By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday, Apr. 10 the Saline Hornets Girls Soccer team hosted the Monroe Trojans, winning by an 8-0 mercy early in the second half after scoring seven first-half goals.
Goal scorers for the Hornets include junior Devin Reilly (3), junior midfielder Nora U’drys (2), senior midfielder Tate Robison, senior center back Sarah Brannan, and freshman forward Lauren Rubin.
On Thursday, Apr. 12 the Hornets took a short road trip to Ann Arbor Skyline High School to take on the Eagles. In the first half, the Hornets offense wasn’t able to move the ball effectively, only getting a few touches and opportunities past the middle third of the field.
Senior midfielder Genesis Pena had a chance on a free kick around ten minutes into the game, barely missing the crossbar. And with 16:50 the Hornets thought they were on the board, Brannan put in a ball that had come out of a scrum after a corner kick but it was disallowed because a Hornet forward was offside.
As the first half progressed the Hornets began to settle in and see more chances in the attacking third before the Eagles once again went on the offensive to close the half. The Hornet defense was stout in neutralizing the speed of the Eagle offense, shielding and clearing the ball when necessary.
“For the most part we did a good job of that,” said Hornets Head Coach Dana Rosselot. “For the few that did sneak through, Sarah (Brannan) handled it very, very well. Skyline definitely has pace all over the field and that’s not really our style so it was interesting watching that battle.”
The Eagles kept at it, trying to slot through ball behind the Hornet defense throughout the night and when the backline couldn’t stop it, senior goalkeeper Annika Udrys wasn’t afraid to come off her back line to make the save.
With 7:08 in the first half the defense gave away a ball on the backline, Eagle freshman midfielder Tai Tworek pounced on the ball and was one on one with the Udrys but Udrys came out and got a hand on the ball to force a corner, which she cleared with a punch.
Udrys had multiple saves throughout the night, coming out to meet slotted passes by the Eagles to prevent scoring opportunities.
At halftime, Rosselot said they discussed committing more numbers forward to get more offensive chances.
“Skyline plays a pretty compact style so it makes it hard to have a lot of time and space on the ball, trying to find the little space on the ball there, and being able to work the ball into space rather into their hands,” said Rosselot.
On Friday, Apr. 6 the Hornets lost a close 1-0 contest to the Brighton Bulldogs, losing in the finals minutes as they allowed the goal. The second half of that game, although the Hornets improved their play from the first half, the Bulldogs were in control.
This time, the Hornets flipped the script by coming out in the second half with all of the intensity. Possession, after favoring the Eagles in the first half, began to shift the way of the Hornets as they began to control the midfield and get more chances in the offensive third of the field.
The best chance for the Hornets came with around ten minutes left off a corner kick, out of the players jumping for it, someone hit it and the ball went towards the post but an Eagle defender was able to clear it. The game ended in a 0-0 tie as neither side could find the net.
“In the second half I thought that we adjusted very well,” said Rosselot. “Just finding a little bit more fire and grit in there. I was proud of the team how they adjusted from the first half to the second.
After the game, the Hornet’s discussed their good second half, but still acknowledged they had to get the ball in the back of the net.
“(We) just need to continue to work,” said Rosselot. “(We’re) very young on the attack and it’s a growing process.”