Dreadnaught soccer battles to tie league leading​ Pinckney

By: Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

The Dexter Dreadnaught girls soccer team, 6-1-3 (5-0-2), tied the Southeastern Conference (SEC) White league leading Pinckney Pirates, 7-0-1 (6-0-1), 2-2 on Apr. 23 in a battle of top SEC White teams and the biggest game of the season thus far for the Dreadnaughts. 

There was familiarity on both sides, Dreadnaught head coach Jaime Lewis knows Pirate head coach Tom Greeley from his time at Dexter and Lewis said many of the players know each other from playing club soccer together. 

“I got a scouting report on almost every player from their team from our girls,” said Lewis. 

It was a back and forth game all night with both teams having portions of the game where they held possession and control of the pace. The Pirates probably had a slight advantage in possession, but the Dreadnaughts capitalized on their chances. 

After the first fifteen minutes of back and forth play the Pirates began to press higher. The first quality look for the Dreadnaughts came on a corner with 21:00 in the first half, contact was made but the shot went wide. Shortly after that, a poor clearance from the Dreadnaughts put the ball in the middle of the box but the Pirates couldn’t get a shot off. 

Defensively the Pirates were led by junior Kylie Cabana, who finished with an assist, and junior Katie Turner anchoring the back line with junior Kaila Simpson minding the net. 

Turner had the best chance for the Dreadnaughts with around 13 minutes remaining in the first half, a shot outside the 18-yard box went just above the crossbar. 

Dreadnaught forward Carley Curry had a defensive clearance in the box with around six minutes left and Simpson came off her line to make a save as well as the score remained tied at zero heading into the half. 

At halftime, with this game being the second of a back-to-back, Lewis told The Sun Times they made a necessary adjustment. 

“We decided to put three forward and play a little more offensive and direct because we were having trouble keeping the ball and creating chances,” said Lewis. “And it worked, we got a goal pretty quick.”

Five minutes into the second half, Curry, who only made the switch to forward this year and has been the leading scorer for the Dreadnaughts, continued her great transition to the forward position by slotting home a pass from freshman Briana Rodriguez that split the Pirate defenders to give the Dreadnaughts a 1-0 lead. 

The Pirates would respond less than five minutes later, a deep cross found Pirate senior Alayna Moricz in the box who was promptly taken down. Pirate senior defender, and Michigan Tech commit, Cassie Bonifas slotted the ball low to tie the game at one. 

After that goal the Pirates gained momentum and with around 24 minutes left, Pirate sophomore Danielle Bracken earned another Pirate penalty kick. 

Simpson saved the initial Bonifas shot, but Bonifas followed up her own shot to score and give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. 

Answering quickly, the Dreadnaughts scored off of a free kick just over the midfield line. Cabana lofted a ball towards the Pirate goal, it came down in the box, and Currey was able to get a foot on it for her second goal of the night. 

Both sides had looks over the last 20 minutes of the game, but none could find the back of the net as the game ended in a 2-2 tie. 

“It’s good for us,” said Lewis on the game. “(We’re) still missing some of our regular starters, dealing with lots of injuries and playing back to back days, I couldn’t be happier. A lot of grit and fight to get a result, it keeps us in the race for the SEC.” 

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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