The seniors on the Dux varsity girls soccer team took the field for the final time in front of their home crowd Monday night, as they hosted the Hawkeyes in OK Green Conference play. The Dux needed two second half goals to secure the victory, after conceding a goal in the first half.
With the wind at their backs, the Hawkeyes took a 1-0 lead heading into halftime after Ryleigh Farrell was unable to deflect a one on one breakaway. “Our defensive line tried to step up together, but we were a but slow in the transition which kept their player on the far side in an onside position, and it was off to the races. We were unable to recover and left Ryleigh (Farrell) exposed in a one on one situation. Their player made a nice finishing play, but it is something that was entirely preventable.”
After making some tactical adjustments in the second half, the Dux were able to establish a better offensive rhythm, and had more success in generating chances by moving the ball quickly and more efficiently. “In the first half, we tried to beat them at their own game, and really did not play to our strengths. We did a much better job in the second half of challenging 50/50 balls, and moving the ball with more pace.”
The Dux scored the equalizer off of a long throw-in from the left side. Kylee Winn’s (SO) 25-yard throw was handled beautifully by Sam Hecht (SO). Hecht’s first touch to the inside took a single bounce before she turned to the inside and fired a right footed blast up and over Taryn Meiste’s outstretched arms and into the back of the net. “Kylee’s throw was perfect, and Sam’s turn was so fast, I think it caught them by surprise. It was a quick bang-bang play that gave them little time to react.”
Makenna Anderson (FR) got the game winner with less than 5 minutes remaining, after a scramble in front of the net resulted in a shot towards Meiste. Because of all of the traffic in front of her, Meiste couldn’t hang on and the ball popped free just outside the 6 yd. box. Anderson was quicker to pounce on the rebound and calmly fired a right footed shot into the back of the net. “Makenna was in the right spot at the right time.”
The Dux almost gave up an equalizer with under a minute to go, as Bria Schrotenboer hunted down a ball deep in the Dux defensive end. After gathering the ball, she split 3 Dux defenders near the endline and fired a low driven ball across the penalty box. Tally Martinez was there for the Dux, and fired the ball out of harm’s way as time expired.
“We lost focus defensively at times tonight, and got caught ball watching a bit. Against a good team like Hamilton, we can’t let that happen and expect to move on come tournament time. That being said, give our kids credit with finding a way to gut it out and score two big goals in the final 40 minutes. Defensively, we tightened things up in the second half, and had more possession and flow in the second half. I am very happy that our seniors can walk away from this field knowing they won their last home match, finishing 4-1-1 at home this year. They are a great group of girls that truly embrace the family mentality that makes our program unique.”
The Dux are 11-5-2 on the season, and 7-3-1 in the OK Green. Ryleigh Farrell made 7 saves in net for the Dux.