for the season.
Head coach Dennis Desroches has to feel good about his team’s prospects. Three-quarters of this year’s roster was made up of freshmen and sophomore players, many of them starters and regulars. “This was a great experience for our squad. With most [of the team] returning, we look to be even stronger next season,” he said.
Peabody tallied two second-half goals in the win over Central Catholic. Olivia Lavalle and Amber Kiricoples netted the scores. On defense, Desroches cited the play of Colleen Crotty, Jordyn Collins, Madeleine Scacchi and Aja Alimonte.
In the Westford game, Peabody had the edge in corner kicks, 6-3, and controlled play for good portions of the second half but couldn’t capitalize against the defending Div. I North champions. Westford put the Tanners behind the eight ball early by scoring twice in the opening eight minutes of the game.
Goalie Shelby Doucette had a busy day, stopping 16 shots. McKayla Fisher and Samantha Simmons played solid at their midfield positions, and Emma Darling was strong on defense.
Alimonte was the lone Tanners player named to this year’s Northeastern Conference North all-star team. The announcements were made last week.