PEABODY — The third time proved to be the charm for the Peabody girls soccer team.
Peabody picked up its first win of the season Wednesday, blanking Gloucester 5-0 in a Northeastern Conference match at Coley Lee Field.
Peabody, now 1-2 on the season, kept the pressure on the Fishermen’s defense from start to defense with five different goal scorers. A pair of freshmen, Taylor Bettencourt and Branae Craviero, scored for Peabody while sophomores Samantha Simmons, Emily McDonough and McKayla Fischer each scored one goal in the shutout.
“I liked the number of chances we created,” Peabody coach Dennis Desroches said. “I liked the number of corners we had too, that just tells you the pressure we had going forward. I think we had a lot of shots, some good combinations, good overlaps and we moved well together.”
Despite the win, Desroches and the Tanners know there are plenty of improvements to be made- especially off the ball.
“The biggest thing right now is we have to anticipate off-ball,” Desroches said. “We had wide open runs but we were reactive instead of proactive. You have to see the play and put yourself in position. That’s key. Working off-ball, always thinking and never resting. Those are some of the things we need to work on going forward.”
Right from the start of the game Peabody created plenty of scoring chances but just couldn’t capitalize. The Tanners missed out on four corner kick opportunities and a pair of free kicks midway through the first half.
Finally, with just under 20 minutes remaining in the half, Bridget O’Connell ripped a shot that was blocked but Bettencourt controlled the rebound and scored to give Peabody a 1-0 lead.
In the final minutes of the first half Peabody executed on a corner kick to add to its lead. Emma Bloom placed a perfect ball out front of the net and Simmons scored to give the Tanners a 2-0 lead.
After a few shots that missed the mark to start the second half, McDonough cleaned up a rebound to stretch the Tanners’ lead to 3-0.
From there Peabody controlled the rest of the game without Gloucester managing a shot on goal. Fischer and Craviero each added late goals to cap the scoring for the Tanners.
“Gloucester worked very hard,” Desroches said. “I give credit to them. They fought, they were winning 50-50 balls. They didn’t quit and that’s what I like about Gloucester. Great kids and great sportsmanship. That helps any team when a team goes out there and battles with you.”
Peabody started the season with consecutive losses to Danvers and North Andover. Desroches and the Tanners will hope to stay on the right track on the road against a tough Beverly team Friday (4).
“We rested a little too much off-ball and kind of watched too long,” Desroches said. “Any team is going to be able to easily get in your passing lanes and break up our plays because we’re not creating havoc for defenses. We have to move. You have to make runs off ball. You have to be like Ray Allen on a basketball court, keep moving and find space. Those are some of the things we have to work on going forward.”