WENHAM – For most teams, the game plan is the same when the powerful Danvers girls soccer team comes to town.
With the explosiveness the NEC Small champion Falcons bring to the field each game, opponents tend to pack it in defensively in hopes of keeping Danvers off the scoreboard and possibly stealing a goal in transition.
Gloucester tried something different when the two teams met at Gordon College yesterday, opting to keep two strikers up top in an attempt to generate some offense of its own.
Ultimately, though, it didn’t pan out. After a scoreless first half where the teams traded chances, the Falcons exploded for five second-half goals to improve to 13-2-2 on the season with a 5-0 victory.
“Most teams (play defensively) against Danvers, and it’s probably the smart thing to do,” Gloucester coach Alex White said. “We don’t. I think they have a good offensive unit, and I respect their offensive ability, but I always want to beat them. I don’t want to tie them; I don’t go out there looking for a 0-0 tie. I want to beat them, and one year we want to get a win and I thought we could do it today.”
For a time, it seemed that White’s strategy to beat the Falcons at their own game might pan off. With Danvers coming out of the gates relatively flat, the Fishermen backline was able to keep the Falcons to the outside and force a series of harmless outside shots.
So while Danvers ultimately piled up a 16-4 shot advantage in the first half, it was far from a dominant performance.
And with Gloucester’s two golden opportunities in the first half -- a Kali Cook shot that clanged off the crossbar and a breakaway shot from Bianca Giacalone skillfully turned away by Danvers goalkeeper Leah Ciampa -- the Fishermen could have easily gained a first half advantage.