The Dux girls varsity soccer team earned their 10th win of the season by beating Coopersville, 4-1 in non-conference action Friday night. The Dux used a balanced attack in scoring 2 goals in each half. Ashtyn Dykstra (SR) had a hat trick, and Sam Hecht (SO) scored the other goal for the Dux.
Dykstra’s first goal came off her own rebound, after Makenna Anderson (SO) beat her opponent down the right hand side to the endline and drove a low cross back into the box. Dykstra’s first attempt hit the GK from point blank range, but she couldn’t hang on. Dykstra pounced on the rebound and slammed it into the back of the net, just over 9 minutes into the game.
The Dux took a 2-0 lead off a beautiful 1-2-3 combination between Emilie Wilson (JR), Samantha Hecht (SO) and Dykstra. Mattie Busscher (JR) played a ball from the back into Wilson. Wilson’s first touch sent the ball back towards the center to Hecht, who slipped a quick through ball to Dykstra, who took a touch and blasted a right footed shot up and over the outstretched hands of the GK and into the far left upper corner.
The Dux took a 2-1 lead into halftime, after the Dux conceded a goal in the waning minutes of the half. A miscommunication led to a turnover, which led to a breakaway by Coopersville. “We got a little too casual with the ball near midfield, and a lapse in communication left our backs exposed. We were late coming out to defend, and they were able to slip one past Ryleigh Farrell (JR). It was a bit unfortunate because we had dominated the time of possession and kind of let them back in the game a bit.
The late goal gave the Broncos a little confidence heading into the second half, as they were able to generate a couple of decent chances. But Farrell and the rest of the Dux defensive back line tightened things up and preserved the second half shutout.
Clever combination play was key to the Dux adding two insurance goals in the second half. Gabby Camp (SR) intercepted a pass in the Bronco defensive end and laid the ball into Phoebe LaCroix (SR). LaCroix used her skill and speed to split three Bronco defenders, as she drove deep into the penalty box before driving a low cross back towards the top of the six yard box. Hecht’s one time left footed blast made it 3-1.
Dykstra secored her hat trick off of a set piece. LaCroix was fouled 35 yards from the Bronco goal. On the ensuing free kick, Winn sent a lofted bent ball with her left foot into the box, where it bounced once before Dykstra guided into the net.
“We played too direct in the first half on a fast surface, and we did too much chasing. It seemed like we were trying to set a record for who could score the fastest after obtaining possession. I am very pleased with the adjustments our girls made at halftime. Our quick combination play in the midfield allowed us to attack from multiple angles, which really opened the game up for us in the second half. The final 40 minutes was really fun to watch. We managed their physical play pretty well, and were organized well defensively, which gave us more confidence as the game went on.” Ryleigh Farrell made 4 saves in net for the Dux.
The Dux are 10-5-2 on the season (6-3-1 OK Green) and look to wrap up conference play next week. They host Hamilton on Monday, and travel to Holland on Wednesday.