Hartford Girls Soccer Advances to Quarterfinals
Canes shut out Lyndon 3-0
The Hartford Hurricane fall sports teams are 2 for 2 this playoff season after the girls soccer team defeated Lyndon 3-0 on Wednesday at Maxfield a day after the boys knocked off Mill River 3-1.
The 5th seed Hurricanes started strong and
created multiple chances early on getting awarded 4 straight corner kicks around
the 5’ mark. By the 18th
minute the Canes had a 9-0 corner kick advantage on their way to a 17-1
advantage for the game but the Canes could not convert as the Vikings created a
scrum in front of keeper Marek Upton by collapsing their defense deep into the
box. Sophomore Alice Dwyer had the best
chance on a point blank shot but Upton stoned her.
With 5 minutes left in the half, the Canes broke through
after Sarah Jones scored off a pass from Kyra Wood. Upton got her hands of the hard shot to her
left but the shot spun past her into the net.
Hartford held a 5-0 shot advantage and 12-1 corner kick
advantage in the first half but only 1-0 on the scoreboard. Coach Jeff Acker warned his troops about how the
Lyndon team would likely respond to start the 2nd half “I told the girls to be
prepared to take Lyndon’s best punch in the first 10 minutes. They were going to come out firing on all
And come out firing they did. Lyndon carried the play for the first 15
minutes of the 2nd half and had the Hurricanes on their heels. Lyndon got all 4 of their shots on goal for
the game in this time span but nothing that keeper Morgan White couldn’t
handle. “We played a little ragged for the first bit, until we settled down and
started to reassert control.” said Acker.
After the initial pressure, the Canes dominated the 2nd half
with ball control by staying connected and making quick passes. The ball control offense opened up the field
and gave them space to create several great scoring chances. Said Acker “On the offensive side, we’ve focused
on moving the ball more quickly thru the midfield to open up the defense and
create shooting lanes.” This was evident over the last 20 minutes of the game as
Sarah Jones and Maddie Koff moved the ball through the middle of the Viking
defense multiple times.
However, the score remained 1-0 deep into the 2nd
half as several good scoring chances were thwarted by Upton and defender
Brianna Doty. Jones blasted a tough
angle shot that Upton swatted away. Belle
Leister got free behind the defense but was stoned by Upton, and after
intercepting an attempted clear, Kyra Wood’s blast flew high over the
crossbar. Doty cleared out several balls
and was clearly the Vikings player of the game (IMHO).
The Canes finally broke through with 7:49 left in the game as Sarah Jones scored her 2nd of the game off a Maya Bolger-Chen feed to make it 2-0 and give the Hurricanes some breathing space. And then just 3 minutes later, Leister cashed in on a sweet pass from Jones for the final score in a deserving 3-0 win for the Canes.
Said Acker "The strength of our team has always been defense, but in the last few weeks we have moved to a new level. 5 shutouts and 3 goals allowed in our last 7 games. If that defensive effort continues, we will be very difficult to beat." The shut out was goalie Morgan White's 6th of the season.
"Scoring will always be the hardest part of soccer" said Acker, "but if we can figure out how to score 2 goals in a game, I like our chances against anybody".
Category 5 Hurricane Player of the Game: Sarah Jones – with 2 goals and an assist, Jones was involved in all 3 Hurricane goals and played a physical, controlled game in the center of the field creating space and opening up the Viking defense.
With the win Hartford advances to the Quarterfinals for the
2nd year in a row. And for the 2nd year in a row they
will travel to U32 where they lost in a shootout vs the #1 seeded Raiders. The
4th seed Raiders defeated Randolph 4-1 Wednesday. Game time is Saturday at 1:00PM at U32 in
Next up – The boys soccer team travels to Woodstock to battle
the Wasps with the winner advancing to the semi-finals. Game time is Friday 3:00 at Woodstock
HS. Then at 7:00 Friday night at the
high school, the Hurricane football team gets their playoff season started hosting
Colchester in round 1 of the Division I playoffs. The Canes defeated the Lakers 32-7 early this
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