Peabody cruises past NEC rival Gloucester in season opener

Peabody's Olivia Kiricoples looks for an open teammate. (Item Photo by Anne Marie Tobin)

PEABODY — The Peabody girls lacrosse team opened up its season with an impressive offensive performance in a 16-1 win over Northeastern Conference opponent Gloucester Wednesday night at Peabody High.

For Peabody coach Dennis Desroches, it was great to see the hard work the Tanners put into this years preseason pay off right from the start of their first game.

“We jumped on it early, which was important,” Desroches said. “We had a great preseason against some top teams in the state. A lot of them will end up in the Top 10 with Central Catholic, Marblehead, Reading and Ipswich. We overloaded our preseason and that challenged these girls. We saw the result of all that hard training and hard work in the preseason. It’s going to pay off and it’s going to pay dividends as we go.”

The Tanners had six different goal scorers in the win and controlled possession for almost the entire first half before taking a 12-1 lead into halftime.

“We had a lot of different goal scorers and that’s the idea,” Desroches said. “We want to make sure that we have not just one player that does it. We want to make sure we share the ball and then you just become that much more difficult to defend as a team.”

Olivia Kiricoples led the way for Peabody with five goals, while Colleen Crotty and Amber Kiricoples each scored three. Maddy and Hailie Lomasney each scored two goals and senior captain Catherine Manning scored one goal.

Amber Kiricoples handled a majority of the faceoffs for the Tanners, winning 11.

After winning the opening faceoff, Peabody started to have its way with Gloucester’s defense early. Amber Kiricoples dished a pass to Crotty, who broke to the front of the net and scored to give the Tanners a 1-0 lead.

Peabody didn’t let up from there. Crotty added two more goals and Amber Kiricoples added a goal of her own to give Peabody a 4-0 lead less than five minutes into the first half.

Over the next several minutes, the Tanners continued to pile it on with Olivia Kiricoples making a nice move to the net to score and Hailie Lomasney finding Maddy Lomasney for another goal less than a minute apart to push the lead to 6-0.

Next up, Peabody took advantage of two corner opportunities with Hailey Baker assisting on a goal by Amber Kiricoples and Hailie Lomasney ripping a quick shot to help put Peabody ahead 9-0 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

Meanwhile, any Gloucester attempts to break the Tanners’ momentum fell short with the Fishermen unable to gain possession in the Peabody box for the first 18 minutes.

Manning added her lone goal with 11:35 remaining in the first half and Olivia and Amber Kiricoples each added another to stretch the Tanners lead to 12-0 before Desroches emptied his bench.

The Fishermen finally capitalized on a possession a few minutes later, scoring to break the shutout at 12-1 before the end of the first half.

Gloucester did a much better job controlling the ball in the second half but the Peabody defense buckled down for the rest of the game. Olivia Kiricoples added three second half goals and Maddy Lomasney scored her second to finish the game for Peabody.

“Everyone played today from top to bottom,” Desroches said. “Everyone contributed so that was awesome. I thought the team defense was excellent today. Having everyone out there was the nice part.”

The Tanners will get a day of practice in before traveling to Arlington Friday (4).

“We have a big one at Arlington,” Desroches said. “They’re a great team and a great program. I know they battled the other day with Acton-Boxborough. We’re going to look to have a challenging practice Thursday to prepare for that.”

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