It didn’t take all that long for Peabody girls’ soccer forward Hayley Dowd to capture the Tanners’ record as all-time leading goal scorer. The junior notched her 92nd career goal earlier this month in a 6-0 win over Salem, breaking Justine Hartigan’s career record in a little more than two seasons’ time.
The BC commit still has plenty of games ahead of her and the dynamic striker doesn’t plan on slowing down as the No. 6 Tanners look ahead to a deep postseason run.
We caught up with Dowd after a recent match in Swampscott to talk about her record, a recent trip to England and what the deal with this “Biddy” pride is all about.
Q: Did you know that you were closing on the school record?
A: “I knew I was close, but a couple people called from the local newspapers and they told me when it happened. They called me before I got to record asking about it. It’s great. It’s a great record to have.”
Q: Was it a goal to set the record this year?
A: “It’s a different year. We lost two of our best midfielders from last year and we have a couple of forwards who have taken on a different role. As long as the win the game, I don’t really think about scoring. I’m just happy that we’re coming out on top in a lot of these games.”
Q: How have your teammates helped you along in setting that record?
A: “They’ve been great. Especially in the last couple of years, I haven’t had to run after the ball, they’re able to win the ball and get it to me, which is great. I credit a lot of it to them because I wouldn’t have those goals without them. I think it starts with the defense. A person that’s stuck out in my mind has been Bianca Muscato. She stops everything that comes to her. One girl who used to play on the outside, Katie Brunelle, has stepped in great in the middle. She wins everything that comes her way and she works hard. Also, my other forward, Victoria Digiacomo, working with her has been great this year. We set up each other a lot, it’s been fun.”
Q: With those changes to the lineup, how do you feel the team is coming along?
A: “We had a little bit of rough start earlier in the season and we weren’t playing that well. But we’ve come together as a team more. We’re playing great as a team defensively and then the transition game to the forwards has been really good.”
Q: You played in England with your club team against some of the UK’s best club teams. What was that experience like?
A: “I play for Stars Mass and the league that I play in invited me and [Corey Persson] from Danvers to go and play. I’ve always wanted to go to a foreign country and England was a place that I really wanted to visit, so I really wanted to go there. We got to see a game over there, so that was cool. It’s just great that they’re men’s teams have women’s teams now. We went to Chelsea and they have like 30-plus fields at their facility, it was wicked nice -- unbelievable.”
Q: You made your commitment to BC last year. What went into making that decision?
A: “I thought at first that I wanted to go far away, California or someplace like that, but I started thinking about it and realized I wanted to be closer to home. My family comes to a lot of my games, my mom, my dad, my grandparents, so I thought it would be nice so that they can come and watch me. That made it pretty easy. It’s a half hour away from our house, so it’s far enough to stay away, but it’s close enough to come home. The success they’ve had definitely helps, too. There are three girls now from Massachusetts who play for Stars that are older than me that are there and two girls on my club team who are also going there, so it’s great.”
Q: What are the team goals for the rest of the season?
A: “Well, we wanted to make the tournament and we already qualified, so that’s good. We want to win the league and do well in the tournament. We had a bit of rough tournament last year, so hopefully we’ll get past the second round this year.”
Q: What’s the story behind these “Biddy” t-shirts everybody’s wearing? (Dowd was wearing a “Biddy Soccer” t-shirt at the time)
A: “We’re kind of crazy. That’s what we call ourselves. I don’t know when it started, but a couple years ago, it just kind of stuck. It comes from when people say Peabody, it’s the ‘Biddy’ at the end. So we just kind of cut it down and it becomes ‘Biddy.’ I know it’s crazy.”
Q: That makes sense.
A: “Yeah, kinda.”