PEABODY — It was a day of firsts Tuesday afternoon at Peabody High School at the field hockey game between visiting Marblehead and the Tanners.
Both teams’ coaches – Marblehead’s Mia Maccario and Peabody’s Jillian Tobin – were making their debuts at the varsity level.
By the time the dust settled, it was the Magicians who celebrated their first day of school with a convincing 3-0 win, their first of the 2023 season.
Lauren Zisson (goal, assist) and Aeva Salem (goal, assist) led Marblehead with two points apiece. Goalkeeper Maggie Bauchesne earned the shutout win, turning away two Tanner shots. Marblehead outshot the Tanners 10-2 and also held a 5-2 edge in corners.
“I just threw a ton of new systems at them this week and last week, and we went over corners yesterday, so it was huge for them to also learn a bunch of new corners,” Maccario said. “Today, it was a total team effort, so I give all the credit to them for the way they played and supported each other the whole game.”
Kaylee DiNicola and Meghan Burke shared the goalkeeping duties for Peabody with DiNicola playing three quarters and Burke playing one. DiNicola made eight saves in net, allowing two first quarter goals. Burke made two saves and allowed just one goal.
“The first couple of minutes were tough. They definitely had us in the midfield and in the transition game,” Tobin said. “We definitely need to build on that. But the player of the game for us was Daniella White. She played nearly every position for us and left it all out there.”
Marblehead wasted no time controlling play in the first quarter. Gabby Hendy put the Magicians on top 1-0 just two minutes in with an unassisted goal. Three minutes later, Lauren Sisson doubled the lead to 2-0 after a nifty feed from Aeva Salem.
After that, despite losing the field position battle, Peabody tightened up its defense and kept Marblehead in check until Salem added an insurance goal at the 3:33 mark of the third quarter (from Zisson).
“That third goal was a big one as you never want that two-goal lead,” Maccario said. “That was nice that Aeva was able to capitalize on that and have that goal. Overall, I was impressed with a couple of underclassmen and, honestly, as a whole, nothing really stuck out to me. It was a team effort all the way.”
The Tanners kept fighting to the end and mounted a few drives with under five minutes to play in the game, but the Magicians’ defense was up to the task to preserve the shutout.
“I chalked up the first goal to first-game jitters and being such a new team, and the second goal, our goalie just never saw it,” Tobin said. “But once we got past those, we settled in and got into our game. We definitely played better in practice and in our scrimmages but we were definitely a little nervous in that first quarter. But I’m really proud of the way my athletes played today. They are just giving their best and it is so hot and the conditions are so unfavorable with only four subs against a team that has a whole second line. At the end of the day, those aren’t excuses, they are just added obstacles. We’re working on finding a way to get through that. I think if we focus more on our transition, we’ll get there.”
Tobin highlighted the play of her four captains.
“They are just amazing,” she said. “Ava DiCicco looked great in those final seconds and I thought she was going to break through. Iliana Nikolouzos really held us together defensively. Tori McCoy played well on both sides of the ball and knows how to push it and make that swing and Meaghan Collins was great.”
Peabody’s next game is at Masconomet Thursday (4 p.m.).
“We have to work on our transition game and the midfield,” Tobin said. “We struggled with that at times today, but I did see some significant improvements as the game progressed.”
Marblehead’s next game is at home against conference rival Beverly (4 p.m.).
“Being new, I’m just going blind into these games, so we’ll see,” Maccario said.