While maintaining possession most of the game, the Sheldon Huskies girls soccer team still managed to let Valley stay close in a 3-2 victory Friday on their home field.
The Huskies were able to dominate the game from the beginning, gaining possession of the ball early and not letting it go.
This control proved to be key, as the Vikings struggled in trying to create opportunities for themselves offensively.
However, the Vikings, when they did have possession of the ball, were able to be dangerous through their counter attacks.
With the Viking players looking to move upfield in order to create offensive opportunities, the Huskies found a number of empty spaces for them to create dangerous opportunities in front of goal.
For head coach Kay Shane, despite the few practices the team has had, her girls were able to come out and take advantage of the spaces.
“Our girls did a really good job of pressuring the ball, using the space that was available. First half, we got a little bit bunched, but we did a much better job maintaining our formation; we’ve been doing a lot of work with that in practice,” said Shane.
Shane saw a number of encouraging signs with her team.
“Good anticipation. We’re very physical. We are not afraid to go up against players larger than ourselves. We got some excellent speed coming up this year. We got a lot of really good mature players, that are excellent leaders coming up, that is really pushing everyone to win those 50-50 balls,” said Shane.
Although the Huskies did have the majority of the possession, the Vikings were able to move the ball around well when they did have the ball. They were able to create opportunities in the counterattack with most of the Huskies’ players upfield.
Unfortunately for the Vikings this didn’t happen too often, as they could not hold on to the ball, making a number of defensive mistakes, giving up the ball in their final third of the field and creating opportunities for Sheldon.
The Vikings had trouble keeping the ball, leaving a number of open spaces for their opponents in the Vikings’ backfield.
Early in the game, the Huskies took a 1-0 lead over the Vikings after a ball was lost by the Vikings, center back. This lapse left the Huskies’ captain, Maddie Noll, one-on-one with the goalkeeper, ultimately being able to put the ball in the back of the net for the lead.
After this score, yet another defensive mistake was made by the Vikings.
The Huskies, on a throw-in, were able to get into a position to cross the ball into the center of the box.
The ball was sent in and it was high, a ball that should have been no problem for the Vikings’ goalkeeper. However, the ball got away from the goalkeeper and fell to the feet of Chante Hair, who scored, moving the Huskies to 2-0 with a wide-open goal.
The Huskies seemed to relax with a 2-0 lead, and still in firm possession of the ball.
The Vikings were able to get back into the game on a counterattack and a intelligently placed through-ball put into the center of the box for their striker to put it into the back of the net, putting the game at 2-1.
A couple minutes later, the Huskies scored when Ashley Martinez chipped the ball into the goal from outside the box, putting the game at 3-1, heading into half time.
Heading into the second half, it seemed like the Vikings were able to gain more time of possession and create more dangerous opportunities for themselves.
They were able to play better in the second half, and narrowed the game to 3-2 after a goal that was unreachable by the goalkeeper as it went into the upper left corner of the goal on a shot taken from outside the box, getting the Vikings closer to at least a draw.
It was too late in the game though, giving the Huskies the 3-2 win.
The Vikings fall to a 1-2 preseason record while Sheldon evened its record to 1-1.