By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dexter Dreadnaughts, 16-2-2 (3-1-1), lost their first match in the SEC Red on Oct. 14 when they fell to the Ann Arbor Pioneers, 11-1-2 (3-1-2), at home, 1-0.
A late goal in the first half by the Pioneers ended up being the only goal of the game as the Dreads lost only their second game this season.
In the first half the Pioneers won the possession battle, something that the Dreads usually dominate in their games. Defensively, the Pioneers focused on Dread junior Abby Tamer, the leading scorer in division one and a division one collegiate commit, by sending two or three defenders at her.
“I don’t know how much they took away and how much we played to that,” said Dread head coach Trish Machemer. “We did more in the first half individually and didn’t play the game we like to play.”
Halfway through the first half, the Dreads got their best look, a backhand by Tamer that was saved by the Pioneer keeper.
After a Dread penalty, the Pioneers would score with 2:35 in the half when Natalie Millman would get off a shot in a scrum in front of the net.
After losing the corner (3-1) and possession battle early, the Dreads adjusted and it showed in the second half.
They won possession early and held it for the majority of the second half and they had countless opportunities off of the many corners (13) they drew but couldn’t find the back of the net.
“We made adjustments,” said Machemer. “I don’t know how many shots we had, we didn’t capitalize though, thought when you don’t use those opportunities.”
The Dreads had three quality looks that could’ve gone in but went just wide or were cleared by the Pioneers.
On the first one, a corner drawn ten minutes in, a shot by Tamer was tipped by junior Kylee Niswonger across the face of the goal. Two Dreads made a move towards the ball as well as a Pioneer defender and keeper and the ball went just wide.
Under two minutes to go; Tamer received a corner on the left side, made a move past a defender, and crossed it to senior defender Claire Vaughn. Vaughn got a shot off but it went just wide left
With 30 seconds left, the Dreads came out of a timeout with a set play on the corner.
Tamer took the corner, passed it into Vaughn, who crossed it back to Tamer, who tipped it to centered Niswonger. Niswonger would get a shot off but it was deflected out. The Dreads can still win their first SEC Red title, since the divisions reset, when they travel to Ann Abor Huron on Wednesday. A win would clinch it and a tie would mean a shared title