GLOUCESTER— Gloucester head girls lacrosse coach Amanda Barker says the strength of her team is its speed, as the Fishermen posses a speed advantage over most opponents.
In Thursday's Northeastern Conference clash with Peabody at Newell Stadium, however, was a rare occasion where Gloucester did not have an edge in the speed department. As a result Gloucester was forced to change up its style of play and fell 17-6.
Gloucester's short bench also came into play. With a rash of untimely injuries Barker's squad was forced to play with just one reserve and wore down late in the first and second halves.
With the loss Gloucester falls to 0-3 on the season.
"Our big advantage is usually our speed and endurance, but we had to adapt today because Peabody was really quick," Barker said. "We hung tough and fought until the end but they had too much offense."
The Fishermen were also playing with a pair of new goalies who both played pretty well. Senior Claudia Oliva, playing in her first career lacrosse game, stopped a barrage of Tanners shots early in the first half. Freshman Emma Sidell, playing in her first career varsity game, was also strong in the second half.
"Both girls were thrown into the fire playing in their first varsity game and both girls held their own," Barker said.
Peabody broke out the offense early scoring the first three goals of the game and appeared to be in control. Gloucester, however, battled back to cut the Peabody lead to 4-2 in the middle of the first half. But that's as close as Gloucester would get as the Tanners finished the first half on a 7-2 run taking an 11-4 lead into the break.
In the second half the Tanners extended the lead to 10 goals in the middle of the frame and put on the defensive clamps possessing the puck and letting time run off the clock. When the final seconds ticked off the clock the Tanners had finished off an impressive 17-6 win dominating play on both ends of the field.
Nicole Napolitano led the Tanners with seven goals on the game while Ally Bonten had three. Sarah Napolitano and Bianca Mublato each chipped in two goals for Peabody.
Melodie Orrell, Caity O'Leary and Tess Destino powered the Gloucester offense with three goals each. Barker also credited the play of senior captain Julienne Orrell for strong play on both offense and defense.
Gloucester now has nearly a week off before Beverly visits Newell Stadium on Wednesday. The Panthers present another challenge for the Fishermen.
"The girls who we rely on to score did that for us today," Barker said. "They took advantage of the quality opportunities they got. We did some good things today but Peabody is a good team and they played a great game.