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Peabody girls defeat Saugus 4-1

SAUGUS – At Anna Parker Field in Saugus, the Sachems hosted the newest team in the NEC: undefeated, untied Peabody. The Tanners won, 4-1.Before the game, Saugus coach Ted Moriello said, “We lost 6 starters from last years team and we are just now rounding into form for a run at the title.” Peobody coach Lori Escolas was ill yesterday and did not coach the team. JV coach Dennis DesRoches filled in for her. He said, “We just want to keep the ball moving just as if coach Escolas was here.”The game was a midfield battle for the first 15 minutes. Peabody plays with only two strikers, and they were constantly offside as the passes from the midfielders were a bit too late. It seems that the Tanners will sacrifice 4-5 offsides to get the breakaway that will result in a great shot on goal. Peabody lives on the edge with the two strikers, junior Erika Digiacomo and freshman Emily Manoogian, hanging up with the last defenders. It paid off in the 17th minute when Digiacomo took a pass going down the right wing and fed Manoogian about 12 yards out. She started to go to her right, made a reverse pivot, and lost the defender. She had the goalie at her mercy and put the ball in the low right corner. This made the score 1-0, Peabody.For about 10 minutes, Peabody put the Sachems under intense pressure, looking for the second goal. Saugus bent a little but did not break and kept clearing the balls back into the Peabody end.Saugus was able to regroup and began to attack the Peabody net. Peabody keeper Amy Perkins was forced to make 4 saves against the Saugus attack.The half ended with the score 1-0.The second half started with Saugus kicking off and keeping the ball deep in the Peabody end. In the 47th minute, midfielder Christina Vernaci carried the ball down the right wing, beat the wing defender and passed the ball through the area to the other side of the goalpost, where Jackie Strangie put the shot behind the moving keeper into the right side of the net. This tied the game at 1-1.In the 49th minute, Emily Manoogian was sent in along with a perfect through ball from her sister Alyssa. Saugus keeper Jill Howell was up to the task and stoned the shooter at the 6-yard line.In the 56th minute, Howell was injured and had to leave the game. She was replaced by Gabby Haley. A replacement keeper has no warmup. Haley was in the game as a field player. She came off the field, put on her goalie shirt and her gloves and went into the net. Howell, the starting keeper, was out of the game for 12 minutes, but in that time, Peabody managed to score. Digiacomo shot the ball from 20 yards out and beat the keeper cleanly, only to have a Saugus defender clear the ball off the goal line. It went right back to Digiacomo, who didn’t miss on her second attempt and put the shot high in the corner where no one could get it. This made the score 2-1, Peabody. In the last 20 minutes of the game, injuries took their toll on the Saugus defenders; their stopper and both wing defenders left the game, not to return at all.Peabody was able to capitalize on the Saugus substitutes. In the 74th minute, Stephanie Muscato took a pass from Alyssa Manoogian and put it past the diving keeper from 10 yards out. Two minutes later, Alyssa Manoogian made a run up the middle and blasted the ball from just outside the arc that beat Howell to the corner. The game ended with no further scoring.After the game, Moriello said, “I told the kids that I am very proud of the way they hung in with all of the adversity and injuries to the team. If we had our starting team, they would have scored maybe one goal, but not three.”Saugus drops to 5-3-2 and must face Salem on Columbus Day in Salem. Peabody’s record goes to 9-0-0.

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