SWAMPSCOTT — It was a true defensive battle between the Swampscott and Peabody girls soccer teams Tuesday afternoon. But in the end, a goal from Swampscott’s Maddie Hudson that made the difference in a 1-0 Big Blue win in a Northeastern Conference matchup at Blocksidge Field.
“We played a solid soccer game and we got the goal when it mattered, so we can’t be too upset,” said Swampscott coach Norman James. “It was a tough, physical game but we were able to settle down and stick to the game plan for the most part.”
The game featured solid defense from both teams, and James is happy his team came away with the victory.
“We had trouble with not being very efficient on offense early in the game, but we were able to turn that around,” said James. “On defense, we hung in there the whole game. Unfortunately, we gave up a ton of corner kicks and we simply can’t do that going forward. We survived it this time, but you can’t give a team that many chances.”
Those missed opportunities on the corner kicks are just what Peabody coach Dennis Desroches was upset about in the loss.
“I thought we were excellent out there, especially in the second half,” said Desroches. “We were in (Swampscott’s) zone for the entire half and we earned six corners, but we didn’t put anything on net. At some point, you’ve got to put a ball on net and we didn’t do that.
“I thought all other aspects of the game were good for us,” Desroches added. “The passes were good, the spacing was good, our pressure was good. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to shoot in order to score, and for some reason we just didn’t do that.”
The first half was a back-and-forth battle that saw Peabody hold onto possession for the majority of the time. Each team got several good runs at the net, but there were no real quality scoring chances for either side in the first. When the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half, the two teams remained tied at 0-0.
The second half was more eventful. The Big Blue came out quickly and started to push the pace in the offensive zone, getting a number of good runs at the net in the first several minutes. Then, just under seven minutes into the action, the Big Blue broke through. It started with Emerson Laundry, who broke free in the midfield and pushed into the Peabody zone. She got into the box and tried to get a quick shot off, but the ball was deflected. Luckily for Swampscott, it ended up right next to Hudson, who was waiting in the box. A quick flick of the right foot gave the Big Blue the only goal of the game, making it 1-0 Swampscott.
But Peabody didn’t go away after that. The Tanners started to push the pace even more from that point, earning six corner kicks over the final 15 minutes of the game. But while a few of the kicks came close to being scoring opportunities, the Tanners never really got any quality chances on net.
Peabody goalie Shelby Doucette made six saves.
The loss puts Peabody at 1-4 on the year, which is certainly a different position than Desroches and the Tanners are used to. Next up will be a matchup against another NEC foe, Marblehead, Thursday evening (6:30).
“I think we’ve only lost four games in a season once since I’ve been here, so we really have to start turning things around,” said Desroches. “The good thing is that it’s early and we can fix it, but we’re going to have to get to work.”
As for Swampscott (4-1), next up is a NEC battle against a strong Danvers team Thursday evening (6:30).
“It’s going to be another tough game, and it’s going to be a big one for us,” said James. “But I think we’re ready. We’ve been playing every game tight and it’s all about grinding out wins, which we’ve been able to do a lot this year.”