It was a beautiful week for soccer: crisp fall weather that you can smell as soon as you walk outside with cool temperatures but the sun warm on your face. This week the Lady Phoenix were fortunate enough to host back to back home games. After losing their past two away games to two very skilled teams, the Lady Phoenix have worked to pick up their level of intensity on the field.
Hyde Phoenix- 0
Hebron Lumberjacks- 3
“The beautiful game” of soccer is funny; at times a score does not reflect the play throughout the match. Although Hebron walked away with the victory on Wednesday, Hyde carried a lot of momentum and played well. Historically Hebron is a tough team and so the Lady Phoenix were prepared to be aggressive and work on their communication. After taking to the field for the starting whistle, Hebron caught Hyde on their heels and capitalized on their first opportunity in the second minute of play. Hyde was embarrassed but not deflated and quickly regained composer and started to move the ball up into Hebron’s third of the field. For the next 18 minutes of play Hyde maintained possession in Hebron’s defensive half but after a quick transition Hebron gained control of play and converted a goal in the 21st minute to bring the score to 2-0. It was back and forth for the remainder of the half but scoreless for both teams. In the second half Hyde took to the field with more gusto and confidence and worked on controlling possession through the midfield and look to play to their outside midfielders who were working to stay wide and make runs to the corner. Willow Beavis ’17 and Lilli Allen ’17 put in tremendous effort running “goalpost to goalpost” and staying wide in order to be options on offense and reliable defenders in Hyde’s defensive third. Hyde unfortunately never found the back of the net despite their consistent offensive pressure in the second half and never let down even after Hebron score their third and final goal in the 26th minute. Hyde continued to battle till the final whistle and the girls stepped off the field proud of their work ethic and TEAM effort despite the loss.
Up top at striker Ida Mae Danforth ’17 and Timesha Walker ’17 worked the entire game to provide targets for the midfield and pressure the Lumberjack defense. Emma Levensohn ’17 played well at stopper and improved on applying offensive pressure after a defensive transition out of the back. Junior Helenna Wallace also did a nice job playing a variety of positions in the midfield and was excellent defensively. Goalkeeper Diamond Brown ‘16 made 13 saves and kept Hyde in the game. Hebron had some strong shots on net that Brown made some impressive saves on as well as shut down some one-on-one to goal opportunities. This game was demonstrative of what the Lady Phoenix are capable of when the move and possess the ball as a team. After feeling proud of their play they were certainly ready to take on Pine Tree the following day!
Hyde Phoenix- 5
Pine Tree Breakers- 0
After a strong game against Hebron, the Lady Phoenix were excited to take to their home field again to play Pine Tree for their second game in as many days. The game got off to a slow, quiet start. Part way through the first half, Hyde was awarded a penalty kick due to a defensive hand ball inside the box. Pine Tree’s goalie made a diving save to rob senior Jill Tolman of the game’s first goal. The remainder of the first half remained scoreless, and Hyde went into the half with a few things to work on.
As Hyde took the field for the second half, the Lady Phoenix found a few of their teammates in new positions. Goal-hungry senior Kelsey Talbutt found herself playing offensive center mid in hopes that she could get the offensive talking. Sophomore, Merrill Truluck stepped up to fill the sweeper position as Kelsey fired up the offense. In the second minute of the half, striker Timesha Walker ‘17 scored the game’s first goal off a beautiful cross from Lilli Allen ’17. 4 minutes later, hard work and grit from Timesha Walker had the striker at the right place, at the right time to force an own goal off the Pine Tree defense from another great cross from Lilli Allen ’17. In the 25th minute of the game Lilli got her third assist of the game by sending another beautiful cross from the right hand corner to junior Alex Bassinger, whose shot ricocheted of another defender and into the back of the net. The Lady Phoenix grew quiet on the field again for a few minutes, but rallied and finished strong in the last few minutes of play. Jill Tolman ’16 scored in the 38th minute off a beautiful shot from just outside the top of the box to put the Lady Phoenix up 4-0 late in the game. Timesha Walker got the assist with a well timed pass back from the goal line up to the top of the box. Finally, Timesha Walker ’17 scored a “buzzer beater” goal late in the 40th minute of play to complete the hat trick for the perfect ending to a well played game. Senior goalkeeper Diamond Brown got her second shut out of the season!
All in all it was a great week of soccer. After a weekend of much deserved rest, the girls will get back to work to take on Dublin (away on Wednesday 10/14) and Kents Hill (Home on Saturday 10/17)