Lady Bisons lose, 1-0, heartbreaker to Juniata|
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - The Clearfield girls soccer team dropped a heartbreaker Monday at the Bison Sports Complex, falling to the undefeated Juniata Lady Indians, 1-0, on a goal in the 63rd minute.
The Juniata goal came after Clearfield had gained a measure of momentum with a strong, second-half possession game after playing nearly the entire first 40 minutes in its own end.
The Lady Indians outshot Clearfield 8-1 in the first half and kept control of the game tempo with a strong passing game.
"I was happy that we got out of the half at 0-0," Clearfield head coach Jen Wright said. "I wasn't happy about the way we played, especially when I know we can play a better game ... a more skilled game where we keep possession more.
"It just seemed like we were a step off the ball. We were one step behind all the plays, and our first touch wasn't there to start out. We just played very sloppy. We were working, but it wasn't effective work."
Juniata looked to pick up where it left off in the second half as it took the ball right down the field and put three shots on Lady Bison keeper Kelsey Greenland, who stopped each of them.
But after a sluggish start to the second half, Clearfield got its game in gear. The Lady Bisons used wings Carlee Freeberg and Julia Ammerman to attack the Lady Indian defense and begin putting pressure on the Juniata defense.
"We talked about their formation at halftime and what we needed to get the ball through it and attack," Wright said. "We talked about taking the ball from one point of attack and switching it to the opposite side and getting our outside mids involved.
"When we did that, we were effective. We were in their half. We were getting the ball forward, and we had them on their heels."
Kristen Butler had the first serious scoring opportunity for the Lady Bisons in the 49th minute when she broke into the goal box after taking a pass from Freeberg.
But before Butler could get a shot off, a Juniata defender dove to take the ball off her foot and knock it out of play.
Three minutes later, B.J. Bowman got into the box with a Juniata defender on her hip and fired a shot at the Juniata net after getting the ball from Freeberg. Lady Indian keeper Lindsey Lowrey had to dive to her left to make the save.
"Freeberg and Ammerman were doing nice things," Wright said. "And when Kristen went out there for Julia when she got hurt, she was generating a lot of attacks for us and causing some chaos.
"When Freeburg was attacking down the left side with speed, it had Juniata on its heels, which helped us out a lot."
Juniata was able to generate a counterattack shortly after Bowman's chance, but Lady Bison defender Lauren Conrad stepped in front of a clear shot from the right wing and deflected it out of harm's way.
It was one of two big second-half plays she made, and one of many the back four of Clearfield made as a whole.
"Overall, I think our defenders made the big plays, preventing the ball from getting through to our keeper by blocking shots," Wright said.
"Conrad made a bunch of those, and (Emily) Barger, (Sabrina) Schwartz and (Candice) Morgan made some big plays, too. That really helped out the keeper, making sure the ball wasn't getting through to her by not allowing good, clean shots on goal."
Freeberg started another scoring chance midway through the second half, when she, McKenna Aleksivich and Taylor Dixon worked triangle passing to perfection to move the ball deep into the Juniata end.
But once again, a Lady Indian defender made a good play on the ball to thwart the Clearfield scoring chance.
Ammerman, Freeberg and Bowman hooked up moments later with Ammerman sending the ball to Freeberg in the box and Freeberg one-touching a pass to Bowman to break her into the clear. But Bowman's shot toward the far post was stopped by another Lowrey diving save.
"We had two really great scoring opportunities where their keeper really had to make a good effort to make the save," Wright said.
"Unfortunately, neither went into the back of the net. Hopefully they will another time."
Despite the shift in momentum and all the chances Clearfield was generating in the second half, it was Juniata that broke the scoreless deadlock at 62:09 when Marnie Hart tucked a ball into the Lady Bison net.
"I think the first half goes to them and the second half goes to us, even though they scored," Wright said. "That goal was an unlucky break. The ball just kind of squeaked right underneath the post. There's nothing you can really do with that kind of shot."
Now trailing by a goal, the Clearfield defenders began making more runs into the Juniata end to try and generate more offense. But the Lady Bisons were unable to get the equalizer.
"Candice and Emily were making runs out of the back," Wright said. "It helped get our numbers up on the attack and caused some chaos at times for Juniata, when they were trying to pick up marks. We encourage our defense to get in on the attack. The more numbers you have, the better off you're going to be.
"We just need to continue working hard. We are a young team in a sense, and we keep improving."
Juniata improved to 8-0-1, while Clearfield dipped to 5-4.
The Lady Bisons are back in action Wednesday at Huntingdon.
Juniata 1, Clearfield 0
1. Marnie Hart, (unassisted), 62:09.
Shots: Juniata 14, Clearfield 6.
Saves: Juniata (Lindsey Lowrey) 5, Clearfield (Kelsey Greenland) 9.
Corner kicks: Juniata 4, Clearfield 3.