Sports

Tanners stumble in loss to Panthers

Sarah Buckley scored one goal for the Tanners in Monday's game. (Item File Photo)

BEVERLY — While the Peabody girls lacrosse team has had a successful season to this point, the young Tanners have had trouble with turnovers and faceoffs over the past few games. Those troubles hurt the Tanners Monday afternoon at Beverly, as Peabody couldn’t take possession or hold onto the ball in a 14-3 loss to an experienced Panthers team.

“There’s not much to say really, we just got smoked in draw controls and in loose ball controls,” said Peabody coach Dennis Desroches. “So (Beverly) only had to run 30 yards on every possession, while we had to defend and then run a full 100 yards, and it’s tough to win that way. We had too many turnovers, and almost every 50-50 ball went to them. That was the story of the game, right there.”

Beverly was led by junior Sabrina Beaudry, who scored five goals. Sophomore Tuesday Crowell had two goals and one assist, while junior Brooke Baekey added two goals. Senior Abbey Otterbein and juniors Lucy Smallman and Meghan Cotraro each had one goal and one assist, while senior Jill Trefry and sophomore Olivia Thomas each had one goal.

For Peabody, sophomore Amber Kiricoples led the way with two goals, while senior Sarah Buckley scored one goal.

Peabody got off to a great start, albeit without scoring a goal. The Tanners were able to take possession early and run their offense in the Beverly zone for several minutes to open the game, getting a number of quality scoring chances. But Beverly goalie Zoe Fisher sent away every shot that made its way to the net to keep the score even and allow the Panthers to get their footing.

Once Beverly settled down, things went downhill for Peabody. The Panthers netted back-to-back goals from Smallman and Beaudry to go up 2-0 before the Tanners could answer. Buckley got the Tanners on the board with a free-position goal to make it 2-1, but then Beverly rattled off two more goals (one each from Baekey and Trefry) to take a three-goal lead. Peabody once again responded, this time on a goal from Kiricoples, but that kicked Beverly into high gear. After goals from Baekey, Crowell, Beaudry and Cotraro, the Panthers took an 8-2 lead into halftime.

The break didn’t do much to help the Tanners, as Beverly started the second half even hotter than it finished the first period. Beaudry opened the half with two goals in a 15-second span, then about a minute later Crowell scored on the man-advantage to stretch the lead to 11-2. Otterbein, Thomas and Beaudry each added one goal over the final 15 minutes of action. Kiricoples was able to score with less than a minute left for Peabody, but that was all the Tanners could muster.

The loss closes the book on the regular season for the Tanners, who finish at 14-5 and await their seeding in the state tournament. Desroches thinks that this loss may have done a number on the Tanners in terms of seeding, meaning they’ll likely open states with a road game.

“I have a feeling that with this loss, it’s going to hurt us and we’ll likely be traveling,” said Desroches. “Something pretty crazy would have to happen for us to be able to host a game, because there are just so many monster teams out there like Marblehead, Masconomet, Chelmsford, Central (Catholic), so that’s unfortunate for us but we have to deal with it.”

The girls lacrosse tournament pairings will be announced Friday, and Peabody expects to play its first tournament game June 4. Between now and then, the Tanners will prepare for the state tournament with a scrimmage against Lynnfield Thursday afternoon.

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