The Dux girls varsity soccer team displayed a lot of grit and determination to come from behind to earn their 5th win of the season, 2-1 over host Hamilton. Hamilton came out the stronger squad in the opening minutes, but Ryleigh Farrell (SO) set the defensive tone early for the Dux, turning aside two breakaways in the opening 10 minutes. “We came out with heavy legs and were fortunate to not concede an early goal in the first few minutes. Ryleigh came up huge in the first 2 minutes, deflecting a breakaway and pushing another shot over the crossbar. That really helped settle us down and woke us up a bit, as we started communicating better and defensively became more in sync with one another.”
Hamilton took the early lead off of a corner kick that beat Farrell to the far post. “We lost focus defensively for a second and let their player beat us to the ball. She made a nice play on the ball, but we need to be more vigilant and attentive on set pieces.”
However, the Dux got the equalizer after Lucy Bouvier (SO) sent a Hamilton goal kick back into the attacking third, where Sam Hecht (SO) ran onto the ball, touched it past a defender and blasted a rocket of a shot past Hawkeye keeper Taryn Meiste. The half ended knotted 1-1.
The Hawkeyes used their speed, athleticism and the wind to keep the ball in the Dux defensive half most of the second half, while the Dux struggled to maintain a whole lot of possession in the midfield. “We did a lot of chasing defensively, especially in the second half because we didn’t put a whole lot of pressure on the ball in moments of transition. Some of that was due to fatigue on our part, but we also have to give credit to Hamilton, they played a solid game offensively and outpossessed us in the 2nd half.”
Despite losing 2 starters to injury in the second half, the Dux dug deep and the defense held. Ryleigh Farrell went down with a hand injury after making a solid save with about 25 minutes to go. Josie Bos (JR) jumped right in and kept a clean sheet for the Dux the final 25 minutes of the game.
Hecht scored the game winner (2nd goal of the night, 2nd game winner of the week, 5th goal of the week) off of a nifty little flick pass from Hanna Kristiansen (SR). Hann received a ball from the outside and flicked into the path of Hecht going the opposite way. Hecht turned and beat a defender before ripping a shot past Meiste with just under 20 minutes to go. “Hecht has had a solid week for us, coming up big in big moments. But our defense, though tired, really hung tough the final 20 minutes or so and withstood a lot of pressure from the Hawkeyes. I am very proud of our grit and determination, despite not having the best game of the season. Hamilton is a good team with a ton of speed, yet we found a way to grind out a win. That is a good result.”
The Dux move to 3-1-1 in the OK Green, and 5-2-2 overall. They host Holland on Monday.