LYNN — Coach Ed McNeil and the English girls soccer team knew they’d have their hands full with undefeated Beverly Monday evening.
It didn’t take the Panthers long to show why they’re at the top of the Northeastern Conference.
Senior forward Cassie Jones netted a goal five minutes into the game and Beverly rolled from there in an 8-0 win at Manning Field.
“Beverly never let up,” McNeil said. “They’re just good. They’re really good. We knew they beat Danvers earlier in the season. They’re a very good team. I’ve been around for 17 years and I think this is the best Beverly team I’ve ever seen. But our girls worked hard and I loved the effort.”
Beverly, under first-year coach Sam Charest’s watch, remains undefeated at 11-0.
“The girls have worked really hard and really well together,” Charest said. “They’re not a team that’s looking to be the hero of every game. They work really well together. We try to share the ball and share the responsibility. Through the first six games we had eight goals scored from eight different players. We work really hard to get everyone involved and we have a bench with a lot of great players too.”
Jones, Beverly’s leading scorer and a UNH commit, propelled the offense with five goals.
“I know it’s not the most typical thing but we’re pretty used to seeing that from Cassie,” Charest said. “She’s a fantastic player. She has a nose for the net. We know Cassie’s going to be phenomenal every game. Amazingly enough she gets better as the game goes on. When most players get tired toward the end of the game, that’s when Cassie gets fired up.”
Ceirra Merritt, Kayleigh Crowell and Anna Carbone each netted one goal.
The young Bulldogs fell to 2-11-1. But McNeil remains positive as the team approaches the closing stretch of the season.
“Now we have teams in our bracket plus East Boston and I think we’re going to play well with those teams,” McNeil said. “We’ve had to play defense against the past few teams. We’re going to go very offensive to close the season. Our seniors are going to play a lot and hopefully they can pump in some goals. I think we can compete in these next few games and that’s what you hope for.”
After Jones put Beverly up 1-0 out of the gate, English held down the fort for the next few minutes. A couple key saves from Bulldogs goalie Elysse Newson (20 saves) kept the deficit at 1-0. Jones bumped the lead to 2-0 midway through the half and the Panthers regained their steam. Merritt made it a 3-0 Beverly lead with 14:50 until halftime. Goals from Jones and Crowell put the Panthers ahead 5-0 at recess.
“Three of Beverly’s goals were scored on rebounds,” McNeil said. “Elysse made some outstanding saves. Beverly’s girls don’t just watch the ball, they follow through. Elysse is only a sophomore and she’s going to be very good. We have a lot of good players coming back next year.”
A goal from Carbone and two more from Jones closed the scoring in the second half.
English hosts Saugus Wednesday (3:45).
“Saugus beat us 3-1 the first time,” McNeil said. “We’re going to give them a good game. My good friend Chris Coviello is the coach there and we always have fun competing against one another.”
Beverly has a few days of practice to prepare for Friday’s (4) home clash against Swampscott.
“Swampscott’s a great team,” Charest said. “They’re fast. They have a couple great players we really need to keep an eye on. Mackenzie Kearney’s phenomenal and her speed’s great. We’ll focus and practice this week on some of the tactical things we want to do against them. We try to play our game, get our rhythm going and get everyone involved.”