PEABODY — The Peabody boys soccer team cruised to a 3-0 win over Danvers Monday night at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School.
The Tanners combined great defensive play with two goals from Noah Surman and one goal from Johnny Alves to improve to 3-0-1 on the season.
“It’s a good win,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said. “(Danvers) are our nemesis. Last year they beat us handily twice. We have a little different team this year, a little younger and a little more skill this year so it was nice to get a win.
“The defense played well and they have been playing well all year long,” McKeen added. “Michael Tansey in the back and Noah (Surman) have been outstanding. We basically rotate six guys on defense and they all work really well together. We kept the ball away from them. The two shots they had, other than the direct kicks, were wide and over the net. Michael and Noah work so well together back in the middle.”
After a bit of a slow start to the game, McKeen was glad to see his team bounce back and earn another win.
“We were able to wake up,” McKeen said. “It was a good effort after probably the first 15 minutes. I thought we did a much better job of controlling the game. We didn’t take any stupid penalties or fouls. I thought the difference was that we were able to control the game. No one has an answer yet for Johnny Alves when he gets the ball.”
The Falcons found the game’s first scoring opportunity just five minutes into the tilt. Danvers was awarded a free kick from just outside the box but Tanners goaltender Will Machado made a diving one-handed stop to keep the game tied.
Around 10 minutes later, Alves won a race to a loose ball with the Danvers goaltender and slipped a shot past him to put the Tanners ahead 1-0.
Later in the first half, Peabody’s Josh Atemkeng placed a corner kick right in front of the Danvers goal. After the initial jump for the ball, Surman found himself with a wide open shot and finished the play to extend Peabody’s lead to 2-0, a lead that McKeen wasn’t ready to settle for.
“We scored two first half goals but that to me is the worst lead in the world,” McKeen said. “In Revere we were up 2-0 at the half and they came back and scored two goals to tie the game, ended up in a 2-2 tie. I gave the same speech today, so getting that third goal was big, huge goal.”
The Tanners’ third goal came with 24:56 remaining in the game. Kyle Morfis found Surman wide open in the box to put Peabody ahead 3-0. The deficit was a bit too much for Danvers as the Tanners secured the shutout win.
“It wasn’t all Johnny that produced today,” McKeen said. “We got production from other people and we gotta have that because these teams know anyways but certainly when we play them a second time they will drop two guys on Johnny. Today we moved the ball and opened the field a little bit better than we have.”
Peabody travels to Somerville Wednesday (4).