The Sandwich High School girls’ soccer team traveled to Falmouth High on Wednesday, October 14, with a game plan, and coach Dave DeConto’s club executed it well.
Knowing Falmouth’s back line is completely overhauled from last year’s senior-laden group, the speedy Lady Knights put an onus on using their speed on the perimeter to get shots to the net and wreak havoc on the Clippers’ side of the field. They managed to do just that early in the game with two first-quarter goals that gave them a lead they never lost on their way to a 4-1 win over the Clippers.
“That wasn’t a fluke, it wasn’t a gift. We practiced playing wide and we knew that they had a new back line and we thought we’d test them right away. We designed that play to start out,” DeConto said.
It didn’t take long for it to work for the Knights as they scored just 38 seconds into the game, with Clara Woodard getting the first of her three goals.
Woodard’s hat trick started by going hard to the net. An initial shot from the outside, as designed by the Knights, was saved by Falmouth goalie Ella Sieger, who made an athletic play to get to the bid. She could not hold on to the loose ball, though, and Woodard dug it out and popped it in to make it a 1-0 game in the first minute of action.
In the 32nd minute, Sandwich struck again. This time Lily Hofmann put away the goal for the Knights, on a play very similar to the first goal of the game. Again Sieger came up with the save on the initial shot, but the Knights canned the carom to lead by two.
“They’re working hard (on defense), they’re just trying to build that chemistry and learn how each other plays and how each other responds. Those lapses happen, and against a good team like Sandwich, when those lapses happen goals are scored,” FHS coach Cory Dubuque said. “There are some things that we need to work on, and they owned up to it at the half...I think that they played a good game, but mistakes were made and when they happen the other team scores.”
Things settled down and Falmouth was able to cut the lead in half early in the third quarter, making it 2-1. Mia Cavossa sent the ball up the middle for Ariana Silvia, who ran through the defense and sent it to Elizabeth Janes for the Clippers’ lone goal of the game in the 43rd minute.
The Clippers’ momentum was stymied by Sandwich, though. The Knights rallied back to make it a two-goal difference again when Woodard was able to put away a breakaway in the 49th minute. She late scored on a penalty shot at the end of the third quarter to make it 4-1 going to the final stanza.
The unsung hero of the game was probably SHS goalie Sarah Lutsic. The senior netminder made a number of big saves, including one that may have changed the game altogether in the first quarter. FHS senior Jasmine Moran turned and fired from 25 yards away, labeling one for the upper corner in the eighth minute of the game. Lutsic went high into the air and squeezed the ball, robbing Moran of what would have been the game-tying goal, and keeping FHS from gaining any early momentum.
“Not a lot of goalies make that save,” DeConto said. “That would have gone over most keepers.”