Peabody takes OT victory
WEYMOUTH - Victoria Digiacomo’s strike in the third minute of sudden death overtime continued Peabody’s (21-0-2) undefeated season and lifted the Tanners over Oliver Ames, 2-1, in the Division 1 EMass final last night.
“The ball went through and it was the goalie and I knew I had one step on her so I just kicked it as hard as I could and I was so glad when it went into the corner,’’ said Digiacomo. “It still hasn’t set in at all yet.’’
Oliver Ames took the lead in the 28th minute when Kristina Simonson cut through three Tanners and deposited a shot in the lower left of the net.
Led by Clarissa Romero, who matched up with Eastern Massachusetts’s leading scorer Hayley Dowd (44 points), the Tigers overpowered Peabody for much of the first half, taking the 1-0 lead into halftime.
“[Oliver Ames] was winning everything in the air in that first half,’’ said Peabody coach Dennis Desroches. “In the second half we told the girls to keep the ball on the ground and that they’re going to play you physical and you’ve got to match that intensity.’’
That’s exactly what the Tanners did. In the 44th minute Dowd finally broke free from Romero and three other defenders to score an unassisted goal and tie the game.
“I had a pretty lengthy run and they kept backing off, so I kept going and it was kind of an awkward angle but I placed it really nice and it went in,’’ said Dowd.
The teams played scoreless for the rest of regulation.
In the third minute of overtime Dowd ripped a shot that deflected to a streaking Digiacomo, who completed the Peabody comeback.
“I shot it and I watched it and I was just like, ‘get there, get there, get there,’ and [Digiacomo] did and it’s just great,’’ said Dowd.
“Hayley and Victoria work so well together and they’ve done this for years,’’ said Desroches. “What you saw at the end is what we see almost every game from them.’’
Despite the loss, Oliver Ames coach Britt Sellmayer was proud of Romero’s work on defense.
“To go toe-to-toe with the premier player in Massachusetts, Clarissa did a great job. She held [Dowd] to one. I was hoping to hold her to one. I just didn’t count on [Digiacomo] getting the other goal,’’ said Sellmayer.
Peabody will face East Longmeadow for the state championship.